Hippocrates noticed that when vomited matter comes in contact with marble it effervesces. It took more than twenty centuries to find the explanation of this phenomenon—namely, that marble, calcium carbonate, an alkali, dissolves with effervescence in stomach contents containing an acid. We wonder how such an acute observation of a master mind could have lain dormant so long, and had to be rediscovered. In order to keep up our dignity we plead that we are not to blame for this oversight; forsooth, Hippocrates recorded his observations in Greek, and did not provide his works with a comprehensive index. What excuse, however, can we plead in the following case, not a hypothetical one? Here is a book written in the English language, used as a text-book in hundreds of medical colleges in England and the United States, studied by thousands of students during the last two decades, and this text-book records
SPIVAK CD. THE INFLUENCE OF BILIARY ACIDS ON SURFACE TENSION.A PRELIMINARY REPORT FROM THE CLINICAL LABORATORY OF THE DENVER AND GROSS COLLEGE OF MEDICINE.. JAMA. 1902;XXXIX(11):630–631. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.52480370038001l
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