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September 15, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXV(11):691-692. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460370033008

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A French physiologist, M. René Quinton, in a paper read before the last International Medical Congress maintains that all animal life, having first originated in the seas, still maintains for its cellular existence the same original environments; in other words, every organism, whatever its rank in the animal scale, is essentially a colony of marine cells. The first part of his proposition, that animal life had a marine origin, is sufficiently probable to be accepted; the primitive gill respiration, which he adduces as evidence, appears through the whole series of higher forms of animal life in embryology, and all the simpler forms are of an aquatic type. The experimental evidences he offers of his main thesis are the successful displacement of all or the greater part of the blood of dogs by sea-water without causing death or damage other than necessarily due to the operative steps, and the persistence of

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