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July 27, 1901


JAMA. 1901;XXXVII(4):267-268. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.02470300035006

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The recent visit to this country of the great physical chemist, Van't Hoff, professor of physical chemistry in the University of Berlin, and the fact that honorary degrees were conferred upon him by the University of Chicago and Harvard University, may serve to recall briefly and in general elementary terms some part of the more important services rendered to medicine through his epochal investigations in pure physical chemistry, and those of others. The application of the theory of electrolytic dissociation to the study of life phenomena and of certain fundamental problems in physiology is sure to lead to its further application to pharmacologic and pathologic problems, and thus it will come to be a matter of direct, practical interest to the physician.

The development of the theory of electrolytic dissociation starts with the discovery by Traube of precipitation membranes, which permit water to pass through, but are impermeable to some

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