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July 1953

Biological Antagonism: The Theory of Biological Relativity.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1953;86(1):116. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1953.02050080123012

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This well-written book contains an excellent bibliography on a concept which has become very important in many branches of medicine. The concept of the biological antagonism of chemical analogues is exemplified by the mutual antagonism of p-aminobenzoic acid and sulfonamides with reference to the growth of micro-organisms. Those chemical analogues would have been expected to act in vivo either indifferently of one another or synergistically, on the basis of similarity of chemical properties in vitro; the fact is to the contrary the activity of either one with respect to a third chemical complex is depressed by the other. The mode of action has been guessed to be one in which there is competition for a place on an apoenzyme, and some evidence in certain cases is consistent with this view. However, there is no rigorous integration of facts which would justify the use of the term "theory;" predictability is

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