Member (Idle past 3138 days)
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Message 1 of 1 (20712)
10-24-2002 1:24 PM
Background reading with means of exiting (we can try this experiment for if you find the reading below not to your writing simply copy the background without my results and indicate the words from which the commentary begins and I wll try to re=write based on these words even if a slightly different interpretation my provide for conclusions etc.) the footnote@ % marks:
Material From SOURCE BOOK IN CHEMISTRY 1900-1950 edited by Henry M. Leicester Harvard University Press Cambridge Mass 1968 pp.313-317 as follows with % added taken from THE JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY (LONDON) 44, 425-460 (1912).
Mr. President and Gentlemen - From the remotest ages the existence of a profession of medicine, the practice of its art and its acceptance as a necessary part of every community have been founded on a tacit assumption that the functions of the body, whether of growth or activity of organs, can be controlled by chemical means; and research by observation of accident or by experiment fro such means has resulted in the huge array of drugs which form the pharmacopoeias of various civilized countries and the common armamentarium of the medical profession though the world. The practice of drugging rests on the suppostion% that the functions of the body can be influenced in a normal direction by such means. I propose in these lectures to inquire how far such a belief is consonant with our own knowledge of the physiological working of the body, how far, that is to say, the activities and growth of the different organs of the body are determined and co~ordinated among each other by chemical substances produced in the body itself but capable of classification with the drugs of the physician.%% If a mutual control, and therefore co~ordination, of the different functions of the body be largely determined by the production of definite chemical substances in the body, the discovery of the nature of these substances will enable us to interpose at any desired phase in these%%% functions and so to acquire an absolute control over the workings of the human body. Such a control is the goal of medical science. How far have we progressed toward it? How far are we justified in regarding its attainment possible?
I hope to be able to vindicate to you the assumption which is at the basis of medical practice and to show that the activities of, at any rate, the large majority of the organs of the body are co~ordinated among themselves by the production and circulation of chemical substances, so that the results of physiological researches up to the present justify us in the faith that within a reasonable space of time we shall be in the possession of chemical substances which are normal physiological products,%%%% and by means of which we shall be in a postion to control not only the activites but also the growth of a large number of the organs of the body.%%%%%
In man and the higher animals the marvelous adaptations effected by means of the central nervous system are so much in evidence that physiologists have been tempted to ascribe every nexus between distant organs to the intervention of the nervous system; the more so because by this means an adaptation to changes, internal or external, can be effected in a fraction of second6% But in the evolution of life upon this earth this method of adaptation is of comparatively late appearence and is confined almost entirely to one division of living beings - i.e.(ital.), the animal kingdom. In the lowest organism, the unicellular, such as the bacteria and protozoa, the only adaptations into the mechanisms of which we can gain any clear insight are those to the envirnoment of the organism and in these cases the mechanism isalmost entirely a chemical one. The organism approaches its food or flies from harmful media in consequence of chemcial stimuli; it prepares its food for digestion or digests it by the formation of chemcial substances, toxins or enzymes.
In the lowest metazoa, such as thesponges, there is still no trace of any