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Man's Adaptability—A Blessing and a Curse

JAMA. 1964;187(1):A29. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060140095051.
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A prospective science of environmental medicine is needed to cope with the effects of stress in modern life, according to Rene Jules Dubos, PhD, professor at the Rockefeller Institute in New York City.

Speaking at the University of California symposium, "Man Under Stress," Nov 15-17. He said that unless such a science is developed, "society will become less and less able to support the load of the new diseases that will inevitably arise from modern life." Environmental medicine would be concerned primarily with the distant effects of stresses, he said.

Man's adaptability may not work entirely for his welfare, however. For example, his adaptability is sufficient to enable him to live in unfavorable environments, such as areas having severely polluted air, but he may also develop pulmonary disease.

"The kinds of adjustment which enable mankind to overcome the stresses of the modern world must be paid at a cruel price


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