JAMA. 1928;90(11):852-853. doi:10.1001/jama.1928.02690380036014.
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Why an infant will develop a violent allergic reaction when coming in contact with some food substance for the first time has remained an unchallenged problem for many years. When Ratner, Jackson and Gruehl of New York University and Bellevue Hospital Medical College undertook to study this problem systematically, a valid explanation became available. These authors1 first studied the rôle of placental permeability and corroborated the earlier statement of Kuttner and Ratner2 that the animal species seem to be divided into two main groups, those that have a placenta through which heterologous substances can pass with ease, and those in which the placenta is more or less impermeable to the passage of such substances. To the former group belong human beings, guinea-pigs and rabbits, and to the latter belong the ruminants. Thus the authors established an essential premise; namely, that in the human being and the guinea-pig a


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