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Foreign Letters

JAMA. 1937;108(17):1443-1447. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780170061023.
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LONDON  (From Our Regular Correspondent)March 27, 1937.

Report of the Medical Research Council  The report of the Medical Research Council for 1935-1936, which has just been published, describes advances of great interest.

THE MECHANISM OF NERVE TRANSMISSION  The Nobel prize in medicine was awarded in 1936 jointly to Sir Henry Dale, director of the National Institute for Medical Research, and Prof. Otto Loewi of the University of Graz, for their work on the chemical mechanism of nerve transmission. Sir Henry Dale in 1914 became interested in the substance known as acetylcholine, which he found in some samples of ergot. Its potency in stimulating parasympathetic nerve endings and its rapid destruction by hydrolysis suggested the possibility of its physiologic importance. Between 1921 and 1926 a fundamental observation was made on the subject by Professor Loewi. He showed that stimulation of the vagus nerve to a frog's heart liberated a chemical


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