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SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 1911
ALIMENTARY BACTERIA IN A NEW LIGHT
It is not necessary to turn back many years to reach the period when marked synthetic powers were regarded as preeminently, if not exclusively, the property of plant structures. To the animal economy was relegated the capacity primarily to disintegrate complex compounds, with the exception of a few isolated examples of synthetic activities. The modern researches in the chemistry of digestion, to mention only one field of study, have placed the questions of constructive reactions in nutrition in a new light. Foodstuffs, once supposed to be absorbed and "assimilated" after only slight preliminary digestive alteration, are now known to be disintegrated in the alimentary tract into relatively simple chemical fragments which are