Anemia Quotes (4 quotes)
Applied research generates improvements, not breakthroughs. Great scientific advances spring from pure research. Even scientists renowned for their “useful” applied discoveries often achieved success only when they abandoned their ostensible applied-science goal and allowed their minds to soar—as when Alexander Fleming, “just playing about,” refrained from throwing away green molds that had ruined his experiment, studied them, and discovered penicillin. Or when C. A. Clarke, a physician affiliated with the University of Liverpool, became intrigued in the 1950s by genetically created color patterns that emerged when he cross-bred butterflies as a hobby. His fascination led him—“by the pleasant route of pursuing idle curiosity”—to the successful idea for preventing the sometimes fatal anemia that threatened babies born of a positive-Rhesus-factor father and a negative-Rhesus-factor mother.
For centuries the concept that food bore a relationship to anemia had been vaguely expressed in the literature. It had been shown that liver and kidneys, rich in complete proteins, promoted the growth of animals, and that substances in liver could enhance cell division. It was likewise recognized that liver-feeding could benefit patients with sprue…and pellagra. These were among the reasons that led to the choice of liver as a substance likely to enhance blood formation.
Study of the patients’ diets was begun in 1915 in an attempt to determine if some sort of dietary deficiency could be found. The similarity of certain symptoms and signs of pernicious anemia to those in pellagra, sprue, and beriberi was appreciated.
The idea that something in food might be of advantage to patients with pernicious anemia was in my mind in 1912, when I was a house officer at the Massachusetts General Hospital…. Ever since my student days, when I had the opportunity, in my father’s wards at the Massachusetts General Hospital, … I have taken a deep interest in this disease. … Prolonged observation permitted me to become acquainted with the multiple variations and many aspects of the disease, and to realize that from a few cases it was difficult to determine the effect of therapeutic procedures.