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INTRODUCTION Comparative medicine is one of the most exciting fields for scientific work. The horizons of scientists, like those of other men, tend to be restricted by the disciplines of their professional training, so that the weight of research carried out in medical and veterinary studies vastly exceeds that done in the common field. Nevertheless, the modest amount of comparative investigation carried out has already led to a body of discoveries which are fundamental and from which it is clear that the rewards of the comparative method are disproportionately greater than those of either of the two established separate disciplines. Ever since the great work of Charles Darwin, man has been seen to be but one of the animal species, yet the major stream of scientific thinking has continued to proceed on the basis of the old premise of a fundamental division between the human and animal worlds. One consequence of the undervaluation of comparative medicine as a subject is that the methods of research appropriate to it are insufficiently understood, and one of the main purposes of this book is to contribute to the examination of such meth19 Frontiers in Comparative Medicine ods. A whole future of discoveries lies before those of the young generation of scientists who realize sufficiently the potential of the comparative approach to medical and veterinary problems. In this study I shall take a fresh look at the concept of comparative medicine, treating it as a method in research and first examining just what is involved and how it operates, then showing something of what has been achieved by this method and indicating its potential for the future. I shall start with some remarks on the logic of analogy as a scientific method and then describe the history of some key discoveries which have demonstrated the value of the comparative method. This will lead to a panoramic view of the scientific fields in which the comparative method is being used at present and will indicate those fields which I believe are particularly favorablefor future development. The survey is followed by a description and discussion in more detail of the use of animal models in research on human disease. The last chapter develops another aspect of comparative medicine by describing the biology of an infectious disease, influenza, which provides a striking illustration of the unity of medicine through the exchange of knowledge and of the agent across species. 20 ...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780816661558
Related ISBN
9780816668373
MARC Record
OCLC
234379906
Pages
104
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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