Medicine: Nicotine and Babies

Daphnia magna is an almost-microscopic, transparent, fresh-water crustacean that looks something like a very intelligent, infinitesimal shrimp. But for medical researchers Daphnia has other charms than looks: under the influence of low concentrations of drugs such as strychnine or nicotine in the water, Daphnia swims erratically, does loop-the-loops; as concentrations increase, Daphnia gets convulsions, swims on its back, goes into a coma, dies.

Last week Dr. H. Harris Perlman and co-workers of Jewish Hospital in Philadelphia reported in the A.M.A. Journal tests with Daphnia which showed that smoking does not harm a nursing mother if the mother smoked before her child was...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!