Medicine: Rx for Snake Bite

When he was a boy in Houston, Miss. (pop. 1,700), Van Buren Philpot Jr. picked up a lot of local lore about snakes. He heard that many harmless snakes are immune to bites from rattlers and moccasins, that the nonpoisonous king snakes often eat venomous snakes. When he entered Tulane Medical School in the fall of 1946, Philpot felt that there was still a lot to be learned about snakebite poisoning, and made up his mind to fill in some of the gaps himself.

Philpot bought a dozen king snakes and, with the help of...

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