Science: Germless Life

Is life without germs possible? Pasteur thought not; he held that animals and other vertebrates need intestinal bacteria. But last week the New York Zoological Society reported experiments that seemed to prove Pasteur wrong. Zoologists had succeeded in keeping fish, chickens, guinea pigs and monkeys alive under completely germless conditions.

Most successful were Drs. James A. Baker and Malcolm S. Ferguson of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, Princeton, who raised a group of "axenic" Mexican platyfish (Platypoecttus maculatus) from birth to full maturity.* The platyfish, not an egg-layer, bears live young. To make sure...

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