Medicine: From a Sick Chicken

One thing that medicine's learned men once knew, or thought they knew, was that cancer is not infectious. Therefore, no "infectious agent" could be involved in its origin. Then a young (31) researcher just starting in at Manhattan's Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, went to work on a sick Plymouth Rock hen. He took material from a tumor on the bird's breast, ground it ultrafine to smash the very cells, filtered the stuff through silica so that not even a broken cell could pass, and injected the liquid into healthy chickens. They soon developed cancers of the same type (sarcoma) as...

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!