Medicine: Rice, Salt & Parenthood

Population planners and would-be controllers of human fertility have been stymied by an economic factor: many of the world's most densely packed peoples are so poor that they cannot afford the cheapest contraceptives. Last week the A.M.A. Journal reported that the planners' answer may have been found in ingredients ready to hand in the poorest mud hut.

Dr. Clarence J. Gamble of Milton, Mass, was testing 70 commercial contraceptive jellies and creams when he remembered that common salt was reputed to be a good sperm-killer. Dr. Gamble tried it in the test tube and it worked. He combined it with several jellies...

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