Poison Arrows: The Amazing Story of how Prozac and Anaesthetics were Developed from Deadly Jungle Poison DartsBMJ 2005; 330 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.330.7494.796 (Published 31 March 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:796
- Leyla Sanai, retired consultant anaesthetist
So much of modern medicine relies on our understanding of the physiology of the human body. It is easy to take this vast archive of knowledge for granted, and it is sobering to reflect on the relatively recent past, when the mechanics of the body were a mystery, subject to guesswork and superstition.
In the mid-19th century the great French physician Claude Bernard predicted that toxins could be used as instruments and that, by elucidating their mode of action, insights could be cast on the structure and functioning of the body.
This concept forms the backbone …
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