Some Biochemical Aspects of Growth *


The many-sided problem of growth is of perennial interest for the reason that it is a phenomenon common to lower living forms and to self-conscious individuals alike. Furthermore, it is recognized that behavior, the interplay of personalities, and questions of mental adjustment are influenced to no small degree by the changes incident to growth. It is obvious that the development of the fertilized egg is limited by factors which are inherited; the rate of growth and the ultimate size attained are characteristic of the species. Again, under normal circumstances, the relative sizes of the constituent parts of a multicellular organism are either maintained or they vary uniformly. Growth, then, in addition to limitations of time and influence of species, is further restricted by certain correlations which are maintained between the various parts of the organism. Some of the early studies of Professor Mendel led him to a consideration of the growth phenomenon from a somewhat different point of view than had up to that time been current. The classical investigations of the nutritive significance of amino acids threw new light upon the environmental factor in development. The organism is responsive to many surrounding influences. Thus light is of extreme importance in the physiology of plants, and it is now appreciated that animals likewise derive benefit from exposure to light under certain conditions. Osmotic pressure is another factor of the surroundings which has been shown to be of significance especially in marine forms. Undoubtedly one of the most important environmental growth influences is temperature; not only does it exert an effect upon the individual but adaptations which have changed the flora and fauna of the world have arisen in response to alterations in temperature. The individual cells of the higher animals are bathed with a nutrient fluid in which are present materials with pharmacological potency elaborated at some distance by ductless glands. A consideration of the influence of thyroxin, adrenalin, insulin, the secretions of the pituitary, pineal gland, ovary and testes expands the picture of the environment to an exceedingly complex

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@article{Smith2008SomeBA, title={Some Biochemical Aspects of Growth *}, author={Arthur H. Smith}, journal={The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine}, year={2008}, volume={4}, pages={551 - 562} }