therapy is beneficial, to patients with cirrhosis of the liver, a number of chemical tests were run on the blood of the patients
and in all instances evidence was obtained that the patients had improved.
Respiratory Diseases and Immunochemistry
Dr. Avery and Associates.
In lest year's report, a description of Dr. Avery's work on the transformation of one type of pneumococcus into another
was given. At that time it was reported that a substance, desoxyribonucleic acid (thymus type), in a state of relative purity
is responsible for the transformation. During the past year, Dr. Avery and his associates have continued their work seeking
additional evidence that this nucleic acid is actually the substance responsible for the transformation. This work has progressed
along two lines: (1) The isolation and purification from animal tissues of an enzyme capable of depolymerizing desoxyribonucleic
acid; (2) the reversible inactivation of the transforming principle by known chemical substances. The attempts to purify
the depolymerase have met with considerable success and work will be continued. It has been shown possible to inactivate
the transforming agent by means of ascorbic acid and to reactivate it by treatment with glutathione. It is hoped that a study
of this reversible inactivation of the transforming substance will afford a clue to the nature of the chemical groupings essential
to its biological activity.
Dr. Horsfall and Associates.
Dr. Horsfall and his associates have continued their investigation of primary atypical pneumonia, a disease of considerable
importance in the armed forces. During the past year 84 patients, each thought to have primary atypical pneumonia, were admitted
to the Rockefeller Hospital for care and study. Of these, 79 were from the Navy. Clinical and etiological studies have been
continued. Last year it was reported that results of