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Science  06 Nov 1931:
Vol. 74, Issue 1923, pp. 443-449
DOI: 10.1126/science.74.1923.443


In the foregoing pages the writer has attempted to point out first, the importance to physiologists of the discovery and application to their problems of a unit of physiological activity to serve as a universal measure of life processes. Second, a survey of the field of excitation and response points to the probability that electron transfers are involved in every case and, therefore, that such a standard of measure, if ever determined, will probably involve terms of radiational units. Third, a brief statement of some of the laws of radiation that seem to be involved is given, together with a sketch of the radiation hypothesis of chemical thermal reaction. Fourth, an analysis of the data of a few physiological processes is then presented, the results of which strongly suggest the possibility that the influence of temperature upon living processes may be due to dark-field radiations quite as much as the photochemical effects in living processes are due to radiation of visible light.