Clues from Mr. 'Gator: It may be that the giant reptile with the big mouth and lashing tail is hiding some vital secrets which will benefit you, you, and you
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HOW CAN AN alligator tell the time of year? That's the question that has stumped a group of biochemists at LSU's school of medicine. Some 70 or 80 alligators up on the fifth floor of the. LSU medical school building, New Orleans, go into hibernation around the middle of Novem-ber, even though the biochemists keep them in July weather all year round. Of course, you're wondering what alligators are doing in the medical school. They came into the biochemical picture when three biochemists—Drs; R. A. Coulson, T. Hernandez, and P. G. Braz-da—began a study of the acid-base balance in the body three years ago. They have iguanas and chameleons, too, as subjects for research. The scaly iguana, with its chickenlike claws, is a large land lizard, very common in Central America, while the chameleon is the tiny lizard familiar to us in the United States. The three scientists chose the iguanas because they wanted a large, land-based reptile to compare with the amphibious alligators. The chameleons are the playmates of a graduate student, Herbert Dessauer. He is carrying on the same kind of experiment on a microscale. "He's doing it the hard way, to get his doctor's degree," laughed Dr. Coulson. "We had our reasons for choosing the alligator for this work/' said Dr. Coulson. ''You see, when we want to find out how some part of the body works, we study it in an animal where it works particularly well. We think the alligator is the best experimental animal for this study of the production of acid gastric juice. The process in the alligator is the same as in the human, only it's more pronounced—more dramatic— so it's easier to follow. "The blood normally maintains an acidity-alkalinity balance, which is called acid-base balance. When you eat something, substances from the bloodstream form hydrochloric acid in the stomach, and this helps to digest the food. PHOTO CAPTION READS: One reason Mr. Alligator is such a popular research critter—he's so obliging. LSU doctors go to his heart for blood without harm. L to r.: Drs. F. G. Brazda, R. A. Coulson, T. Hernandez
|Title||Clues from Mr. 'Gator: It may be that the giant reptile with the big mouth and lashing tail is hiding some vital secrets which will benefit you, you, and you|
Coulson, Roland A., Dr.
Brazda, Fred G., Dr.
Hernandez, Thomas, Dr.
|Call Number||1951 p11|
Clues from Mr. 'Gator: It may be that the giant reptile with the big mouth and lashing tail is hiding some vital secrets which will benefit you, you, and youfor