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Letter from M. V. Lakshminarayan Rao, Central Food Technological Research Institute (Mysore, India) to Michael Heidelberger

 Digital Record
Identifier: 101584940X138


  • 13 August 1953


5 Pages


Heidelberger spent six weeks in India in early 1952 as a delegate to the Indian Science Congress, held in Calcutta. While there he seized the opportunity to study the immunological properties of elephants, an idea first proposed, half jokingly, by Oswald Avery when he had become frustrated with the small amounts of antiserum produced by rabbits, the standard experimental animal in immunology. Heidelberger injected human gamma globulin into the ear vein of a work elephant, and found that the animal was indeed a good producer of antiserum to the gamma globulin. However, as this more detailed report of the results of the experiments by an Indian researcher made clear, cultural and economic objections among the mahouts, the caretakers and drivers of elephants, against the use of the animals for scientific experiments affected their availability for immunological studies.

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Physical Condition - Good

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Part of the Archives and Modern Manuscripts Collection Collecting Area

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