Sir Archibald Garrod: A historical perspective

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I was recently reading the 1923 second edition of Sir Archibold Garrod’s seminal work entitled “Inborn Error of Metabolism” (Archibold E Garrod, “Inborn errors of metabolism” Oxford university press, London England 2nd edition, 1923) for a review article I am working on, and came across the following passage:

“regards (to) the chemical composition of the tissues of living organisms and the metabolic processes by which those tissues are built up and broken down… the progress of biochemistry is teaching is that behind a superficial uniformity there exists a diversity which is no less real than that of structure although far less obvious”.

It stuck me to which the depth to which these words still hold true today, and is exemplified in the vast diversity of disorders considered to be inborn errors of metabolism.

Hilary Vernon, MD PhD

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