Summary and Info
There can be no doubt that alkaline phosphatase is one of the most extensively in vestigated of all enzymes. This has resulted from the ubiquity of its distribution, and from the ease and sensitivity with which its activity can be measured. Unfortunately, these wide-ranging but often superficial experimental studies have been followed up by intensive and systematic investigations in only a few limited areas of the biochemistry and chemical pathology of alkaline phosphatase. The result has been the accumulation of a scientific literature of intimidating proportions, and the inevitable rediscovery of already known facts about the enzyme. Scientists are taught early in their careers that, in the words of Sir John Herschel, "Hasty generalization is the bane of science. " Nevertheless, moments arrive in all spheres of scientific activity when generalization becomes essential, to codify and to select from the mass of data already accumulated, and to provide starting points for new developments and new lines of investigation. This is especially true in a field such as alkaline phosphatase research, in which very real dangers exist that the seeds of fundamental understanding will be lost amidst an unexamined harvest of empirical observations. The history of the study of alkaline phosphatase provides several instances when valuable generalizations have emerged. Occasionally, the conclusions drawn on the basis of available evidence were wrong; more frequently, they have stood the test of further experimentation, and always, they have provided new insights into the nature and proper ties of this enzyme.
More About the Author
Robert Harold McComb is an Australian musician who played guitar, violin, organ, and other instruments with Perth-based rock group The Triffids, from 1979 to 1989. He is the older brother of the band's founder and lead singer-songwriter, David McComb (1962–1999).
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