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Letters to Nature
Nature 228, 868 (28 November 1970); doi:10.1038/228868a0

Similar Functions of Uric Acid and Ascorbate in Man ?


Behavioral Pharmacology Division, Texas Research Institute of Mental Sciences, 1300 Moursund Avenue, Houston, Texas 77025.

POINTING out the structural similarity between uric acid and the stimulant purines caffeine and theophylline, Orowan1 first proposed that the emergence of intelligence in the primate line might arise from a single evolutionary event, the loss of the enzyme uricase, with the result that uric acid became the end product of purine metabolism. The only non-primate mammalian strain whose final purine metabolite is uric acid is the Dalmatian dog.



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2. Haldane, J. B. S., Nature, 176, 169 (1955).
3. Mueller, E. F., Kasl, S. V., Brooks, G. W., and Cobb, S., Psychol. Bull., 73, 238 (1970).
4. Mahler, H. R., and Cordes, E. H., Biological Chemistry, 475 (Harper and Row, New York, 1966).
5. Pullman, B., and Pullman, A., Quantum Biochemistry, 217 (Academic Press, New York, 1963).
6. Pullman, B., and Pullman, A., Quantum Biochemistry, 707 (Academic Press, New York, 1963).

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