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Growth-promoting Effects of Silicon in Rats


To study new trace element deficiency diseases and to identify hitherto unrecognized essential trace elements, an all-plastic trace element controlled isolator system has been created1,2. It prevents access of the animals to metal, glass, rubber, dust, or caretaking personnel. Each isolator accommodates thirtytwo rats in individual plastic cages. Complete, chemically defined diets are used which are based on amino-acids in lieu of protein. The known essential elements are supplied in sufficient and balanced quantities. All ingredients are monitored for trace element contaminants. By means of this approach we have been able to demonstrate recently that tin3,4, vanadium5, and fluorine6 (K. S. and D. B. M., unpublished results) are essential for growth.

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SCHWARZ, K., MILNE, D. Growth-promoting Effects of Silicon in Rats. Nature 239, 333–334 (1972).

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