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Bone morrow transplantation started in laboratory work with animals.  None of these procedures ever starts with humans; it always starts with ideas that you work on in the lab. It started in the earliest days with E. Donall Thomas and George Santos in this country and van Bekkum and George Mathe' in Europe.  A great impetus came after detonation of the atomic bomb and the realization that people could be lethally irradiated with the result being bone marrow failure. The Navy and the Defense Department got interested in it because they were responsible for atomic bombs and the result was research in radiation biology.

Part of the research was to take mice or rats or dogs and irradiate them to various degrees and see what happened. As you went up the scale of radiation doses, they died first of bone marrow failure. At higher doses they died from gastrointestinal, cardiac and brain deaths. The first thing that would lead to death was bone marrow failure. It was the most sensitive organ.