# Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 78.djvu/394

Another experiment which shows apparent change in the organism under the influence of alcohol, has been accomplished by Reid Hunt. Hunt determined the toxic dose of aceto-nitrile ${\displaystyle {\ce {CH3CN}}}$ in mice, rabbits and guinea pigs. This substance acts as a poison through the liberation of hydrocyanic acid within the body. Hunt found that if animals were given alcohol for several days, their susceptibility to aceto-nitrile was very greatly increased. That is to say, hydrocyanic acid was much more readily liberated within their tissues than in the normal controls. Hunt interpreted this as indicating an increased oxidative power on the part of the cells for the methyl group contained in the poison. However this may be, it is certain that his experiments have shown that metabolism is different when alcohol is given than it is under conditions when fat and carbohydrates form the energy producers which maintain life.