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Alexis St. Martin. Portrait of Alexis St. Martin (1800-82), Canadian trapper who was used by William Beaumont to conduct research into stomach digestion. On 6 June 1822, St. Martin was injured with a shotgun at close range. His life was saved by a physician, William Beaumont. The injury left St. Martin with a permanent fistula (opening) in the wall of his stomach. This allowed Beaumont to examine the stomach lining, observe digestion taking place and obtain samples of gastric juice. Beaumont took 238 observations but St. Martin eventually ran away after arguments between them.
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