Tag Archives: science

Doubled edged shield

Adil Menon  Cleveland, Ohio, United States   Jeryl Lynn Hilleman with her sister, Kirsten, in 1966 as a doctor gave her the mumps vaccine developed by their father. Unknown Photographer, distributed by Merck Sharp & Dohme. ca 1966. Credit: Smithsonian National Museum of American History  Working my way through a biography of pioneering vaccine developer […]

Absinthe: the green fairy

Nicolás Roberto Robles Badajoz, Spain   Figure 1. Green Muse. Albert Maignan. 1895. Via Wikimedia Commons “After the first glass of absinthe you see things as you wish they were. After the second you see them as they are not. Finally, you see things as they really are, and that is the most horrible thing […]

Kathleen (Yardley) Lonsdale DSc., FR

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1. Dame Kathleen Lonsdale (née Yardley) by Elliott & Fry. 1996. National Portrait gallery. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 Kathleen Lonsdale (1903-1971) (Fig 1) like her contemporary Dorothy Hodgkin was one of the women pioneers in a man’s world of professional scientists.1 She developed original techniques in X-ray diffraction of crystals […]

Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin OM, FRS (1910-1994)

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1: Dorothy Hodgkin. by Godfrey Argent. National Portrait Gallery, London. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0. Dorothy Hodgkin (Fig 1), though not by religion, had close Quaker affinities through her marriage and through her spirited pacifism. She possessed a unique mixture of scientific skills that allowed her to extend the use of […]

John Dalton

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1. John Dalton. Line engraving by W. H. Worthington, 1823, after J. Allen, 1814. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) John Dalton (1766–1844) (Fig 1) is one of the most revered scientists of the last 250 years. His origins were humble. He was the son of Deborah and […]

Terminal digit preference

Marshall A. Lichtman  Rochester, New York, United States   Figure 1. There are three types of sphygmomanometer; mercury, aneroid, and digital. This figure is of a manual aneroid sphygmomanometer. The rubber pump is used to raise the cuff pressure above the patient’s systolic pressure and then the pressure is released by unscrewing slowly the small […]

The Doctors Cori, carbohydrate metabolism, and the Nobel prize

Beta-d-glucose. Image by Rob Hooft, via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 3.0 Energy in animals and humans is stored in the body in the form of glycogen. Starch, a similar molecule but less branched, serves the same function in plants. Glycogen, discovered by Claude Bernard in 1856, is stored primarily in the liver (about 120 grams) and […]

Roget and his Thesaurus

JMS Pearce East Yorks, UK   Fig 1. Peter Mark Roget (1779-1869). William. Drummond, after Eden Upton Eddis. c.1830s. Credit National Portrait Gallery  There was much more to Peter Mark Roget (1779–1869)(Fig 1) than his indispensable Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases (Fig 2).1 But little is remembered of his illustrious career in medicine and […]

Thomas Henry Huxley

JMS Pearce East Yorks, England   Fig 1. TH Huxley. print by Lock & Whitfield. 1880 or earlier. Via Wikimedia. “In matters of the intellect, follow your reason as far as it will take you, without regard to any other consideration . . . In matters of the intellect, do not pretend that conclusions are […]

The first description of DNA: a six million dollar letter from Francis to Michael Crick

Marshall A. Lichtman  Rochester, New York, United States   Figure 1. The boyish appearing James Watson (left) and the Francis Crick with their three-dimensional model of DNA in their Cavendish Laboratory office at Cambridge University, United Kingdom. Circa 1953. Photo credit: A. Barrington Brown/Science Photo Library. Via the Rockefeller University Digital Commons. In the April […]