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Discovery of the First Angiogenic Factor

By | March 24, 2003

Foundations | Discovery of the First Angiogenic Factor Courtesy of Judah Folkman During the mid-1970s to early 1980s, my laboratory was trying to isolate an angiogenic stimulator from tumors, the factor we called TAF [tumor angiogenic factor] in our notebooks. This was at a time when no angiogenic stimulators were known to exist, nor had any angiogenesis inhibitors been discovered. In fact, few, if any, colleagues believed that angiogenic proteins would ever be found. "We used tumors grow


Carl Linnaeus, 1707-1778

March 10, 2003

Foundations | Carl Linnaeus, 1707-1778  Click to view larger version (127K) His parents wanted him to be a priest, but he rejected the collar to study natural order. Swede Carl Linnaeus, a medical doctor who treated syphilis, tried to organize the world's flora and fauna. Starting with Systema Naturae in 1735, he began providing a concise survey of the 12,200 known species at the time. These works helped to standardize the consistent binomial nomenclature for species. His plant taxonom


The First Polymerase Chain Reaction

By | February 24, 2003

Foundations | The First Polymerase Chain Reaction This page from my notebook lists the chemicals which I put together into a single, purple-capped tube on September 8th, 1983, in a reaction I labeled PCR01. No cycling, only one tube, no variations, no controls, and anyone familiar with PCR conditions used today will recognize very little here, except the idea. I wasn't positive that the reaction would not cycle itself. I knew that any chemical equilibrium had some finite value, meaning that


Foundations | Lewis and Clark Expedition, Fritillaria affinis 1804-1806 Courtesy of The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Ewall Sale Stewart Library Courtesy of The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Ewall Sale Stewart Library In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson asked his private secretary, army Captain Meriwether Lewis, to lead a first-time expedition to the Pacific Coast. One goal: collect indigenous flora. Two centuries later, botanist Richard McCourt of the Academ


Foundations | A Look at the Discovery of HIV The goal, wrote Francoise Barré-Sinoussi in 1983 on her lab book page, was "to find an activity of reverse transcriptase type HTLV in the culture supernatants." Barré-Sinoussi, in her mid-30s at the time, found it. She, along with fellow Institut Pasteur colleagues Claude Chermann and Luc Montagnier, isolated this retrovirus from abnormally large lymph node cells that were taken from a patient dubbed BRU. The researchers called the


Charles Darwin, 1809-1882

January 13, 2003

Foundations | Charles Darwin, 1809-1882 Letter and Photo: the American Philosophical Society Will you be so very kind as to look at the enclosed title and give me your opinion," wrote Charles to friend and fellow scientist Sir Charles Lyell in March 1859 about his now famous book. Arguing that external conditions could hardly be responsible for variation, Darwin wrote in his preface: "In the case of the misseltoe [sic], which draws its nourishment from certain trees, which has seeds that mu


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