Foundations (old)
Recombinant DNA Fermenter, circa 1977
Tia Ghose | Apr 1, 2009
Fermenters like this one used genetically-manipulated bacteria to produce the first human insulin in 1977 and the first human growth factor in 1979. Credit: © SSPL / Science Museum" />Fermenters like this one used genetically-manipulated bacteria to produce the first human insulin in 1977 and the first human growth factor in 1979. Credit: © SSPL / Science Museum In 1972, Uni
Alzheimer's Pathology, circa 1906
Ralf Dahm | Mar 1, 2009
Alzheimer's drawing of a histological section from his second patient, Johann F. Credit: Image supplied by author, obtained from Zeitschrift fur die Gesamte Neurologie und Pyschiatrie, 1911." />Alzheimer's drawing of a histological section from his second patient, Johann F. Credit: Image supplied by author, obtained from Zeitschrift fur die Gesamte Neurologie und Pyschiatrie, 1911. On
Darwin vs. His Dad, circa 1831
Elie Dolgin | Feb 1, 2009
In a letter to his father, Robert, Charles listed the elder Darwin's objections to his proposed voyage around the world. Credit: Reproduced by kind permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library" />In a letter to his father, Robert, Charles listed the elder Darwin's objections to his proposed voyage around the world. Credit: Reproduced by kind permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library
Miller-Urey Amino Acids, circa 1953
Jennifer Evans | Jan 1, 2009
Credit: Courtesy of Adam Johnson" /> Credit: Courtesy of Adam Johnson When chemistry graduate student Stanley Miller first heard University of Chicago professor and Nobel laureate Harold Urey's idea that organic compounds, such as amino acids, arose in a reducing atmosphere, Miller was determined to find out. Together, they built the spark-charge apparatus—two glass flasks connected by glass t
The discovery of DNA, circa 1869
Ralf Dahm | Dec 1, 2008
Miescher's laboratory located in an old Tübingen castle kitchen. Credit: Courtesy of Tübingen University Library" />Miescher's laboratory located in an old Tübingen castle kitchen. Credit: Courtesy of Tübingen University Library In the winter of 1869, the young Swiss doctor, Friedrich Miescher, was attempting nothing less than to uncover the biochemical nature of life using
Cholesterol and NPC1, circa 1997
Jennifer Evans | Nov 1, 2008
NPC1's amino acid sequence homology to PATCHED, human HMG-CoA reductase and SCAP. Credit: Reprinted with permission from AAAS / Carstea et al., Science 277:228, 1997." />NPC1's amino acid sequence homology to PATCHED, human HMG-CoA reductase and SCAP. Credit: Reprinted with permission from AAAS / Carstea et al., Science 277:228, 1997. In the 1990s, the Ara Parseghian Foundation donated money to the National I
Viral Cell Entry, circa 1980
Megan Scudellari | Oct 1, 2008
In the late 1970s, scientists were divided on how viruses enter and infect host cells. Some investigators thought viruses were directly penetrating the cell membrane into the cytoplasm, while others argued the pathogens were first engulfed into clathrin-coated pits. As evidence, both sides used static electron microscopy images, which told different stories "depending on how you took the pictu
First Actin-binding Protein, circa 1975
Megan Scudellari | Sep 1, 2008
Inverted tubes of gelled macrophage supernate (left) and water (right) for comparison. Credit: © Stossel, T.P., and J.H. Hartwig originally published in J Cell Biol 68:602-619, 1976." />Inverted tubes of gelled macrophage supernate (left) and water (right) for comparison. Credit: © Stossel, T.P., and J.H. Hartwig originally published in J Cell Biol 68:602-619, 1976. It w
The Mendel-Nägeli letters, circa 1866-73
Elie Dolgin | Aug 1, 2008
Samples of the correspondence Credit: Courtesy of the Mendelianum, Brno, Czech Republic." />Samples of the correspondence Credit: Courtesy of the Mendelianum, Brno, Czech Republic. On New Year's Eve, 1866, Gregor Mendel wrote to the prominent Swiss botanist Carl Nägeli to tell him about his now classic experiments with Pisum peas. In the margins of the letter, Nägeli scribbled a note: "only empirical and not rational."
First Patch Clamp, circa 1974
The Scientist Staff | Jul 1, 2008
In the 1950s, scientists began to suspect that single-ion channels existed, but it took them another quarter century to verify it.
C. elegans cell lineage, circa 1981
Elie Dolgin | Jun 1, 2008
Credit: courtesy of John Sulston" /> Credit: courtesy of John Sulston Starting in 1980, John Sulston spent 18 months hunched over a microscope watching Caenorhabditis elegans embryos divide. Together with Bob Horvitz at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England, he had already mapped the fate of every cell in the adult worm from the moment the egg hatched, but the embryonic cell line
Wistar Melanoma Lines, 1977-present
Elie Dolgin | May 1, 2008
Credit: courtesy of Trish Brafford" /> Credit: courtesy of Trish Brafford The human melanoma cell lines at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia make up one of the most comprehensive collections of disease cell lines in the world. Since 1977, Meenhard Herlyn and his colleagues (click to read the related story A life behind life science) have collected samples from approximately 4,000 tumors, and esta
A Microplate Reader, circa 1981
Bob Grant | Apr 1, 2008
Credit: Courtesy of Biotek Instruments Inc." /> Credit: Courtesy of Biotek Instruments Inc. In the late 1970s, researchers who wanted to quantify the results of new immunoprecipitation assays, such as ELISA, had three choices: risk human error and a headache by using a manual reader, break out the cuvets and the spectrophotometer, or pay as much as $15,000 for a bulky automated reader. In 1981, Winooski, Vt.-base
A Brain Collection, 1862-present
John Allman | Mar 1, 2008
Whole brain slices from the Yakovlev-Haleem collection. Credit: Otis Historical Archives, National Museum of Health and Medicine, AFIP, Photo: ® Jason varney | Varneyphoto.com" />Whole brain slices from the Yakovlev-Haleem collection. Credit: Otis Historical Archives, National Museum of Health and Medicine, AFIP, Photo: ® Jason varney | Varneyphoto.com
E.R. Squibb, 1854
Michael Rhode | Feb 1, 2008
1854 journal belonging to E.R. Squibb, which includes his development of an ether-distilling process, as well as daily entries with descriptions of his laboratory work. A fire in 1858 in Squibb's laboratory damaged the journal.Otis Historical Archives, National Museum of Health and Medicine, AFIP, Photo: © Jason varney | Varneyphoto.com Before Edward R. Squibb (1819-1900) founded the drug company that bore his n
Histology, circa 1885
Alan Hawk | Jan 1, 2008
An histology slide of US President Ulysses Grant's squamous cell carcinoma from 1885. Credit: Otis Historical Archives, National Museum of Health and Medicine, AFIP, Photo: © Jason Varney | Varneyphoto.com" />An histology slide of US President Ulysses Grant's squamous cell carcinoma from 1885. Credit: Otis Historical Archives, National Museum of Health and Medicine, AFIP, Photo: © Jason Varney | Varneyphoto.com In 1885, pathologist George Elliott was looking through his micr
Photomicroscopy, circa 1876
Michael Rhode | Dec 1, 2007
Schematic drawing depicting Dr. J.J. Woodward's mechanism for taking photographs through a microscope. Inset: Histological preparations photographed by J.J. Woodward, circa 1876 Credit: Otis Historical Archives, National Museum of Health and Medicine, AFIP, Photo: © Jason Varney | Varneyphoto.com" />Schematic drawing depicting Dr. J.J. Woodward's mechanism for taking photographs through a microscope. Inset: Histological preparations photographed by J.J. Woodward, circa 1876 Credit: Otis His
The Hooke Microscope
Adrianne Noe | Nov 1, 2007
To create his images, Hooke used elaborately gold-stamped and turned microscopes such as the one pictured. 
RSV: The First Specimens
Terry Sharrer | Oct 1, 2007
A hen's leg with osteochondrosarcoma, circa 1912 Credit: © Jason varney | Varneyphoto.com" />A hen's leg with osteochondrosarcoma, circa 1912 Credit: © Jason varney | Varneyphoto.com It was not odd that an upstate New York farmer would bring a sick Plymouth Rock hen to Peyton Rous at the Rockefeller Institute in 1909, nor that Rous would be interested in the case. Two years earlier, Hungarian veterinarian Joseph Marek had identified the costly, highly transmissible visceral
The First Combinatorial Library
Terry Sharrer | Sep 1, 2007
Mario Geysen's combinatorial library, circa 1984. Credit: Courtesy of Terry Sharrer" />Mario Geysen's combinatorial library, circa 1984. Credit: Courtesy of Terry Sharrer In the early 1980s, Mario Geysen, working for Australia's Commonwealth Serum Laboratories, hoped to mimic an antigenic epitope for foot and mouth virus that could become the basis for a vaccine. Without knowing the natural epitope's chemical composition, however, he had to consider a very large number of possible pep