Collaboration “to work together, especially in a joint intellectual effort.” So says Mr. Webster. In practice, however, we all know that collaboration involves the art of getting credit for someone s work, an intellectual effort that can leap continents and disciplines in a single bound.

I didn’t realize that during my first attempt at collaboration. Several years ago I spent some time using the Dodge procedure to produce ghosts from pig red blood cells. This entails lysing the blood cells in a dilute solution and separating the ruptured plasma membranes from the cell contents, particularly the red hemoglobin, by repeated washings and centrifugations until they are as white as ghosts.

I then shipped these ghosts to Buffalo, N.Y, where researchers used them in experiments on glucose transport mechanisms. Since the Dodge procedure is a well established and published method that is used in numerous labs throughout the world (and since...

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