Anatomy of a Scientific Discovery: The Race to Find the by Jeff Goldberg

By Jeff Goldberg

In past due 1973, scientists John Hughes and Hans Kosterlitz spent nearly all of their time in an underfunded, imprecise, and cramped laboratory in Aberdeen, Sweden. whereas engaged on the brains of pigs, the duo came across a nonaddictive narcotic chemical that they was hoping to later locate in human brains. in the event that they might isolate this chemical in people, maybe they can give you the chance to aid the realm start to heal itself. Hughes and Kosterlitz’s examine may necessarily cause them to realize endorphins, the body’s personal common morphine and the chemical that makes it attainable to suppose either discomfort and pleasure.

Announcing their findings to the clinical international thrust Hughes and Kosterlitz within the highlight and made them celebrities. quickly, scientists world wide have been rapidly analyzing the human mind and its endorphins. In many years’ time, they might use the team’s preliminary learn to hyperlink endorphins to drug habit, runner’s excessive, urge for food regulate, sexual reaction, and psychological health problems comparable to melancholy and schizophrenia.

In Anatomy of a systematic Discovery, Jeff Goldberg describes Hughes and Kosterlitz’s lives earlier than, in the course of, and after their ancient and clinical step forward. He additionally takes a glance on the greater photo, revealing the brutal festival among drug businesses to discover the way to make the most of this huge discovery.

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From Aberdeen University and enough of a reputation to enable him to marry Hanna, who by then had been resettled in Glasgow by the immigration authorities. She had spent the next thirty-five years putting up with his obsessions. Hanna was a small, wispish woman whose attitudes and opinions were for the most part old-fashioned. The subject of serious scientists, however, provoked an outspoken feminist response. “Never marry a dedicated scientist,” she advised girls who came to their parties. “A dedicated scientist is married to his work—if I’m ever born again, I’ll never marry a scientist.

It evolved not from massive funding or modern laboratories filled with high-tech equipment but from single-minded dedication, keen intelligence, and the ability to make the most of limited tools. Their discovery epitomized the same kind of low-budget, garage-style innovation that would lead to the computer revolution a decade later. Twenty-five years have passed since this book was published, and so have some of the central figures. Hans Kosterlitz, chief of the Aberdeen lab, died in 1996 at age ninety-three.

To put it nicely,” one coworker said, “he was brusque. ” Aberdeen University was by no means a place renowned for successful scientists. The faculty members were solid and respectable, but—to Hughes’s way of thinking—they did not work very hard; in many cases, they did no original research at all and were in some ways as archaic as the academic gowns many still wore to their lectures. More than once—and in no uncertain terms—he had told some distinguished senior faculty member simply to “stuff it,” and Kosterlitz, although he could be almost as temperamental in the privacy of the lab, often found himself publicly in the long-suffering father role, making excuses for his younger colleague.

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