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

By Jeff Goldberg

In past due 1973, scientists John Hughes and Hans Kosterlitz spent the vast majority of their time in an underfunded, imprecise, and cramped laboratory in Aberdeen, Sweden. whereas engaged on the brains of pigs, the duo came upon a nonaddictive narcotic chemical that they was hoping to later locate in human brains. in the event that they may well isolate this chemical in people, possibly they can have the opportunity to aid the realm start to heal itself. Hughes and Kosterlitz’s examine may unavoidably make them notice endorphins, the body’s personal average morphine and the chemical that makes it attainable to consider either ache and pleasure.

Announcing their findings to the medical international thrust Hughes and Kosterlitz within the highlight and made them celebrities. quickly, scientists around the globe have been rapidly studying the human mind and its endorphins. In many years’ time, they might use the team’s preliminary examine to hyperlink endorphins to drug habit, runner’s excessive, urge for food keep an eye on, sexual reaction, and psychological health problems resembling 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 old and medical leap forward. He additionally takes a glance on the larger photograph, revealing the brutal pageant among drug businesses to discover the way to make the most of this enormous discovery.

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Additional resources for Anatomy of a Scientific Discovery: The Race to Find the Body's Own Morphine

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They weren’t paralyzed, asleep, or dead. ” Mayer and Akil carefully mapped the active sites and in the fall of 1970 submitted a paper to Science magazine. “It came back with a tepid, ‘yes,’” Huda Akil recalls. ” A revised draft of the paper, published in Science in 1971, eliminated any ambiguities. ” A publication in a back issue of Scientia Sinica, the “obscure” scientific annals of the People’s Republic of China, had provided Liebeskind’s group their next clue. In 1964, two Beijing biologists—Tsou and Jang—reported on new microinjection techniques that enabled them to administer minute quantities of morphine (a million times smaller than the therapeutic dose) directly to individual nerve cells.

John Hughes was thirty-five when he identified the formula for Met-enkephalin, the first of the endorphins. Now seventy-one, after retiring as director of the Parke-Davis Neuroscience Research Centre, he continues his scientific work at Wolfson College, Cambridge, when he’s not in his garden or on the golf course. The word “endorphins” has entered the common vernacular, meaning any one of a number of mood-related chemicals that have been found in the body. But the style of science that brought this deeply hidden secret of human nature into the light may indeed be a thing of the past.

The sprawling building reminded him of the setting for a Frankenstein horror film: four prison-like wings—stark and gray as the rest of the city—enclosing a guardhouse and parking lot, dominated by the sooty clock tower, rising above the Michael Hall commissary. He parked his bicycle in a rack by the gate and lugged his bulky crate of brains and dry ice over to a small wooden door in the south wing, then up a winding staircase to the third floor. John Hughes’s morning routine was part of a risky scientific project on which he was gambling his entire career.

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