Three Historical Figures Essay, Research Paper
Biographical Sketch of James Dewey Watson
James D. Watson is best known for his discovery of the structure of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), for which he shared with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. They proposed that the DNA molecule takes the shape of a double helix, an elegantly simple structure that resembles a gently twisted ladder. The rails of the ladder are made of alternating units of phosphate and the sugar deoxyribose; the rungs are each composed of a pair of nitrogen-containing nucleotides.
Salk, Jonas (Edward) 1914 — 1995
Immunologist; born in New York City. He began his pathbreaking studies on viruses and immunization by starting with the influenza virus while at the University of Michigan (1942–47). At the University of Pittsburgh (1947–63) he developed the first vaccination against poliomyelitis, a killed-virus vaccine, introduced to the public in 1953. (By 1961, and after some resistance, Albert Sabin’s simpler and stronger live-virus oral vaccine had supplanted Salk’s injectable vaccine in the United States; Salk’s vaccine is now used only in a few countries around the world.) He is the founder/director (1963) of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, Calif., and is on the board of directors of the Immune Response Corporation, which is pursuing treatment for AIDS and other diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Among his writings are Man Unfolding (1972) and Anatomy of Reality: Merging of Intuition and Reason (1983). Widely honored, he holds the French Legion of Honor (1955) and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1977).
Pincus, Gregory (Goodwin) (”Goody”) 1903 — 1967
Endocrinologist; born in Woodbine, N.J. He taught at four Massachusetts universities – Harvard (1931–38), Clark (1938–45), Tufts (1946–50), and Boston University (1950–67). In 1944 he cofounded the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology, one of the first laboratories set up expressly to channel scientific discoveries directly into commercial development. He concentrated on studying hormones and other factors in mammalian reproduction and – with financial support brought in thanks to Margaret Sanger – he became one of the prime developers of an oral contraception pill (1951). An author of books and scientific papers, he published The Eggs of Mammals (1936) and The Control of Fertility (1965).