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and his numerous roles as editor, writer, adviser, organizer, and innovator, presented chiefly in anecdotal form and spiced UberaUy with his weU-known humor. He obviously enjoyed "reUving again many remarkable days ofUfe and love, offriendship and frustration , ofactivity and accomplishment." The reader, too, wiU not only enjoy this highly entertaining and informative biography depicting some of die important medical developments ofthe past fifty years, but also will be pleased diat at die age ofeighty Dr. Fishbein's prodigiously busy program continues undiminished. Joseph B. Kirsner, M.D., Ph.D. Pritzker School ofMedicine University ofChicago Pebbles on the Hill of a Scientist. By Florence B. Setbert. Samt Petersburg, Florida: Published by the author, 1968. Pp. 162. lUus. $5.50. This autobiography, beginning with an account of a calamitous epidemic ofpoUomyeUtis in Pennsylvania in 1900 and extending to notes on a tranquil semiretirement in Florida in 1968, offers a rare perspective ofmore dlan a half-century ofdevelopments in medical sciences. To young people who may now be setting out on careers in scientific research, the opening chapters wiU be especiaUy poignant, as they describe the audior's groping for directionamongextraordinary obstacles.Thehelp ofawonderfulfamilyandloyalfriends is not always appreciated at the time, but diis book shows not only how lifesaving such help can be but also how long it may be remembered and how far-reaching its effects can be. To older people looking back upon recent decades in the history ofscience, the opening chapters wiU recaU what daily life was like before automobUes, electric refrigeration, and air travel. To die aging scientist it wiU recaU what laboratories looked like before die appearance of osciUoscopes, radioactive isotopes, electron microscopes, transistors, and computers. The researches that ultimately brought fame to die audior began at die University of Chicago in 1924. The formative years diat preceded diis date are extremely interesting: die encouragement ofdie biologist Longley at Goucher CoUege, two years ofvaluable wartime experience in die laboratory ofa paper miU, die attainment ofthe doctorate in Mendel's Department ofPhysiological Chemistry at Yale, a summer ofresearch on nephritis and diabetes with F. M. AUenjust before the discovery ofinsulin by Banting and Best, and a feUowship for work on protein fevers and pyrogenic waters in die Department ofPathology headed by WeUs at die University ofChicago. In 1924 began theperiod ofresearch on tuberculosis diat continued for diirty-one years in close association widi Dr. Esmond R. Long. The sixty-six pages in which die story of tuberculinisrecounted giveadetailedpictureofthepainstaking work bywhich onemystery after another was solved. It was necessary to grow large-scale cultures ofthe mycobacterium —an exasperatingly slow process, widi die constant danger of exposure to a treacherous organism against which no such remedies as streptomycin were yet in exis129 fence. From the culture medium, the Uving bacteria had to be removed by filtration, and from the remaining Uquid die tuberculin was obtained by precipitation. New laboratory methods, one after anodier, were brought to bear on die problem ofpurifying, crystallizing , and characterizing the tuberculin, and a year was spent in Sweden working out the techniques of ultracentrifugation and electrophoresis for appUcation to diis problem. Because ofthe vast international importance ofskin testing for tuberculosis, the preparation ofsufficient quantities ofa standard tuberculin became a major goal, and die account ofdie crucial weeks that yielded the now-famous Tuberculin Purified Protein Derivative are particularly exciting. Among the many rewards a scientist gains from such work is the abundance ofnew questions raised thereby. What about the antigens and odier substances contained in the bacterial bodies themselves? What about the many other substances, the polysaccharides and whatnot, in the filtrate? What about the possible differences among the tuberculins from the more than forty different available strains oftubercle bacilU? What about die immunological mechanisms involved in the tuberculin test? And how much ofthe work wiU have to be repeated from time to time with the new instruments and mediods that appear every year in our laboratories? The author describes some ofdie many honors and awards that have come to her as a result ofthis work, and it is reassuring to know that society recognizes its importance. But diese rewards are only part ofthe satisfaction she has experienced, and anyone who has experienced the pleasure...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-8795
Print ISSN
0031-5982
Pages
pp. 129-130
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-07
Open Access
No
Archive Status
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