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151 Notes to Notes Notes A Introduction 1 As a junior diplomat in Bonn, in the eighties, I was in charge of scientific matters in our embassy. My lack of scientific training was obvious to the German Minister of Science and Technology who put me at ease and reassured me: “Wir sind Alle Juristen.” While serving in the Belgian embassy in Paris in the nineties, French scientists encouraged me to become more vocal about Belgium’s contributions to science. As a Consul-general in New York, I had the honor of hosting Fundraising dinners for Belgian companies involved in Microbicide trials in Africa. 2 Renée Fox is the author of Experiment Perilous, a classic study of medical research . Her book In the Belgian Château not only provides an excellent window into Belgian academic medicine but in the country itself. 3 John C. Martin et al. (2010) “Early nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors for the treatment of HIV”. 4 See Dorothy H. Crawford (2007) Deadly Companions. 5 Pasteur was a great friend of the English surgeon Joseph Lister and helped him to propagate antiseptic methods for physicians to apply when treating patients. See Paul De Kruif (1926 & 1996) Microbe Hunters. 6 Anton Van Leeuwenhoek, a Dutch shopkeeper from Delft who in the seven­ teenth century first uncovered a whole menagerie of “animalcules” as he called the little creatures he saw crawling under his lenses. It was not before the second half of the nineteenth century when some of the secrets of these creatures, which Louis Pasteur termed “microbes”, were unlocked. See Paul De Kruif (1926 & 1996) Microbe Hunters. 7 Robert Koch, a physician in Berlin, dismissed Pasteur and became his fierce rival. It was as if animosity from the Franco-Prussian war of 1870 had spilled over into their labs. Koch worked on his experiments in a systematic, coldly logical way following his postulates which researchers still abide by to this day. He was hailed as the “father of the microbial theory of disease” for his proving that specific germs caused specific diseases. Koch identified the bacteria 152 Cold War Triangle causing anthrax, tuberculosis and cholera but was not able to find a remedy. See Paul De Kruif (1926 & 1996) Microbe Hunters. 8 While arm-to-arm inoculation or variolation with the virulent smallpox virus was practiced in India and China long before it was introduced in Europe at the beginning of the 18th century. Inoculation sensibly lowered case fatalities of smallpox but the intervention was fraught with danger. See Stefan Riedel (2005) “Edward Jenner (1749–1823) and the history of smallpox and vaccination ” Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings 18(1):21–25. 9 See Stefan Riedel (2005), ibid. 10 See Paul A. Offit (2007) Vaccinated. 11 At the dawn of the twentieth century the Dutch microbiologist Martin Beijerinck had isolated the tobacco mosaic virus and found that the virus could only live and propagate in plants. He deduced from a pure chemical analysis that a virus, the smallest of all microbes, had to be a parasite. Knowledge gained many years later showed his vision came surprisingly close to the modern concept of a virus. See A.P. Waterson and Lise Wilkinson (1978) An Introduction to the History of Virology. 12 The Enders group’s technique is still used to make viral vaccines today. See Paul A. Offit (2007) Vaccinated. 13 See John Booss and Marilyn J. August (2013) To Catch a Virus. A Chapter I. Leuven: a hotbed for antiviral research 1 Piet De Somer’s boss was Richard Bruynoghe, co-owner of a small pharmaceutical company, Soprolac which was purchased by a young industrialist, Jacques Lannoy. 2 See Alfons Billiau (2009b) “Penicilline in België”. 3 Fleming’s description of penicillium notatum is considered as one of the most important medical papers ever written. See also Sir Alexander Fleming’s speech at the Nobel Banquet in Stockholm, December 10, 1945 about his findings in the St Mary School in London in 1928, retrieved from http://www. 4 The fact that all three major universities in Belgium: Leuven, Brussels and Liège, almost simultaneously offered an honorary doctorate to Alexander Fleming in 1945, underscored their desire to obtain the penicillin formula. 153 Notes to Chapter I 5 Lannoy’s company was first named RIST (Recherche et Industrie de Synthèses Thérapeutiques) and later renamed. After the intervention of an angry Parisian doctor of the same name, docteur Rist, it became simply RIT as...


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