Read e-book online Anatomy of a Scientific Discovery: The Race to Find the PDF

By Jeff Goldberg

ISBN-10: 1626361932

ISBN-13: 9781626361935

In overdue 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 across a nonaddictive narcotic chemical that they was hoping to later locate in human brains. in the event that they may possibly isolate this chemical in people, might be they can be able to assist the realm start to heal itself. Hughes and Kosterlitz’s examine could unavoidably make them observe endorphins, the body’s personal ordinary morphine and the chemical that makes it attainable to consider either ache and pleasure.

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

In Anatomy of a systematic Discovery, Jeff Goldberg describes Hughes and Kosterlitz’s lives prior to, in the course of, and after their historical and medical step forward. He additionally takes a glance on the greater photo, revealing the brutal pageant among drug businesses to discover the way to profit from this enormous discovery.

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Flustered by this, Akil stammered out an answer. Then the questioner jumped to his feet and began to scream at her: “How can you talk about stopping pain?! ” Security guards quickly hustled the man out of the room, as he kept kicking and shouting, “Burn in Hell! ” and the other participants stared in disbelieving silence. She was relieved to find her initial nervousness had disappeared when Hans Kosterlitz asked her the first real question. Declaring her work interesting, he wondered why the effect was reversed with naloxone; afraid of saying something stupid, she gave him a general answer that the morphine antagonist and stimulation-produced analgesia must both be working on the same system of nerve cells.

So far, scientists had made little progress in mapping these pain pathways and identifying the chemical transmitters involved with them. Was John Hughes’s substance X the pain-modulating chemical key that would unlock a deeper understanding of the nature of physical and, perhaps, emotional pain? And, since narcotics also produced euphoria, could it also be linked to the brain’s chemical code of pleasure? The prospects were tantalizing. For Hughes to claim any real success, though, and for the compound ever to be of use clinically, he not only would have to extract it but also purify it and identify the protein substance’s amino acid composition.

The Anglia always had a few new dents in it and when people from the Unit went out for dinner or drinks to Muldrum House or the Old Mill, there was a lot of jockeying over who would have to drive with Kosterlitz. John Hughes half-jokingly claimed that he had acquired his own Cortina so as not to keep having to refuse Kosterlitz’s offers of a lift. Kosterlitz was amazingly energetic for a septuagenarian. Alan North, an electrophysiologist in the Unit—who was a mountain-climbing enthusiast—would often meet him on the way to work, and the two would race up the spiraling staircase to the third-floor labs.

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Anatomy of a Scientific Discovery: The Race to Find the Body's Own Morphine by Jeff Goldberg

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