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

By Jeff Goldberg

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 upon 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, maybe they can be able to assist the realm start to heal itself. Hughes and Kosterlitz’s learn could unavoidably cause them to realize endorphins, the body’s personal typical morphine and the chemical that makes it attainable to suppose either ache and pleasure.

Announcing their findings to the clinical global thrust Hughes and Kosterlitz within the highlight and made them celebrities. quickly, scientists worldwide have been rapidly analyzing the human mind and its endorphins. In many years’ time, they'd use the team’s preliminary study to hyperlink endorphins to drug dependancy, runner’s excessive, urge for food keep watch over, sexual reaction, and psychological health problems equivalent to 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 higher photo, revealing the brutal pageant among drug businesses to discover the way to benefit from this huge discovery.

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

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Goldstein not only believed that opiate receptors existed but at that time he was the only other scientist besides Kosterlitz and Hughes who believed in the existence of endogenous opiates. He had even attempted to find them in a series of unsuccessful experiments in 1972, at about the same time as Kosterlitz and Hughes finalized plans for their own research project. Goldstein’s analytical mind worried the Aberdeen scientists. A striking figure, tall and lanky with a Lincoln-esque beard, Goldstein was, in one colleague’s assessment, “a kind of Renaissance man,” who flew his own plane and, in addition to his classic textbook Principles of Drug Action, had authored a definitive pamphlet on instrument flying.

Hughes pedaled back through the monstrous Gothic archway of Marishal College at about ten-thirty. 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.

He was already seventy-three when his assay, using a tiny bit of twitching nerve tissue from the lower intestine of guinea pigs, demonstrated that there was opiate activity in a chemical fragment distilled from pig brains by his colleague John Hughes. And Avram Goldstein, the discoverer of dynorphin, the most powerful endorphin, died in 2012. He was ninety-two. But, the “younger” generation of endorphin investigators are all still at work. Solomon Snyder was only thirty-six when he and his twenty-nine-year-old postdoc Candace Pert discovered molecular receptors in the brain that fit opiates exactly like a lock fits a key.

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