Δευτέρα, 9 Ιουνίου 2014

Newsletter for Monday 9 June


TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY
NEWSLETTER - 9 JUNE

Feature for Today
On 9 Jun 1768, Samuel Slater was born, an English-American mechanical engineer who established an important American industry.

The chapter "Samuel Slater" in Lives of American Merchants (1856) is an example of nineteenth century writer's airy persiflage instead of a comprehensive biography. It is perhaps amusing to read to see how many words are spent without adding much to the substance - the way a student might pad out a term paper with a skimpy amount of research to declare!

Nevertheless, some biographical content is therein to be enjoyed, though it is spread thinly among excessive verbage.


Book of the Day
On 9 Jun 1781, George Stephenson was born, the English engineer who was principal inventor of the railroad locomotive. Today's Science Store pick is: The Life of George Stephenson, by Samuel Smiles, whose book is the seminal biography of George Stephenson. The author presents an amazing description of the development of railroads, both mechanical developments and lines, especially in Great Britain and her colonies. New Price $18.99. Also available Used from $17.50 (as of time of writing).

Yesterday's pick: Weaving the Web: The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web, by Tim Berners-Lee.

For picks from earlier newsletters, see the Today in Science Science Store home page.


Quotations for Today
"It is, I believe, justifiable to make the generalization that anything an organic chemist can synthesize can be made without him. All he does is increase the probability that given reactions will 'go.' So it is quite reasonable to assume that given sufficient time and proper conditions, nucleotides, amino acids, proteins, and nucleic acids will arise by reactions that, though less probable, are as inevitable as those by which the organic chemist fulfills his predictions. So why not self-duplicating virus-like systems capable of further evolution?"
- George Beadle, American geneticist (died 9 Jun 1989) Quotes Icon

QUIZ
Before you look at today's web page, see if you can answer some of these questions about the events that happened on this day. Some of the names are very familiar. Others will likely stump you. Tickle your curiosity with these questions, then check your answers on today's web page.
Births
George Stephenson, born 9 Jun 1781 was an English engineer and principal inventor of the railroad locomotive.
Can you name his famous locomotive?
Samuel Slater, born 9 Jun 1768, was an English-American mechanical engineer who founded an important American industry. Before immigrating to the U.S. in 1789, Slater apprenticed with Jedediah Strutt (partner of Richard Arkwright) in England. Once in the U.S., he found backing to build Arkwright’s machinery, with which he established the first successful factory of its kind in the U.S. as well as many others in the New England region.
What industry did he begin in the U.S.?
Deaths
Daniel Mazia (1912-1996) was an American cell biologist who was notable for his work in nuclear and cellular physiology - studying the structure, division, and regulation of cells - especially for having isolated the cellular structures involved in mitosis.
What is the process known as mitosis?
Adolf Windaus (1876-1959) was a German organic chemist, winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1928 for research on substances, notably a particular vitamin, that play important biological roles. In 1901 Windaus began his study of the steroid cholesterol. It was already that mere exposure of certain foods to sunlight could make them active in preventing rickets, as could the vitamin in cod liver oil. Clearly something in the food is converted photochemically into this vitamin but nobody knew what. As this vitamin is fat soluble, the precursor of vitamin (the provitamin) was not surprisingly found to be a steroid. In 1926 Windaus succeeded in showing that the provitamin is present as an impurity of cholesterol, ergosterol, which is converted into this vitamin by the action of sunlight.
Which vitamin is this?
Events
On 9 Jun of a certain year, Albert Einstein published his analysis of Planck's quantum theory and its application to light. His article appeared in Annalen der Physik. Though no experimental work was involved, it was for these insights that Einstein earned his Nobel Prize.
In what decade was this paper published?

On 9 Jun 1953, a U.S. patent for "manufacture of soft surface cured cheese" was granted. The invention related in general to the manufacture of soft, surface cured, mold ripened cheeses, such as for example, Camembert, Brie, and the like and in particular, to the provision of a soft, surface cured cheese whose mold pad may be readily removed.
Who was the inventor, whose name is famous for cheese?

Answers

When you have your answers ready to all the questions above, you'll find all the information to check them, and more, on the June 9 web page of Today in Science History. Or, try this link first for just the brief answers.

Fast answers for the previous newsletter for June 8: Francis Crick; Eddystone Lighthouse; Crystal Palace; the decade including the year 1849; the decade including the year 1940; the decade including the year 1786; rotting corpse.

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