Here are some highlights from this week in science history. To learn more about these intriguing science topics, just click on the underlined words in blue print to access the library catalog. I hope they pique your interest!
Mar. 23, 1937 American scientist Robert C. Gallo was born. Gallo co-discovered the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) responsible for AIDS in 1984. He also developed the HIV blood test. AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. His continued research discovered the natural compound, chemokines, which can block the HIV virus and slow the progression of AIDS. Gallo worked for the National Cancer Institute for 30 years and also was the head of the Institute of Virology.
Mar. 24, 1882 Robert Koch reported that he had discovered the bacillus responsible for tuberculosis to the Berlin Physiological Society. The German scientist published two articles about tuberculosis both titled The Etiology of Tuberculosis. In his second article published in 1884, he explained “Koch’s postulates” which have become basic to the studies all diseases.
Mar. 28, 1793 American explorer and ethnologist Henry Rowe Schoolcraft was born. Schoolcraft is recognized for discovering the source of the Mississippi River in a Northern Minnesota lake he named Lake Itasca. He led a geological survey expedition, was a map-maker and a government agent on the Northwest Frontier (near Lake Superior). Schoolcraft also developed a great interest in Native Americans and wrote many studies about their lives, beliefs, culture and history.
Mar. 28, 1979 the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island nuclear plant took place near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The accident, a result of human and mechanical error, involved cooling system malfunction which permitted a partial meltdown of the reactor’s core. Although major disaster was averted and no evacuation was ordered, thousands of people fled the area. Cleanup began in August 1979 and officially ended in December 1993 with a cost around 975 million dollars.
Three Mile Island: A Nuclear Crisis in Historical Perspective