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Illuminating Life: Selected Papers from Cold Spring Harbor, Volume 1 (1903 - 1969)

Subject Area(s):  Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory HistoryHistory of Science

By Jan Witkowski, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

© 2000 • 383 pp., illus., index
Hardcover •
ISBN  978-087969566-8

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The Laboratory that bears the Cold Spring Harbor name is famous for its research, its role in science education, and the science that won three recent Nobel prizes. This book, an intellectual history of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, can be enjoyed by anyone interested in the development of contemporary science, regardless of technical background. It is assembled on the foundation of twenty research papers published between 1903 and 1969. Now hard to track down, they are reproduced in facsimile and accompanied by a series of essays by Jan Witkowski describing the investigations that were done, who did them, and why they were important. This handsome volume will appeal to students, established scientists, and others intrigued not only by the history of research at Cold Spring Harbor but also by an extraordinary period in the flowering of American science.


Prologue: How the Laboratory Was Planted at Cold Spring Harbor and Why It Grew There
Ecology, Adaptation, and Evolution — Early Research at Cold Spring Harbor
Davenport C.B. 1903. The Animal Ecology of the Cold Spring Sand Spit, with Remarks on the Theory of Adaptation
The Early Applications of Mendel's Genetics to Human Beings
Davenport G.C. and Davenport C.B. 1907. Heredity of Eye-Color in Man
The Development of Hybrid Corn at Cold Spring Harbor
Shull G.H. 1908. The Composition of a Field of Maize
Shull G.H. 1909. A Pure-line Method in Corn Breeding
Chromosomal Changes and Heredity
Blakeslee A.F., Belling J., and Farnham M.E. 1920. Chromosomal Duplication and Mendelian Phenomena in Datura Mutants
Mouse Headquarters, Cold Spring Harbor
Little C.C. 1920. The Heredity of Susceptibility to a Transplantable Sarcoma (J.W.B.) of the Japanese Waltzing Mouse
Richter M.N. and MacDowell E.C. 1930. Studies on Leukemia in Mice: I: The Experimental Transmission of Leukemia
Unstable Genes in Drosophila
Demerec M. 1926. Reddish—A Frequently “Mutating” Character in Drosophila virilis
Quantitative Biology Comes to the Biological Laboratory-Isolating Hormones
Rowntree L.G., Greene C.H., Swingle W.W., and Pfiffner J.J. 1930. The Treatment of Patients with Addison's Disease with the “Cortical Hormone” of Swingle and Pfiffner
The Genetics of Taste and Smell
Blakeslee A.F. 1932. Genetics of Sensory Thresholds: Taste for Phenylthiocarbamide
Pigeons, Hormones, and Lactation
Riddle O., Bates R.W., and Dykshorn S.W. 1932. A New Hormone of the Anterior Pituitary
Quantitative Biology: Biophysics in the Biological Laboratory
Fricke H. and Curtis H.J. 1934. Electric Impedance of Suspensions of Yeast Cells
Broken Chromosomes
McClintock B. 1942. The Fusion of Broken Ends of Chromosomes following Nuclear Fusion
Penicillin: The Department of Genetics at War
Demerec M. 1948. Production of Penicillin. United States Patent
Demerec M. 1945. Development of a High-yielding Strain of Penicillium
The Unstable Genome-Movable Genes
McClintock B. 1951. Chromosome Organization and Genic Expression
Dissecting the Bacteriophage Life Cycle
Doermann A. 1952. The Intracellular Growth of Bacteriophages. I. Liberation of Intracellular T4 by Premature Lysis with Another Phage or with Cyanide
The Hershey-Chase Experiment
Hershey A. and Chase M. 1952. Independent Functions of Viral Protein and Nucleic Acid in Growth of Bacteriophage
Assembly Line Genes
Demerec M. and Hartman Z. 1956. Tryptophan Mutants in Salmonella typhimurium
First Glimpses of DNA Repair
Witkin E.M. 1956. Time, Temperature, and Protein Synthesis: A Study of Ultraviolet-induced Mutation in Bacteria
DNA and the T2 Phage Chromosome
Cairns J. 1961. An Estimate of the Length of the DNA Molecule of T2 Bacteriophage by Autoradiography
The Sticky Ends of Phage Lambda and Their Uses
Hershey A.D., Burgi E., and Ingraham L. 1963. Cohesion of DNA Molecules Isolated from Phage Lambda
DNA Synthesis and the Case of the Missing Enzyme
De Lucia P. and Cairns J. 1969. Isolation of an E. coli Strain with a Mutation Affecting DNA Polymerase
Appendices: Directors at Cold Spring Harbor
Charles B. Davenport
MacDowell E.C. 1946. Charles Benedict Davenport 1866–1944. A Study of Conflicting Influences
Reginald G. Harris
Anonymous. 1982. Reginald Harris and the Biological Laboratory
Milislav Demerec
Wallace B. 1971. Milislav Demerec 1895–1966
Name Index
Subject Index


review:  "This volume is a treat for both scientists and historians of science and it reflects well the love that Witkowski found in sifting through the laboratory's archives."
      —Trends in Cell Biology

review:  "If you are anywhere on the spectrum from frequent Cold Spring Harbor visitor to someone who barely knows that Symposia of that name were until recently published in maroon covers, and if you want to learn more of the history of this remarkable research centre, then this book is for you."
      —Journal of Cell Science