By Russell Bertrand

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Long escaped the litigation and public quarreling in which Jackson and Morton became embroiled. He survived the Civil War and died a respected and successful practitioner in Georgia. His failure to publish the results of his early experiments deprived him of credit for the discovery of anesthetic surgery, and had he not encountered the publicity given to Morton’s successful demonstration in 1846, Long might never have made mention of his work. Impact News of Morton’s demonstration of painless surgery spread rapidly throughout the world, and the use of anesthesia (a name suggested by Oliver Wendell Holmes) for surgical and obstetrical purposes quickly became general.

In the mid-1750’s, Edward Stone, a British religious clergyman as well as an amateur naturalist, observed that the bitter taste of the willow bark was similar to that of the cinchona. He also noticed that by chewing ground powder from the willow, one could relieve the pain associated with ague, a general condition often marked by headache or muscle pain. Stone reported his findings to the British Royal Society, a collection of naturalists and mathematicians. While Stone’s work was acknowledged, the true significance of his discovery was overlooked.

His “Mr. Tompkins” series used science fiction to explain difficult science in a way that anyone— including Tompkins, whose attention span was notoriously short— could understand. In 1954, inspired by the Watson-Crick DNA model, he theorized that the order of the DNA molecules determined protein structure. ” His “diamond code” paved the way for Marshall W. Nirenberg to crack the genetic code in 1961. In 1956, Gamow settled in Boulder to teach at the University of Colorado. That year, he received UNESCO’s Kalinga Prize for his popularization of science, and two years later he was married (a second time) to Barbara “Perky” Perkins, who initiated the George Gamow Lecture Series after his death, in 1968.

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