50 & 100 years ago

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    50 years ago

    Nobel Prize for Chemistry: Dr. F. Sanger, F.R.S. — The award has been made for his researches on the structure of the protein hormone insulin ... When he began his investigations on insulin, Dr. Sanger first devised the use of dinitrofluorobenzene for the identification and estimation of the free amino-groups of proteins or peptides, and this method has since been widely adopted ... Dr Sanger's methods and example have stimulated much research in the investigation of protein structure, the limits of which have yet to be visualized, and they make clear the possibility that insulin may be completely synthesized in the laboratory, although this is unlikely to occur for some time to come.

    From Nature 8 November 1958.

    100 years ago

    Windmills and Water-Wheels. By R. S. Ball — As is natural, the author commences his book with a reference to the, said to be, not distant day when all the coal, and all the oil, in the world will have been used up, and mankind, in order to sustain itself, will have to rely wholly upon the water-wheel and the windmill for that tremendous amount of energy which will be necessary to keep the immense population of the earth in the state of comfort which it has, with the progress of civilization, attained.

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    A meeting of the Child Study Society was held on October 29, when a paper was read by Miss Alice Ravenhill on the results of an investigation into hours of sleep among elementary-school children ... The evil of insufficient sleep is widespread. Parents must be roused to a sense of the importance of the subject, and the enforcement of the laws on the employment of children should be rendered obligatory upon local authorities.

    From Nature 5 November 1908.

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    50 & 100 years ago. Nature 456, 51 (2008) doi:10.1038/456051a

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