News & Views | Published:

50 & 100 years ago

Nature volume 459, page 1067 (25 June 2009) | Download Citation


50 Years ago

In 1956, as an experiment, an agency was started in the London area to put women graduates in touch with any suitable part-time work ... Many potential employers are prejudiced against part-time workers; it was felt that they might have more confidence if they could interview not one but a number of suitable candidates for each vacancy ... It also seemed clear that much of this work could be done at home and that it would be greatly welcomed, especially by mothers of young children ... Many employers were sympathetic to the idea and more jobs gradually became available ... Fewer permanent than temporary jobs are filled. This seems to reflect a general reluctance on the part of married women to commit themselves to permanent work. Women who have not held a job since marriage or since having children are sometimes uncertain how it will work out.

From Nature 27 June 1959.

100 Years ago

Some very remarkable observations have been made from time to time during the last twenty years on the effect of chemical stimuli in bringing about abnormalities in developing embryos. The “Lithium larvae” of the sea-urchin and of the frog ... are familiar examples of this class of phenomena, but perhaps the most remarkable is the “Magnesium embryo” of the fish, Fundulus heteroclitus ... A large percentage of the embryos of this fish, when subjected during their development to the influence of magnesium salts dissolved in sea-water, are found to possess a single median or “cyclopean” eye in place of the ordinary pair. These embryos may hatch and swim about in a perfectly normal manner, and the single eye is evidently fully functional ... [The] results seem to indicate that the monstrous Cyclops of man and other mammals may not be due to germinal variation, but to some effect of environment during development.

From Nature 24 June 1909

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