2012.10 Newsletter

Library Newsletter/Special Edition, October 2012

American Archives Month

Library Outreach Sessions

Date Times Location Topics
Oct 12
every hour on hour
Racker Reading Room Inter-library loan / document delivery services
Oct 19
every hour on hour
Hillside Laboratories Open access and the NIH public access policy
Oct 22
4PM-5:30PM Szybalski Room,
Main Library
Webcast of 90-min panel discussion with Open Access experts from a variety of stakeholders groups - including students, researchers and policy makers - as well as representatives from teh World Band and SPARC.
Oct 26
every hour on hour
Szybalski Room,
Main Library
EndNote, Papers, Medeley

The Biological Laboratory, 1890-1924

At the end of the 19th century, the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences (BIAS) founded a laboratory for training teachers in marine biology. As biologists and naturalists of that time worked out the consequences of Darwin’s theory of evolution, they often established their laboratories at the seashore, where there was an abundance of animals and plants for study. In 1889, John D. Jones gave land and buildings (formerly part of the Cold Spring Whaling Company) on the southwestern shore of Cold Spring Harbor to the BIAS, who used the Jones gift to establish its presence in Cold Spring Harbor as the Biological Laboratory (Bio Lab) engaged in science research and teacher training. In 1924 the Bio Lab was taken over by a group of interested and wealthy neighbors and was incorporated as the Long Island Biological Association (LIBA). Pictured above is First Bio Lab Biology Class, 1890.



Jones Laboratory, 1893, First Bio Lab laboratory 





Jones Laboratory interior view, 1893        


CIW Station for Experimental Evolution 1904-1921

In 1903 the Carnegie Institution of Washington (CIW) approved a plan, put forward by Charles Davenport, to establish a biological experiment station to study evolution at Cold Spring Harbor. While he was already directing the neighboring Bio lab, he was named the first director (1904-1934) of the CIW’s Department of Genetics. It was originally named the Station for Experimental Evolution (SEE), and had formally opened on June 11, 1904, in Cold Spring Harbor, to study heredity and evolution through breeding experiments with plants and animals. In 1910, while Davenport was directing both operations, Mrs. E. H. Harriman established the Eugenics Record Office (ERO) at Cold Spring Harbor for him to head, as well. The ERO eventually became part of the Department of Genetics. (The CSHL Archives contains collections for BIAS Bio Lab, LIBA Bio Lab, and ERO.) Pictured below is the “Opening Day” of the Main Building of the CIW Station for Experimental Evolution, since renamed the Carnegie Building and home to the CSHL Library & Archives.

George Shull and "Hybrid Vigor"

George Shull was a Carnegie Institution scientist appointed by Charles Davenport in 1904. As a result of his work at the Station for Experimental Evolution and by following Mendel's example, Shull obtained pure-bred lines of corn through self-pollination. The pure-bred lines were less vigorous and productive, but when he crossed the pure-bred lines, the hybrid yields were better than any of the parents' or those pollinated in the open fields. In 1908, he published the paper, "The Composition of a Field of Maize," on the phenomenon of "Hybrid Vigor", which showed that crossbreeding corn resulted in 20% higher yields than natural pollination.

Shull's maize fields behind (northeast) the Main Building where he conducted his research.

Oscar Riddle

Oscar Riddle was a Carnegie Institution staff scientist at the Station for Experimental Evolution from 1914–1945. He was an expert on the morphology and physiology of pigeons. In 1932 he isolated the hormone prolactin from the anterior pituitary gland and demonstrated that it produced lactation.



Oscar Riddle, center, with staff, 1927    







The article, "A New Hormone of the Anterior Pituitary," 1932, one of Riddle's seminal papers.

Albert Blakeslee

Albert Blakeslee conducted research with Datura stramonium (jimson weed), each summer from 1915-1941, at the Station for Experimental Evolution. He showed that the alkaloid drug colchicine could cause chromosome duplication or chemical mutagenesis. Earlier in his career he had spent 2 summers (1901–02) as an assistant in the Botany course taught at the Bio Lab. He later served as assistant director and director of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Genetics at Cold Spring Harbor.  Blakeslee is shown in the picture below (front center) with his Datura workers outside the "Animal House," (now McClintock Laboratory) in 1927. Also shown is the interior of the Propagating House, 1906.




Eugenics Record Office

The Eugenics Record Office was established in 1910 as a department of the Carnegie Institution's Station for Experimental Evolution at Cold Spring Harbor, with funding for its maintenance from Mrs. E.H. Harriman. In 1921, the SEE and ERO were combined into the CIW Department of Genetics with Charles Davenport as the Director. Pictured below is the ERO Training Class, 1912, with Harry Laughlin and Charles Davenport seated in the first row on the right. Also pictured is a "Trait Book" used by students in the training classes to make their assessments.



Coursera: Highly Recommended

Coursera offers high-quality, online courses in the sciences and humanities taught by professors at top-ranked universities. Taking the "Algorithms, Part I" course by Robert Sedgewick & Kevin Wayne was nothing short of amazing. This 6-week course included: two video lectures each week (segmented into 4-5 topics each) with interactive quizzes embedded within the videos, exercises, programming assignments, discussion forums, job interview questions, final and even a meetup group if you wanted to get together with your geographically close coursemates. The lecture videos were exceptionally well produced by Cousera, enabling you to see everything in detail including the animations. Specific to this course were the automatic evaluation of the programming assigments which went through a battery of unit test, styling checks, plus memory and time utilization comparisons against a reference implementation. The first programming assignment was to write a java application to estimate the value of the percolation threshold via Monte Carlo simulation.

The catalog of courses includes:

It is free to participate in the Cousera courses, but you will have to make the time commitment to complete the assignments.

The library can help you obtain any supplemental books needed and can provide groups with space to meet and discuss lectures.

Proteomics of Biological Systems: Protein Phosphorylation Using Mass Spectrometry Techniques

Ham, Bryan M. (2012). Proteomics of Biological Systems: Protein Phosphorylation Using Mass Spectrometry Techniques. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. NJ.

The author discusses phosphorylation as a posttranslational modification (PTM) of both eukaryotic and prokaryotic proteomes. This book is a unique resource for understanding the basic skills and methodologies for performing PTM studies including: the key fundamentals of mass spectrometry, optimized techniques in sample preparation and analysis, and use of the most recent systems biology bioinformatics Internet tools for interpreting complex data such as the Blast2GO gene ontology tool. CSHL Catalog