|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
Friday, October 2, 2009
Francis Collins, the head of NIH, had an appearance on the Colbert Report and I think he did a great job on what can sometimes be a tough forum. He was funny, made the case for good science and medicine, and explained to Stephen the challenges involved in using stem cells to give a person crab claws.
Mahlon Hoagland died last week. The name probably isn't familiar to many people. I'll admit that I wouldn't have recognized it either, unfortunately. He discovered transfer RNA and the mechanisms behind protein synthesis, laying the foundation for the modern study of genetics and molecular biology. TheScientist.com has a very nice write up about him, so go and read it. Perhaps if he had been an actor in some cheesy action movies, or on an 80s sitcom this would have made more of a splash in the news. As it is, a man who was such a major part of establishing our modern knowledge about life and science, helping to bring about huge changes in our society through biomedical research dies and I only find out a week later from a relatively obscure (obscure by traditional media standards) online science news site. When Billy Mays died there was a week long marathon of coverage on all the cable news stations.