Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Tue Apr 2 20:52:13 UTC 2013

At 4/2/2013 09:05 AM, Amy West wrote:
>I was told an anecdote about Rosemary Yallow, a Nobel Prize winner in
>medicine. (We in the science fiction fan community know her son Ben
>Yallow.) Anyhoo, a friend -- a woman food scientist who lived and worked
>in Natick (US Army Labs) -- told me that the day that Rosemary Yallow's
>prize was announced the headline in the "local paper" (it's not clear to
>me which one it was) was "Local Housewife Makes Good."

I assume Amy means
<>Rosalyn Sussman
Yalow (1921-2011), 1977 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for
development of the
<>radioimmunoassay (RIA)
technique".  I don't remember the newspaper headline (very possibly
New York City; the work was done at the Bronx Veterans Administration
Hospital), but I do remember tears coming to my eyes when I heard the
news driving to work the morning of the announcement.

The RIA technique was developed in the 1950s by Yalow and
<>Solomon Berson --
disclaimer: he was my first cousin.  When I was a youngster my
parents told me more than once that Solly was likely to win a Nobel
prize.  I think it was supposed to ignite my ambition, but I silently
discounted such familial chauvinism.  Solly died in 1972, before the
glacial Nobel committee could get around to his work, and Nobel
prizes are not awarded posthumously.

"Yalow and Berson refused to patent the assay, because they felt that
it should be freely available to the field of medicine."  Perhaps the
most remarkable aspect of their research.


The American Dialect Society -

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