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Chicagophile


LETTERS
Another caption correction


I read with great interest your article on the unexpected consequences of Dr. Janet Rowley's 1972 cytogenetic work-and the editor's note on Rowley's messy office (October/01).

The editor reports being startled at the lack of ceremony accorded some of the visible evidence of Dr. Rowley's highest honors, such as her 1998 Lasker award and 1999 National Medal of Science, but I don't find this surprising.

I met Dr. Rowley several times during my medical education at Chicago, and she delivered the graduation address at the Biological Sciences Division ceremony when I finished Pritzker in 1996. I was always impressed by her humility and down-to-earth style-traits also exemplified by one of her Chicago mentors, Dr. Charles B. Huggins (1901-97). It is rare for someone who has accomplished as much in a career as Dr. Rowley has to have such a strong commitment to family and such a balanced view of life. I will always keep in mind Dr. Rowley's sage advice to "take the long view" when considering career decisions and not to become frustrated and discouraged if one's research career hasn't resulted in Nobel-quality work by age 35. Patience is crucial.

I wonder, however, at the caption for the photograph on page 9: "Chromosome banding, as shown on this blot, helped Rowley discover transposed genes." Rather than conventional chromosome banding, this film looks more like a Southern (DNA) or Northern (RNA) blot, or perhaps a Western (protein) blot. Am I mistaken, or was this simply a convenient piece of film to hold up for the photographer?

David P. Steensma, MD'96
Rochester, Minnesota

Steensma is not mistaken. Rowley was examining an X-ray film-known as a Southern blot-used to detect changes in the size of DNA fragments which occur as the result of translocations in leukemia cells.-Ed.


 

 


  DECEMBER 2001

  > > Volume 94, Number 2


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Wealth of notions
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The remains of the day
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A new Chicago seven
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Beyond the bomb
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The life and tomes


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