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27 November 2013 12:59 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The new head of the National Center for Science Education promises to "fight the good fight" against attacks on...
Analyses of the H7N9 strains isolated from four new cases show that the virus is evolving rapidly, heightening anxiety...
In 2009, Jack Szostak shared a Nobel Prize for his part in discovering the role of telomeres, the end bits of...
Science has exposed a thriving academic black market in China involving shady agencies, corrupt scientists, and...
Paper-selling agencies flourish in the aura of reputable businesses. For some scientists, it may be difficult to tell...
Featuring the first lunar rover in 40 years, Chang'e-3 is seen as an important milestone on China's quest to send a...
Data collected by satellites and floating probes have chronicled a 2-decade rise in the temperature and thickness of a...
Cholesterol, the artery-clogging molecule that contributes to cardiovascular disease, has another nasty trick up its...
- 27 November 2013 12:59 pm , Vol. 342 , #6162
- About Us
In Memoriam: Baruch Blumberg, Scientist on the Move
7 April 2011 4:49 pm
Baruch Blumberg, who went by the nickname Barry, is best known for winning the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine 1976 for discovering the hepatitis B virus and developing a vaccine against it. But he often lived life far from the lab. So it seems fitting that when he died on Tuesday at age 85, apparently of a heart attack, he was hundreds of miles from his home base in Philadelphia, at a NASA conference in California. Blumberg had spent many years involved in NASA's astrobiology program, including at one time as its leader.
Last summer, Science visited Blumberg at his home in downtown Philadelphia for a story about retiring researchers who have large collections of samples. Blumberg's was among the most massive: when we spoke, he guessed he'd amassed 450,000 blood samples during his career. To acquire them, he ticked off where he'd traveled: West Africa, the Arctic, Romania, Italy, Taiwan, the Pacific Islands, and more. "I carried a lab around the world," he said. His geographic reach was so great that his face appeared on stamps in the Maldives and Angola.
Blumberg spent most of his career at the city's Fox Chase Cancer Center and was eager to talk about hepatitis B and the importance of vaccination. But he was just as happy chatting about his other activities. He was then president of the American Philosophical Society, which was founded by Benjamin Franklin; he was still kayaking and hiking and an active amateur photographer. He was also a member of the Explorers Club of New York—"There's a branch right here in Philly," he said.
This reporter had scribbled "young 85" in her notes when talking with Blumberg. The verve with which he was still living life made that plain.