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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Monday's Molecule #119: Winners

The molecule is arsphenamine or Salvarsan—also known as compound 606 or "magic bullet." It is the first synthetic drug developed specifically to treat syphilis. It was discovered in Paul Ehrlich's lab in 1909. Ehrlich had already receive the Nobel Prize for his pioneering work on antibodies.

The discovery of arsphenamine was the subject of a 1940 movie called Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet starring Edward G. Robinson as Dr. Ehrlich.

This week's winner is Laura Gerth of the University of Notre Dame. She identified the molecule, the Nobel Laureate, and even got the correct name of the movie! Laura has already agreed to donate her free lunch to a starving undergraduate.

The undergraduate winner is Stefan Tarnawsky of the University of Toronto. He took time off yesterday when he should have been studying for this morning's final exam in Biochemistry! I hope he didn't regret it.

This is a very famous molecule. There was even a Hollywood movie about it! Can you name it?

There is one Nobel Laureate who is most closely identified with this particular molecule, although it had nothing to do with the awarding of the Nobel Prize. You have to identify the Nobel Laureate and what the prize was really for.

The first person to identify the molecule and the Nobel Laureate wins a free lunch at the Faculty Club. Previous winners are ineligible for one month from the time they first won the prize.

There are six ineligible candidates for this week's reward: Peter Horwich from Dalhousie University, Devin Trudeau from the University of Toronto, Shumona De of Dalhousie University, Maria Altshuler of the University of Toronto, Mike Fraser of Toronto, and Alex Ling of the University of Toronto.

The Canadians continue their total dominance of the rest of the world. That's as it should be.

I still have one extra free lunch donated by a previous winner to a deserving undergraduate so I'm going to continue to award an additional free lunch to the first undergraduate student who can accept it. Please indicate in your email message whether you are an undergraduate and whether you can make it for lunch.


Nobel Laureates
Send your guess to Sandwalk (sandwalk (at) and I'll pick the first email message that correctly identifies the molecule and names the Nobel Laureate(s). Note that I'm not going to repeat Nobel Prizes so you might want to check the list of previous Sandwalk postings by clicking on the link in the theme box.

Correct responses will be posted tomorrow.

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1 comment :

  1. I don't have any reason to regret it ... yet.

    That could very well change in a week's time :P