[Irvine] "Everyone has to take a job sometime" / NH3

Dave Long (dl@silcom.com)
Tue, 17 Aug 1999 20:48:41 -0700

OK, Greg, you're right -- it appears that half a million USD
might not be sufficient to support a surf bum.


from Nature, 29 Jul 99:

> Nobel laureate Mullis hangs up his surfboard
> Nobel laureate Kary Mullis, the inventor of the polymerase chain
> reaction (PCR) used to amplify DNA, has joined a medical diagnostic
> firm in Irvine, California. Since winning the prize in 1993, Mullis
> has led a peripatetic life, consulting for biotech firms, writing,
> surfing and skating.
> Mullis, now director of molecular biology at Burstein Laboratories,
> is overseeing the development of laser-disc technology for medical
> analysis. "Everyone has to take a job sometime," says Mullis, who
> had been living off the Nobel award. When he devised PCR, Mullis
> was a researcher at Cetus Corp., which reaped virtually all the
> economic benefit.

The same issue (vol 400) has an interesting essay by Vaclav Smil on
the importance of synthetic ammonia:

> What is the most important invention of the twentieth century?
> Aeroplanes, nuclear energy, space flight, television, and computers
> will be the most common answers. Yet none of these can match the
> synthesis of ammonia from its elements. The world might be better
> off without Microsoft and CNN, and neither nuclear reactors nor
> space shuttles are critical to human well-being. But the world's
> population could not have grown from 1.6 billion in 1900 to today's
> six billion without the Haber-Bosch process.