|Cold Spring Harbor Lab|
Long Island has long been a center for science and technology. Among the most important centers for scientific research have been the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, the Okeanos Ocean Research Foundation and the governments agricultural research center on Plum Island. Long Island has many Nobel Prize winners in the area of science, the highest award for a scientist's work.
The biological laboratory at Cold Spring Harbor (CSH) was founded in 1890. Throughout its long and distinguished history the lab has produced many important scientific breakthroughs and several of its scientists have won the Nobel Prize for their research.
In 1908, George Shull developed the first hybrid corn in a field next to what is now the Carnegie Library at Cold Spring Harbor. Much cancer research has been done at Cold Spring Harbor laboratories. In 1928, E. Carlton McDowell discovered a type of mouse that consistently developed leukemia and much research was done at the lab about the genetic basis for cancer.
In 1945 Max Delbruck started a bacterial virus course. This course trained the first generations of molecular biologists and was important in understanding the genetic code. One of the greatest experiments came in 1952 when Alfred Hershey and March Chase did their famous "blender experiment." This showed that DNA was the molecule of heredity.
CSH has had more than its share of Nobel prize winners and important research breakthroughs. In 1952 James Watson and Francis Crick presented their model of the double helix structure for the structure of DNA at Cold Spring Harbor. In 1969 Delbruck, Hershey, and Salvador Luria shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. In 1983 Barbara McClintock won the Nobel Prize for her discovery of genes that could jump around chromosomes. In 1993 Richard Roberts of CSH shared the Nobel Prize for his work on "split genes."
The CSH lab remains one of the most important centers for cell research in the entire world. Important work is being done in the areas of tumor formation, molecular biology, cancer and AIDS research. In addition, the lab's DNA Learning Center and educational outreach programs provide information and materials to students and teachers. For more information and pictures, check out their World Wide Web site at www.cshl.org .
During World War I and II, Brookhaven was known as "Camp Upton." This was because it was a training camp for soldiers. In 1947, Brookhaven became a National Laboratory (BNL). The Department of Energy gave control of the laboratory to the Associated Universities, Inc.
There are 350 buildings in Brookhaven, a wooded area that is 5,625 acres large. Most of the work is non-defense nuclear research. There are small nuclear reactors on the grounds of BNL as well as some of the world's most sophisticated research equipment. In 1999 BNL will open its Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) which will collide subatomic particles.
Brookhaven works together with other academic institutions. This means some of the world's smartest scientists have worked for Brookhaven. This includes several Nobel Prize winners (including T.D. Lee, C.N. Yang, Samuel C.C. Ting, James Cronin, Val Fitch, Leon Lederman, Melvin Schwartz and Jack Steinberger).
BNL conducts tours and educational programs on their campus. For more information and pictures check out their site on the World Wide Web at www.bnl.gov.
In 1980 the Okeanos Foundation was founded to study oceans and marine biology. The foundation conducts many educational programs (including whale watches) that seek to inform the public about endangered species and to gain greater understanding of the marine biology that surrounds us. They have become the lead protector of animals stranded on the Long Island shores including whales, seals and sea turtles. They have done a great deal of research into the health of these animals and the quality of our waters. Okeanos has plans to build an aquarium in the very near future.
For more information and pictures check out their site on the World Wide Web at www.goodies.com/okeanos/okeanos.htm#about
In 1826, the United States government purchased three acres on Plum Island (at the end of the North Fork) for a lighthouse. In 1897, 130 more acres were purchased for defending the coast. Soon after, the United States government built Fort Terry as a headquarters for the Army. In 1901, the rest of the island was bought. During World War II, soldiers were trained to arm torpedoes on Fort Terry.
During World War II, an outbreak of "Foot and Mouth disease" broke out in Mexico. Over the next few years, over $132 million was spent on research to cure this disease. In 1946, a disease laboratory was built at Fort Terry by the government. Fort Terry was closed in 1948 because we were no longer at war, and it was no longer needed.
Fort Terry was reopened to research new ways to go to war, and for the development of chemicals to kill animals. The Army and agricultural officials agreed to research the "Foot and Mouth disease" together for "mutual benefit." The research was considered "Top Secret" because warfare research was being done.
In 1953, the Army turned over part of its facilities on the island to the Agricultural Department. When the Agriculture Department received the building that was originally built for defense purposes, the island was officially opened as an animal disease laboratory. In 1971, the press visited the island to get information on the studies of different diseases. The Army refused to tell them anything about the use of Plum Island, and declared the island as "classified."
In the 1978, the "Foot and Mouth disease" broke out in a herd of cattle outside the laboratories. The press and local public officials were invited to the island for a tour of the facilities in order to calm the public. The Plum Island scientists cooperated with the Army officials in 1990 in order to research warfare threats, and different diseases. The restrictions on the visits to the island were lifted in 1992, and the press was free to observe the research. Still much of the research done on Plum Island is secretive.Go Back to the Main Menu