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My Unpublished Science Papers

 

Before I retired I was a research scientist and published a large number of papers in the peer-reviewed scientific press. Unfortunately, I had a number of papers rejected, some that I thought merited publication.  Sometimes it takes great persistence to publish, and often I was not able to fight the war to accomplish this. One of the main reasons I did not follow up on them, was that I had several change jobs in my career and I always had to focus on my new job. What follows is a collection of rejected papers that someone may find useful. Feel free to take from them what you will. 

A pH effect of hydroxyl group containing compounds. IN the 1960's, I was a graduate student in Biophysics when the Department acquired a very sensitive pH meter. I was also making lots of sucrose density gradients and kept noticing that the pH of the buffer always shifted when I added the sucrose. I wondered if this was due to a contaminate or was it intrinsic to the addition of sucrose. So I decided to make very pure sucrose by recrystallizing it many times. Even after this, the addition of sucrose shifted the pH of my buffers. I have since wondered about the effects of micro-pH environments on cellular processes. This paper never got published.

A Method of Preparing lsoelectrically Pure Proteins and Other Ampholytes. Sometime after finishing my degree, I thought about commercializing the results of my finding regarding the hydroxyl-pH shifts. I constructed an electrophoresis cell in which I could make a short sucrose-pH gradient that would allow me to do isoelectric focusing. I was able to resolve two of the isoelectric forms of hemoglobulin in the short pH range of the gradient. I filed an application hoping to interest a company specializing in protein purification in commercializing the patent. After trying a couple years to get one interested and running low on finances, I abandoned the patent application. 

Isolation of Swarm Variants of Proteus mirabilis. I never really submitted this to any journal because it did not merit publication in itself, but it's just so visually interesting. It is not clear from the abstract, which is all I have left of the original paper, but these variants were selected using a pointed inoculating needle to pick bacteria from the centers of swarms growing and agar and re-inoculating them into the center of a fresh agar plate. You will note the differences in periodicity of the bacterial growth.

Chronic carriers of hepatitis B surface antigen: Characterization of the antigen in sera of patients from a hemodialysis unit over time. This is a paper I submitted to the journal Infection and Immunity in 1982. This is not the draft I submitted, but the one I provided the late Dr. Baruch S. Blumberg for review because it came out of his laboratory. Dr. Blumberg received a Nobel Prize in 1976. He thought this paper was good enough to ask that his name be put on it. Nonetheless, it was rejected.

Individual Profiles of Staphylococcal protein A binding by human sera. This is a paper I should have worked harder to get published. Protein A binds non-specifically to immunoglobulins, however, to get it to bind to all the immunoglobulins in serum you have to treat it with things such as the detergent SDS or with KSCN. What I found is if you look at its binding to untreated sera, you get a unique pattern for nearly every person. One curious observation, was the case of a person whose sera did not bind protein A. I later learned this individual was susceptible to bacterial infections. When I was doing the research, antibiotic resistant Staph was still a thing in the future. Now we are learning that some people are more susceptible than others and I often wonder if my observation might have led a bearing on this. If I had had a chance to keep working on this, I would have tried to identify the cores of the large immune complexes detected by this method.

Influence of exogenous agents on the expression of Neisseria gonorrhoeae variants that survive the death of the parent culture. At the time of my retirement I was wondering why when you grow N. gonorrhoeae an agar plates, it gives rise to daughter variants that are able to survive much longer than the original inoculum. This was a tinkering experiment that I was not able to adequately finish before I retired. At the time, I was just beginning to think about using the assay to look for vaccine candidates. I had planned to look for specific antibodies that would block the expression of the daughter variants. I believe that this could have led to a better vaccine concept than any of the current approaches since it seemed likely that the antigens involved in DNA uptake would not be as variable as the other vaccine candidates that are being explored. Further, this approach could have been applied to N. meningitidis a far more dangerous pathogen.