09 October 2006


Between my high school freshman and sophomore year, I was spending the summer at Woods Hole, Massachusetts, working as an assistant to my uncle Morris who was doing research to determne if the terminal pigment spots (so-called "eyespots") on the tips of the arms/rays of the common Atlantic starfish, Asterias forbesi, were, indeed, photosensitive.

In addition to various chores around my uncle's main lab which included a large tank with running seawater, I also had to do an extensive search of various biological and chemical abstracts for information adenosinetriphosphotase (ATP) another research interest for physiologist uncle. Finally I regularly did counts on the starfish in a second lab with running seawater whih was in a darkroom. Half the starfish in the tank had had the "eyespots" removed. A light was shone into one end of the tank and counts of the starfish in the lighted half of the tank were made hourly to see if there were any difference in the attraction to the light by the starfish with eyespots and those without.

I first became aware of John F. Kennedy in 1956 when he ran for the Vice Presidential nomination at the Democratic National Convention and almost succeeded in wresting the nomination from Estes Kefauver who, ultimately, was selected as Adlai E. Stevenson's running mate. Kennedy's speech caught the attention of many young people who rallied to his cause when he later ran for the presidency.

No comments: