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The Making of a Scientist | NCERT Solution

Updated: Nov 19, 2023

Lesson Architecture


Theme:

  • The story highlights the specific bent of mind required to become a scientist.

  • An intelligent mind, and an innate curiosity coupled with insatiable passion and tenacity to explore and excel are a-must ingredient to develop scientific temperament.

  • ‘The Making of a Scientist’ is the story of Richard Ebright, a Scientist in the field of molecular biology and biochemistry, whose childhood attachment for butterflies opened up an altogether new world of science for him.

Story-At-A-Glance


Richard Ebright’s hobby of Collecting Butterflies

  • Beginning in kindergarten, Ebright collected butterflies with the same determination that has marked all his activities.

  • He also collected rocks, fossils, and coins.

  • He became an eager astronomer, too, sometimes star-gazing all night.

His Mother’s Encouragement

  • He had a driving curiosity along with a bright mind. He also had a mother who encouraged his interest in learning.

  • She took him on trips, bought him telescopes, microscopes, cameras, mounting materials, and other equipment and helped him in many other ways.

  • She got him a book ‘the Travels of Monarch X, a book about the migration of monarch butterflies.

  • Thus his mother was instrumental in germinating the seeds of curiosity and experiments in his mind.


His Interest in Monarch butterflies

  • Following the instructions in the book ‘The Travels of Monarch X’, which his mother gave him, he started to tag butterflies and even began to raise a flock of them, to study butterfly migration.

  • By the time he was in the second grade, Ebright had collected all twenty five species of butterflies found around his hometown.

  • His interest in collecting butterflies would have been over had he not read that book, which his mother presented to him.

  • The book which highlighted how monarch butterflies migrate to Central America, opened the world of science to the eager young collector.

  • At the end of the book, readers were invited to help study butterfly migrations. They were asked to tag butterflies for research by Dr Frederick A. Urquhart of the University of Toronto, Canada.

  • Ebright’s mother wrote to Dr Urquhart, and soon Ebright was attaching light adhesive tags to the wings of monarchs.

  • Anyone who found a tagged butterfly was asked to send the tag to Dr Urquhart.

  • So the next step for Ebright was to raise a flock of butterflies. He would catch a female monarch, take her eggs, and raise them in his basement through their life cycle, from egg to caterpillar to pupa to adult butterfly.

  • Then he would tag the butterflies’ wings and let them go. For several years his basement was home to thousands of monarchs in different stages of development.

His Approach towards conducting Experiments

  • In the seventh grade he got a hint of what real science is when he entered a county science fair — and lost.

  • His entry was slides of frog tissues, which he showed under a microscope.

  • He realised the winners had tried to do real experiments, not simply make a neat display of projects. He started making experiments with monarch butterflies.

  • With a stack of suggestions for experiments which came from Dr Urquhart, Ebright started his experiment works.

  • Those experiments kept Ebright busy all through high school and led to prize projects in county and international science fairs.


His Achievements

  • For his eighth grade project, Ebright tried to find the cause of a viral disease that kills nearly all monarch caterpillars every few years.

  • Ebright thought the disease might be carried by a beetle. He tried raising caterpillars in the presence of beetles.

  • Although he did not get any result out of this experiment, but he ended up winning in country science fairs.

  • For his science fair project the following year, he tested the theory that viceroy butterflies copy monarchs.

  • The theory was that viceroys look like monarchs because monarchs don’t taste good to birds.

  • Viceroys,on the other hand, do taste good to birds. So the more they look like monarchs, the less likely they are to become a bird’s dinner.

  • Ebright’s project was to see whether, in fact, birds would eat monarchs. He found that a starling would not eat ordinary bird food.

  • It would eat all the monarchs it could get. This project was placed first in the zoology division and third overall in the county science fair.

Ebright developed His theory on the life of Cells:

  • In the second year at high school, Ebright tried to discover the reason behind the twelve tiny gold spots on the monarch pupa, and in the process discovered an unknown insect hormone.

  • Ebright and another science student showed that the spots were producing a hormone necessary for the butterfly’s full development. This project won Ebright first place in the country fair and entry into the International Science and Engineering Fair, where he won the third place for Zoology.

  • He also got a chance to work at the entomology laboratory of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research during the summer.

  • As a high school junior, Richard Ebright continued his advanced experiments on the monarch pupa. When the caterpillar is full grown and stops eating, it becomes a pupa.

  • Anyway, that year Ebright’s project won first place at the International Science Fair and gave him another chance to work in the army laboratory during the summer.

  • In his senior year he went a step further. What he did was he grew cells from a monarch’s wing in a culture and showed that the cells would divide and develop into normal butterfly wing scales only if they were fed the hormone from the gold spots. That project won first place for zoology at the International Fair.

  • A year-and-a-half later, during his junior year, Ebright got the idea for his new theory about cell life. It came while he was looking at X-ray photos of the chemical structure of a hormone.

  • The photos gave him the answer to one of biology’s puzzles: how the cell can ‘read’ the blueprint of its DNA.

  • DNA is the substance in the nucleus of a cell that controls heredity. It determines the form and function of the cell. Thus DNA is the blueprint for life.

  • Ebright and his college room-mate, James R. Wong, worked all that night drawing pictures and constructing plastic models of molecules to show how it could happen. Together they later wrote the paper that explained the theory.

  • If the theory proves correct, it will be a big step towards understanding the processes of life. It might also lead to new ideas for preventing some types of cancer and other diseases.

  • His high school research into the purpose of the spots on a monarch pupa eventually led him to his theory about cell life.


His Interest in Other Subjects:

  • Besides having interest in Science, Ebright also became a champion debater and public speaker and a good canoeist and all-around outdoors-person.

  • He is also an expert photographer, particularly of nature and scientific exhibits.

  • In high school, Ebright acknowledged his social science teacher who opened up his mind to new ideas. According to Mr. Weiherer, Ebright was competitive and wanted to win because he wanted to do the best he could. He wanted to win for the right reasons.

  • It is one of the ingredients in the making of a scientist.

Recapitulation:


  • Richard Ebright collected butterflies and also collected rocks, fossils and coins. He became an eager astronomer too.

  • His mother encouraged his interest in learning. She took him on trips, bought him telescopes, microscopes, cameras, mounting materials, and other equipments and helped him in many other ways.

  • As a student he earned top grades in school. IN the second grad Ebright collected al twenty five species of butterflies found around his hometown.

  • His collection of butterflies would have ended if his mother did not get him a children’s book called ‘The Travels of Monarch X.’ The book told how monarch butterflies migrate to Central America, opened the world of Science to the eager young collector.

  • In the seventh grade he got a hint of what real science is when he entered a county science fair and lost.

  • In Eight grade project, Ebright tried to find the causes of a viral disease that kills nearly all monarch caterpillars every few years. He tried raising caterpillars in the presence of beetles.

  • He tried raising caterpillars in the presence of beetles. Ebright’s project was to see whether birds would eat monarchs. This project was placed first in the zoology division and third in the county Science fair.

  • In his second year in high school, Richard Ebright began the research that led to his discovery of an unknown insect hormone. Thus this experiment led to his discovery of the new theory on the life of cells.

  • DNA is the substance in the nucleus of a cell that controls heredity. It determines the form and function of the cell. Thus DNA is the blue print of life.

  • Besides having Besides having interest in Science, Ebright also became a champion debater and public speaker and a good canoeist and all-around outdoors-person. He is also an expert photographer, particularly of nature and scientific exhibits.

  • That’s all about the narration of the story of Richard Ebright. Please go through the text in detail and be inspired and develop the curiosity and undying passion for research and experiments.


NCERT Solution

Read and Find Out ( Page 32)

1.How did a book become a turning point in Richard Ebright’s life?

Ans: Ebright’s mother got him a children’s book called ‘The Travels of Monarch X.” The book which described how monarch butterflies migrate to Central America, opened the world of science to the young and curious Ebright and became a turning point in his life.

2.How did his mother help him?

Ans: Ebright’s mother was instrumental in creating interest in science for him. She took him on trips, bought him telescopes, microscopes, cameras, mounting materials, and other equipment to help him learn.




Read and find Out ( Page 34)

1. What lesson does Ebright learn when he does not win anything at a Science fair?

Ans: Ebright realized that in order to be a winner at a Science fair he had to do real experiments and not simply make a neat display of projects.

2. What experiments and projects does he then undertake?

Ans: Ebright undertakes the following experiments on realizing that in a Science fair he needs to do a variety of experiments in order to be a winner.

a) When he was in eight grade, he tried to find the cause of a viral disease that kills nearly all monarch caterpillars every few years.

b) The following year his science fair project was testing the theory that viceroy butterflies copy monarchs. Ebright’s project was to see whether, in fact, birds would eat monarchs.

c) In his second year in high school, Richard Ebright began the research that led to the discovery of an unknown insect hormone. It also led to his new theory on the life of cells.

d) As a high school junior Richard Ebrihgt continued his advanced experiments on the monarch Pupa.

3. What are the qualities that go into the making of a scientist?

Ans: The qualities that are of utmost importance for being a scientist are a first-rate mind, curiosity and the will to win for the right reasons. A scientist must not be interested in winning for winning’s sake or winning to get a prize. He must win because he wants to do the best job he can.



EXTRA QUESTIONS

1.Why did Ebright raise a flock of monarch butterflies in his basement?

Ans: According to Ebright, if one chased butterflies one by one, not many could be caught. So he decided to raise a flock of monarch butterflies in his basement. He would take the eggs of a female monarch, and raise them through their life cycle-from egg to caterpillar to pupa to adult butterfly. Then he would tag the butterflies’ wings and let them go. For several years his basement was home to thousands of monarchs in different stages of development.

2. What led Ebright to discover an unknown insect hormone?

Ans: Ebright was curious to know the purpose of the twelve tiny gold spots on a monarch pupa. Everyone assumed that the spots were just ornamental , but Dr. Urquhart was not convinced. Ebright and another excellent science student first had to build a device that showed that the spots were producing a hormone necessary for the butterfly’s full development. This project won Ebright first place in the county fair and entry into the International Science and Engineering Fair.




3. What opinion did Richard A Weiherer, Ebright’s social studies teacher, have of him?

Ans: According to Richard A. Weiherer, Ebright was always interested to put in some extra effort at whatever he laid his hands on. He would study three to four hours together at night researching for his debate, besides doing his other research with butterflies. He was competitive, but not interested in winning for winning’s sake. He wanted to win because he wanted to do his best.

4. Why was the publication of Ebright’s work in the journal significant?

Ans: At the age of twenty-two Ebright excited the scientific world with a new theory on how cells work. Richard H. Ebright and his college room-mate explained the theory in an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

The publication of Ebright’s work was significant because it was the first time ever that this important scientific journal had published the work of college students.

5. What other things were Ebright good at besides being a brilliant student?

Ans: Besides being good at academics, Ebright was a champion debater and public speaker and a good canoeist and all-around outdoors-person. He was also an expert photographer, particularly of nature and scientific exhibits.

He tried to find the cause of a viral disease that kills nearly all monarch caterpillars periodically, and also study whether birds would eat monarchs. These experiments led him to wonder about the purpose of the spots on a monarch pupa.



Translation of the Original Text


Page 32 | Para 1


AT the age of twenty-two, a former ‘scout of the year’ excited the scientific world with a new theory on how cells work. Richard H. Ebright and his college room-mate explained the theory in an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.


Translation

When he was twenty-two years old, a person who had once been recognized as the 'scout of the year' surprised the scientific community with a new idea about how cells function. Richard H. Ebright and his friend from college shared this theory in an article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.


Bonus Info

"Scout of the year"

  • Scouting is a movement that aims to develop the character and skills of young people through various activities and community service.

  • The title "Scout of the year" suggests that the individual was acknowledged as the most outstanding or accomplished scout, possibly for his leadership, dedication, or notable accomplishments within the scouting organization.

Page 32 | Para 2


It was the first time this important scientific journal had ever published the work of college students. In sports, that would be like making the big leagues at the age of fifteen and hitting a home run your first time at bat*. For Richard Ebright, it was the first in a long string of achievements in science and other fields. And it all started with butterflies.


Translation


For the first time, a very important science journal published the work of college students. This is a big deal, like playing in the major leagues in sports when you're only fifteen and hitting a home run the first time you bat. This marked the beginning of many accomplishments in science and other areas for Richard Ebright. And it all began with butterflies.


Page 32 | Para 3


An only child, Ebright grew up north of Reading, Pennsylvania. “There wasn’t much I could do there,” he said. “I certainly couldn’t play football or baseball with a team of one. But there was one thing I could do — collect things.”


Translation:


Richard Ebright is the only child in his family, and he grew up north of Reading, Pennsylvania. He mentioned, "There wasn't a lot I could do there. I couldn't play football or baseball because you need a team for that. But there was one thing I could do — collect things."


Glossary: I certainly couldn’t play football or baseball with a team of one.


Richard Ebright, couldn't engage in activities like football or baseball because these sports typically require a team of players to play together. In other words, playing these sports alone or with just one person wouldn't be feasible or enjoyable because they are team sports that involve cooperation and competition between two groups of players. Ebright is expressing a limitation in participating in certain team sports due to the absence of a team to play with.





Page 32 | Para 4


So, he did and did he ever! Beginning in kindergarten, Ebright collected butterflies with the same determination that has marked all his activities. He also collected rocks, fossils, and coins. He became an eager astronomer, too, sometimes star-gazing all night.


Translation:

So, he did, and he did it really well! Richard Ebright started collecting butterflies when he was in kindergarten, and he kept doing it with a lot of dedication. He didn't stop there; he also collected rocks, fossils, and coins. He was also interested in astronomy and would often spend entire nights looking at the stars.


Page 33 | Para 1


From the first he had a driving curiosity along with a bright mind. He also had a mother who encouraged his interest in learning. She took him on trips, bought him telescopes, microscopes, cameras, mounting materials, and other equipment and helped him in many other ways.


Translation:


From the beginning, he had a strong curiosity and a clever mind. His mother played a big role in supporting his love for learning. She took him on trips, got him telescopes, microscopes, cameras, mounting materials, and other tools, and she helped him in many other ways.





Page 33 | Para 2

“I was his only companion until he started school,” his mother said. “After that I would bring home friends for him. But at night we just did things together. Richie was my whole life after his father died when Richie was in third grade.”


Translation:

"I was his only companion until he started school," his mother said. "After that, I would bring home friends for him. But at night, we just did things together. Richie was my whole life after his father died when Richie was in the third grade."


Page 33 | Para 3

She and her son spent almost every evening at the dining room table. “If he didn’t have things to do, I found work for him — not physical work, but learning things,” his mother said. “He liked it. He wanted to learn.”


Translation:

She and her son spent almost every evening at the dining room table. "If he didn't have things to do, I found work for him — not physical work, but learning things," his mother said. "He liked it. He wanted to learn."


Page 33 | Para 4


And learn he did. He earned top grades in school. “On everyday things he was just like every other kid,” his mother said. By the time he was in the second grade, Ebright had collected all twenty five species of butterflies found around his hometown.


Translation:


And learn he did. He earned top grades in school. "On everyday things, he was just like every other kid," his mother said. By the time he was in the second grade, Ebright had collected all twenty-five species of butterflies found around his hometown.




Page 33 | Para 5


“That probably would have been the end of my butterfly collecting,” he said. “But then my mother got me a children’s book called The Travels of Monarch X.” That book, which told how monarch butterflies migrate to Central America, opened the world of science to the eager young collector.


Translation:


"That might have been the end of my butterfly collecting," he said. "But then my mother got me a children's book called 'The Travels of Monarch X.'" That book, which explained how monarch butterflies migrate to Central America, opened the world of science to the eager young collector.


Page 34 | Para 1


At the end of the book, readers were invited to help study butterfly migrations. They were asked to tag butterflies for research by Dr Frederick A. Urquhart of the University of Toronto, Canada. Ebright’s mother wrote to Dr Urquhart, and soon Ebright was attaching light adhesive tags to the wings of monarchs. Anyone who found a tagged butterfly was asked to send the tag to Dr Urquhart.


Translation:

At the end of the book, readers were asked to help study butterfly migrations. They were invited to tag butterflies for research by Dr. Frederick A. Urquhart of the University of Toronto, Canada. Ebright's mother wrote to Dr. Urquhart, and soon Ebright was attaching light adhesive tags to the wings of monarch butterflies. If anyone found a tagged butterfly, they were asked to send the tag to Dr. Urquhart.




Page 34 | Para 2


The butterfly collecting season around Reading lasts six weeks in late summer. (See graph below.) If you’re going to chase them one by one, you won’t catch very many. So the next step for Ebright was to raise a flock of butterflies. He would catch a female monarch, take her eggs, and raise them in his basement through their life cycle, from egg to caterpillar to pupa to adult butterfly. Then he would tag the butterflies’ wings and let them go. For several years his basement was home to thousands of monarchs in different stages of development.


Translation:

The season for collecting butterflies around Reading only lasts for six weeks in late summer. If you try to catch them one by one, you won't catch many. So, the next step for Ebright was to raise a group of butterflies. He would catch a female monarch, take her eggs, and raise them in his basement through their life cycle, from egg to caterpillar to pupa to adult butterfly. After that, he would tag the butterflies' wings and release them. For several years, his basement was home to thousands of monarchs in different stages of development.


Page 34 | Para 3


“Eventually I began to lose interest in tagging butterflies. It’s tedious and there’s not much feedback,” Ebright said. “In all the time I did it,” he laughed, “only two butterflies I had tagged were recaptured — and they were not more than seventy-five miles from where I lived.”


Translation:


"Richard Ebright expressed that over time, he lost interest in tagging butterflies because it became monotonous, and there wasn't much information gained. He humorously mentioned that out of all the tagged butterflies, only two were found, relatively close to his home.


Page 35 | Para 1


Then in the seventh grade he got a hint of what real science is when he entered a county science fair — and lost. “It was really a sad feeling to sit there and not get anything while everybody else had won something,” Ebright said. His entry was slides of frog tissues, which he showed under a microscope. He realised the winners had tried to do real experiments, not simply make a neat display.


Translation:

In the seventh grade, he got a taste of what real science is like when he participated in a county science fair — and didn't win. "It was a really sad feeling to sit there and not get anything while everybody else had won something," Ebright said. His entry was slides of frog tissues, which he showed under a microscope. He realized that the winners had attempted to conduct real experiments, not just create a neat display.


Page 35 | Para 2


Already the competitive spirit that drives Richard Ebright was appearing. “I knew that for the next year’s fair I would have to do a real experiment,” he said. “The subject I knew most about was the insect work I’d been doing in the past several years.”


Translation:

The competitive spirit that drives Richard Ebright was already emerging. "I knew that for the next year's fair, I would have to do a real experiment," he said. "The subject I knew most about was the insect work I'd been doing in the past several years."


Page 35 | Para 3


So he wrote to Dr Urquhart for ideas, and back came a stack of suggestions for experiments. Those kept Ebright busy all through high school and led to prize projects in county and international science fairs.


Translation:

So he wrote to Dr. Urquhart for ideas, and a stack of suggestions for experiments came back. Those suggestions kept Ebright busy throughout high school and resulted in prize-winning projects in county and international science fairs.


Page 35 | Para 4


For his eighth grade project, Ebright tried to find the cause of a viral disease that kills nearly all monarch caterpillars every few years. Ebright thought the disease might be carried by a beetle. He tried raising caterpillars in the presence of beetles. “I didn’t get any real results,” he said. “But I went ahead and showed that I had tried the experiment. This time I won.”


Translation:

For his eighth-grade project, Ebright attempted to identify the cause of a viral disease that kills almost all monarch caterpillars every few years. He suspected that the disease might be carried by a beetle. Ebright tried raising caterpillars in the presence of beetles. "I didn't get any real results," he said. "But I went ahead and showed that I had tried the experiment. This time I won."




Page 35 | Para 5


The next year his science fair project was testing the theory that viceroy butterflies copy monarchs. The theory was that viceroys look like monarchs because monarchs don’t taste good to birds. Viceroys, on the other hand, do taste good to birds. So the more they look like monarchs, the less likely they are to become a bird’s dinner.


Translation:


The following year, his science fair project involved testing the theory that viceroy butterflies imitate monarchs. The theory suggested that viceroys resemble monarchs because monarchs are unappetizing to birds. In contrast, viceroys are tasty to birds. Therefore, by looking more like monarchs, viceroys decrease the likelihood of becoming a bird's meal.


Bonus Info:

Do you Know the differences between Monarch and Viceroy butterflies?


1. Colouration


- Monarch butterflies typically have a bright orange colour with black veins and white spots along the edges of their wings.

- Viceroy butterflies also have orange wings but with a darker border, and they have a distinctive black line across the hindwing.


2. Size:

- Monarchs are generally larger than Viceroys. Monarch wingspans can range from 3.5 to 4 inches.

- Viceroys are slightly smaller, with wingspans ranging from 2.75 to 3.25 inches.


3. Pattern

- Monarchs have a different wing pattern, with a more consistent orange color and a bold black border with white spots.

- Viceroys have a black line that runs horizontally across their hindwings, creating a distinctive V-shaped pattern. This pattern helps in distinguishing them from Monarchs.


Page 35 | Para 6


Ebright’s project was to see whether, in fact, birds would eat monarchs. He found that a starling would not eat ordinary bird food. It would eat all the monarchs it could get. (Ebright said later research by other people showed that viceroys probably do copy the monarch.) This project was placed first in the zoology division and third overall in the county science fair.


Translation:


Ebright's project aimed to determine whether birds would eat monarch butterflies. He discovered that a starling, which would not consume regular bird food, would eat as many monarch butterflies as it could get. (Ebright mentioned that later research by others indicated that viceroys likely do imitate monarchs.) This project earned the first-place position in the zoology division and third place overall in the county science fair.




Page 36 | Para 1-5


In his second year in high school, Richard Ebright began the research that led to his discovery of an unknown insect hormone. indirectly, it also led to his new theory on the life of cells.


The question he tried to answer was simple: What is the purpose of the twelve tiny gold spots on a monarch pupa? “


Everyone assumed the spots were just ornamental,” Ebright said. “But Dr Urquhart didn’t believe it.”


To find the answer, Ebright and another excellent science student first had to build a device that showed that the spots were producing a hormone necessary for the butterfly’s full development.


This project won Ebright first place in the county fair and entry into the International Science and Engineering Fair. There he won third place for zoology. He also got a chance to work during the summer at the entomology laboratory of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.


Translation:


In his second year of high school, Richard Ebright started researching and made a discovery about an unknown insect hormone. This research indirectly led to his new theory about the life of cells.


He had a simple question to answer: What is the purpose of the twelve tiny gold spots on a monarch pupa?


"Everyone thought the spots were just for looks," Ebright said. "But Dr. Urquhart didn't believe it."


To find the answer, Ebright and another excellent science student had to build a device. This device showed that the spots were producing a hormone necessary for the butterfly's full development.


This project earned Ebright first place in the county fair and a spot in the International Science and Engineering Fair. There, he won third place for zoology. He also had the opportunity to work during the summer at the entomology laboratory of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.


Page 36 | Para 6-7


As a high school junior, Richard Ebright continued his advanced experiments on the monarch pupa. That year his project won first place at the International Science Fair and gave him another chance to work in the army laboratory during the summer.


In his senior year, he went a step further. He grew cells from a monarch’s wing in a culture and showed that the cells would divide and develop into normal butterfly wing scales only if they were fed the hormone from the gold spots. That project won first place for zoology at the International Fair. He spent the summer after graduation doing further work at the army laboratory and at the laboratory of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.



Translation:


As a high school junior, Richard Ebright continued his advanced experiments on the monarch pupa. That year, his project won first place at the International Science Fair and gave him another chance to work in the army laboratory during the summer.


In his senior year, he took it a step further. He grew cells from a monarch's wing in a culture and demonstrated that the cells would divide and develop into normal butterfly wing scales only if they were given the hormone from the gold spots. This project earned him first place for zoology at the International Fair. He spent the summer after graduation doing additional work at the army laboratory and at the laboratory of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


Bonus Info:

Do You know the terms "monarch pupa" and "gold spots"?


1. Monarch Pupa:

The monarch pupa refers to the pupal stage in the life cycle of a monarch butterfly. After the caterpillar undergoes metamorphosis, it forms a chrysalis or pupa. Inside the pupa, the caterpillar undergoes further transformation, eventually emerging as an adult butterfly.


2. Gold Spots:

  • The gold spots mentioned in the context of Richard Ebright's research likely refer to specific markings or spots on the surface of the monarch pupa that have a golden or yellowish color.

  • In the narrative, these spots were of interest because Ebright suspected that they might play a role in producing a hormone essential for the butterfly's development.

  • These spots were initially thought to be merely ornamental, but Ebright's research suggested otherwise.

  • The gold spots were a key focus in his investigation into the monarch pupa's biology and the production of a significant hormone.

Page 36 | Para 8-9


The following summer, after his freshman year at Harvard University, Ebright went back to the laboratory of the Department of Agriculture and did more work on the hormone from the gold spots. Using the laboratory’s sophisticated instruments, he was able to identify the hormone’s chemical structure.


A year-and-a-half later, during his junior year, Ebright got the idea for his new theory about cell life. It came while he was looking at X-ray photos of the chemical structure of a hormone.



Translation:


The next summer, after finishing his first year at Harvard University, Ebright returned to the Department of Agriculture's laboratory. He continued researching the hormone from the gold spots. With the help of advanced instruments in the laboratory, he could figure out the chemical structure of the hormone.


About a year and a half later, during his junior year, Ebright developed the idea for his new theory about cell life. This idea struck him while he was examining X-ray photos of the chemical structure of a hormone.


Page 36 | Para 10


When he saw those photos, Ebright didn’t shout, ‘Eureka!’ or even, ‘I’ve got it!’ But he believed that, along with his findings about insect hormones, the photos gave him the answer to one of biology’s puzzles: how the cell can ‘read’ the blueprint of its DNA. DNA is the substance in the nucleus of a cell that controls heredity. It determines the form and function of the cell. Thus DNA is the blueprint for life.


Translation:

When he looked at those pictures, Ebright didn't shout, "Eureka!" or even say, "I've got it!" But he thought that, together with his discoveries about insect hormones, the pictures provided him with the solution to a puzzle in biology: how a cell can 'read' the instructions in its DNA. DNA is the stuff in the center of a cell that manages heredity. It decides how the cell looks and works. So, DNA is like the plan for life.



Page 37 | Para 1


Ebright and his college room-mate, James R. Wong, worked all that night drawing pictures and constructing plastic models of molecules to show how it could happen. Together they later wrote the paper that explained the theory.


Translation:


Ebright and his college roommate, James R. Wong, spent the entire night drawing pictures and creating plastic models of molecules to illustrate how it could happen. Later, they collaborated to write a paper that explained the theory.


Page 37 | Para 2


Surprising no one who knew him, Richard Ebright graduated from Harvard with highest honours, second in his class of 1,510. Ebright went on to become a graduate student researcher at Harvard Medical School. There he began doing experiments to test his theory.


Translation:

Not surprising to those who knew him, Richard Ebright graduated from Harvard with the highest honors, ranking second in his class of 1,510 students. After that, he became a graduate student researcher at Harvard Medical School. It was there that he started conducting experiments to test his theory.


Page 37 | Para 3


If the theory proves correct, it will be a big step towards understanding the processes of life. It might also lead to new ideas for preventing some types of cancer and other diseases. All of this is possible because of Ebright’s scientific curiosity. His high school research into the purpose of the spots on a monarch pupa eventually led him to his theory about cell life.


Translation:

If the theory turns out to be correct, it will be a significant advancement in understanding the processes of life. This discovery might also spark new ideas for preventing certain types of cancer and other diseases. All of these possibilities stem from Ebright's scientific curiosity. His research in high school, exploring the purpose of the spots on a monarch pupa, eventually led him to develop his theory about cell life.


Glossary:

If the theory proves correct, it will be a big step towards understanding the processes of life.


  • The theory referred to in the statement is the one developed by Richard Ebright about cell life.

  • Understanding the processes of life at the cellular level is crucial in biology and has wide-ranging implications for various fields, including medicine.

  • If Ebright's theory holds true, it could have significant implications for our understanding of cellular functions, interactions, and possibly open up new avenues for medical research.

  • In essence, Ebright's scientific curiosity, starting from his high school research on the purpose of spots on a monarch pupa, has led him to develop a theory that could have profound implications for our understanding of the intricacies of cellular life and potentially influence advancements in medical science.

Page 37 | Para 4


Richard Ebright has been interested in science since he first began collecting butterflies — but not so deeply that he hasn’t time for other interests. Ebright also became a champion debater and public speaker and a good canoeist and all-around outdoors-person. He is also an expert photographer, particularly of nature and scientific exhibits.


Translation:

Richard Ebright has liked science since he started collecting butterflies, but he's not only into science. He's also really good at debating and public speaking, and he's skilled at canoeing and outdoor activities in general. Additionally, he's an expert photographer, especially when it comes to capturing nature and scientific exhibits.


Page 37 | Para 5


In high school Richard Ebright was a straight-A student. Because learning was easy, he turned a lot of his energy towards the Debating and Model United Nations clubs. He also found someone to admire — Richard A. Weiherer, his social studies teacher and adviser to both clubs. “Mr Weiherer was the perfect person for me then. He opened my mind to new ideas,” Ebright said.


Translation:

In high school, Richard Ebright consistently got straight A's because learning came easily to him. He directed a significant portion of his energy toward participating in the Debating and Model United Nations clubs. During this time, he found a person to look up to — Richard A. Weiherer, who was his social studies teacher and the adviser to both clubs. Ebright stated, "Mr. Weiherer was the perfect person for me then. He opened my mind to new ideas."


Page 37 | Para 6


“Richard would always give that extra effort,” Mr Weiherer said. “What pleased me was, here was this person who put in three or four hours at night doing debate research besides doing all his research with butterflies and his other interests.


Translation:

"Richard would always give that extra effort," Mr. Weiherer said. "What pleased me was, here was this person who put in three or four hours at night doing debate research besides doing all his research with butterflies and his other interests."


Page 37 | Para 7


“Richard was competitive,” Mr Weiherer continued, “but not in a bad sense.” He explained, “Richard wasn’t interested in winning for winning’s sake or winning to get a prize. Rather, he was winning because he wanted to do the best job he could. For the right reasons, he wants to be the best.”


Translation:


"Richard was competitive," Mr. Weiherer continued, "but not in a bad way." He explained, "Richard wasn't interested in winning just for the sake of winning or to get a prize. Instead, he was winning because he wanted to do the best job he could. For the right reasons, he wants to be the best."


Page 37 | Para 8


And that is one of the ingredients in the making of a scientist. Start with a first-rate mind, add curiosity, and mix in the will to win for the right reasons. Ebright has these qualities. From the time the book, The Travels of Monarch X, opened the world of science to him, Richard Ebright has never lost his scientific curiosity.


Translation:


And that is one of the elements in creating a scientist. Begin with an excellent mind, include curiosity, and combine it with the determination to succeed for the right reasons. Ebright possesses these qualities. Since the book "The Travels of Monarch X" introduced him to the world of science, Richard Ebright has never lost his scientific curiosity.


Glossary:


Start with a first-rate mind, add curiosity, and mix in the will to win for the right reasons:


The line emphasizes the key attributes in shaping a scientist: beginning with a strong intellect, incorporating curiosity, and blending in the determination to succeed for ethical reasons. To become a scientist, you need a smart mind, curiosity about things, and a desire to succeed for good reasons. It's like mixing these qualities together. Richard Ebright has all these qualities and has kept his curiosity about science since he read "The Travels of Monarch X."





































































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