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Discovery of a new hormone brought Dr. Carroll M. Williams, assistant professor of Zoology, a $1,000 award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science at its 117th annual meeting in Cleveland last week. Dr. Williams discovered the hormone, vital to life processes, which may be behind abnormal body growths in such diseases as cancer.
Six graduate students collaborated with Dr. Williams: Ned Feder 2M; Dr. Jenet V. Passonfau, associate at the Argonne National Laboratory of the Atomic Energy Commission; Dr. Richard C. Sanborn '43, assistant professor at the University of Illinois; Howard A. Schneiderman, pre-doctorate follow of the A.E.C.; William H. Telfor 3G; and William B. Van der Kloot '48 3G.
The jury of scientists unanimously selected as "an outstanding contribution to science" the five papers published by the group on a hormone in the Cecropia silkworm which controls the insect's growth and mental functions.
Glands in the silkworm secrete the hormone which controls the production of an enzyme called cytohrome. This cytochrome is directly responsible for the growth and metamorphosis of the silkworm. Without it, the insect cannot change from caterpillar to pupa to moth. Such an enzyme in a human may be the cause of the malignant growths called cancers.
Under subsidy from the American Cancer Society, the Lalor Foundation, and the United States Public Health Service, studies went on for six year to find and determine the effects of the hormone, which may lead to a new understanding of instinctive behavior and the workings of the mind and the central nervous system.
It is entirely possible that a hormone such as exists in the inset can be found in the human body. Although the silk worm is far less complex than man, its essential biochemical processes are the same. Similar experiments using yeast cells in place of human tissues produced successful results.
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