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Gregory Pincus

( American biologist)

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Biography Gregory Pincus
photo Gregory Pincus
(1903 - 1967)
American biologist who played a major role in the appearance of oral contraceptive pill. Although he was never particularly well known, but had a much greater influence on the world than many famous people.
Gregory Pincus was an American biologist, who played a major role in the appearance of oral contraceptive pill. Although he was never particularly well known, but had a much greater influence on the world than many famous people.

The tablet has a double meaning. In a world increasingly in danger of overpopulation, its importance is obvious. Perhaps less direct, but the same revolutionary effect of this pill is influencing the sexual mores. Is widely recognized that in the past more than thirty years in the United States is the sexual revolution. Undoubtedly, there are many other political, economic and sociological factors that affect this revolution, but the biggest factor is the invention of tablets. Previously, the fear of unwanted pregnancy was the main causes that lead women to avoid premarital sex, and sometimes even sex with a legal spouse. And suddenly they had the opportunity to engage in sexual relations without fear of getting pregnant. Changing circumstances often leads to changes in attitude and behavior.

. It can be argued that the invention of the first contraceptive pill had no special significance, since before it was known safe and relatively affordable ways to protect
. This argument ignores the difference between the methods of contraception, one of which is technically efficient, while the other is psychologically acceptable. Before the invention of the pill most often recommended by "experts" contraceptive diaphragm was. Diaphragms really ECURITY and relatively acceptable, but in practice the vast majority of women are reluctant to use them, and just as reluctant to use now. It is significant that when he first was tested tablet, thousands of women prefer to try untested (perhaps even dangerous) method of birth control, instead of using safe and proven diaphragm.

. Can also argue, . that the invention tablets was not so great triumph, . because when its application is still some risk to health, . and because, . that it eventually can be replaced - perhaps, . in the near future - a new, . safe drugs or devices,
. But in principle, future methods of contraception can be improved only slightly since tablet is used everywhere and basically gives satisfactory results. (It is worth noting that over the past thirty years - a period during which millions of American women have begun to regularly use the pills - their life expectancy has increased significantly. This fact alone should make clear that, . that the pill does not constitute the main risk to life.) History is seen or, . at least, . invention must be qualified in the 50-ies of contraceptive pills as a decisive breakthrough in the methods of fertility control.,

. Many people have contributed to this invention
. In fact, the very idea of talking for a long time. The problem was that no one knew what chemical compounds should be a pill. Interestingly, a key discovery occurred in the distant 1937. It was then AV. Makepeace, J. L. Weinstein and MG. Friedman demonstrated that injections of progesterone (a female hormone) prevent ovulation in laboratory animals. But - apparently, . because of, . that subcutaneous injection does not look very attractive method of fertility control, . or because of, . that while progesterone is a very expensive drug, . - This discovery is not generating much interest among advocates of contraception.,

. Final tablets of the invention did not happen until 1950, when the American biologist Gregory Pincus began working on the problem
. Obviously spodvigla him on a long-standing family planning propagandist Margaret Sanger. She could not choose the best candidate, . because Pinkus was an expert on metabolism of steroids and the physiology of reproduction of mammals, . and also served as director of laboratories Uorchesterskogo Foundation for Experimental Biology in Shreusberi, . Massachusetts.,
. Pincus, with its superb blend of technical knowledge and scientific intuition, found defining the solution almost immediately
. Soon, he asked Dr. Min Che Chang, a researcher Uorchesterskogo fund, progesterone test on laboratory animals to see whether ovulation stops during oral application. The experiments were successful Chang. It was a promising start, especially given the fact that a few years earlier chemist Russell Marker invented a cheap way to synthesize progesterone.

. Another important contribution was made by Dr. John Rock, a gynecologist, who at the suggestion Pincus conducted tests that showed that the use of oral progesterone interrupts ovulation in women
. However, studies have found Roca two serious problems when using the drug as an oral contraceptive. First of all, he interrupted ovulation only 85 percent of the time. Secondly, to achieve even this, we needed an incredibly large doses.

But Pincus, who believed that he was on the right path, did not want to quit work. He understood that there may be other chemical compounds similar to progesterone, but without its drawbacks. In September 1953 Pincus has asked various chemical companies to send him samples of their various produced synthetic steroids, which resemble the chemical structure of progesterone. Biologist checked them, and one drug, noretinodrel (produced by J. D. Searle) seemed particularly effective.

It was a good breakthrough for Pincus, because when he began his studies in 1950, noretinodrela did not exist! His synthesized in 1952 by Dr. Frank B. Colton, a biochemist who worked in laboratories in Seattle and received a patent for the invention of the drug. Neither Colton nor any of its employees at the J. D. Searle did not try cos oral contraceptive - at that time they did not realize that created it.

. Further tests conducted by the research team, which collected Pinkus showed that noretinodrel even more effective if for him to add other chemical compounds - mestranol
. It was a combination of drugs, which subsequently sold the J. D. Searle as the contraceptive pill.

By 1955, Pincus saw that the time has come for serious testing tablets. Testing began in 1956 in the vicinity of San Juan in Puerto Rico under the supervision of Dr. Edris Rice-Urey. In the first nine months of testing have shown a remarkably effective was the oral contraceptive. However, tests continued for another three years before when the Office of Food and Drug Administration in May 1960 approved the sale of tablets.

From the foregoing it is clear that Gregory Pincus did not himself invented the contraceptive pill. Noretinodrel created Frank Colton. That is, Colton and other chemists, who paved the way to this invention, are entitled to most of Merit. Just as those who worked in a group Pincus - John Rock, Ming Che Chang and Dr. Tselso Ramon Garcia. In this respect, Dr. Rice, Urey, Margaret Sanger and a few people that I have not mentioned, also played a role in the overall achievement. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that the main figure and the driving force behind the entire project was Gregory Pincus. He was a scientist who choose to devote their time and energy to active research of oral contraceptives. He was the one who had the scientific and managerial ability to successfully complete the project. He thought the main idea, secured funding for research and attracted to the work of talented people. He was quite far-sighted and determined to bring the project to a successful conclusion. He was the one who rightly belongs in the creation pills.

Gregory Pincus was born in 1903 in Vudbayne, New Jersey, in the Russian-Jewish family. In 1924 he graduated from Cornell University and in 1927 at Harvard, received his doctorate. Subsequently Pincus conducted research in several institutes, including Harvard and Cambridge, as well as several years was a professor at Clark University. In 1944 he helped found Uorchestersky Foundation for Experimental Biology and then for many years was director of its laboratories. Pinkus was the author of more than 250 scientific articles and a book "The victory of fertility", published in 1965.
During his lifetime he received many academic honors, but neither he nor anyone from working with him on the tablet has not been awarded the Nobel Prize. When in 1967 in Boston, Pinkus died, his death passed almost unnoticed by both the public and for the majority of scientists. Today his name is mentioned only a few encyclopedias. However, Pincus was the chief architect of one of the most significant discoveries in the history of mankind.

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