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#151 – Baruch Blumberg

#151 – Baruch Blumberg published on No Comments on #151 – Baruch Blumberg

Throughout the 1950’s, Blumberg traveled the world taking human blood samples, to study the genetic variations in human beings, focusing on the question why some people contract a disease in a given environment, while others do not. In 1964, while studying hepatitis, he discovered a surface antigen for hepatitis B in the blood of an Australian aborigine, hence initially called the ‘Australian antigen.’ His work later demonstrated that the virus could cause liver cancer.1https://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/07/health/07blumberg.html2https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1750599/

In 2000, Blumberg received the Golden Gate Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement.3https://achievement.org/our-history/golden-plate-awards/#science-exploration/ In 2001, Blumberg was named to the Library of Congress Scholars Council, a body of distinguished scholars that advises the Librarian of Congress. Blumberg served on the council until his death.4https://www.loc.gov/programs/john-w-kluge-center/about-this-program//scholars/blumberg.html

In an interview with The New York Times in 2002, he stated that “[Saving lives] is what drew me to medicine. There is, in Jewish thought, this idea that if you save a single life, you save the whole world.”5https://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/07/health/07blumberg.html?_r=1&pagewanted=2

In discussing the factors that influenced his life, Blumberg always gave credit to the mental discipline of the Jewish Talmud, and as often as possible, he attended weekly Talmud Discussion classes until his death.6https://web.archive.org/web/20110517062141/http://www.seti.org/page.aspx?pid=1593

 

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