Alice Ball – African American History Month 2020 #BlackHistoryMonth
Alice Ball was an African American chemist who developed the “Ball Method” – the most effective treatment for leprosy in the early 20th century! She was also the first woman and the first african american chemistry professor at University of Hawaii!
By all accounts, Ball worked arduously, juggling teaching during day and the chaulmoogra problem during every moment of her free time. In less than a year, she had found a way to create a water-soluble solution of the oil’s active compounds that could be safely injected, with minimal side effects.
Unfortunately, Ball didn’t get a chance to publish her findings. Sometime after her discovery, she became ill. In the fall of 1916, she returned home to Seattle, where she died on December 31,1916, at the age of 24. A 1917 newspaper article in the Honolulu Pacific Commercial Advertiser states, “While instructing her class in September 1916, Miss Ball suffered from chlorine poisoning.” At the time, ventilation hoods were not mandatory in laboratories.
A new way to profit from ancient Alaskan forests—leave them standing
After her death, college president Arthur L. Dean continued her work, and soon the chaulmoogra injections were in demand and being shopped all over the world to treat Hansen’s disease. The injections became the most reliable way to help keep the disease under control until new drugs came available in the 1940s.
However, Dean never credited Ball for the initial discovery. Her name might have been completely lost to history except for a brief mention in a 1922 medical journal, in which Hollmann makes it plain that Ball created the chaulmoogra solution, referring to it as the “Ball Method.”
Eink, E-paper, Think Ink – Collin shares six segments pondering the unusual low-power display technology that somehow still seems a bit sci-fi – http://adafruit.com/thinkink
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.