The Department of Cell Biology at Johns Hopkins was founded and directed by Tom Pollard, an engaging young scientist with remarkable energy and enthusiasm.
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Water is commonly regarded as the 'solvent of life,' since our bodies are 70% water. All other vertebrates, invertebrates, microbes, and plants are also primarily water. The organization of water within biological compartments is fundamental to life, and the aquaporins serve as the plumbing systems for cells.
Written in 1895, Alfred Nobel's will endowed prizes for scientific research in chemistry, physics, and medicine. At that time, these fields were narrowly defined, and researchers were often classically trained in only one discipline. In the late 19th century, knowledge of science was not a requisite for success in other walks of life.