How Does Science Happen? The Basal Cell Nevus Saga

image of a lightbulb with a brain inside

Was Newton sitting under an apple tree? Was Kekulé dreaming while snakes were forming benzene rings during his rapid eye movements? Hard to say, it was a long time ago. That is why it is especially interesting to have a contemporary scientific narrative told by one of the key movers within the story. The October 2015 issue of JID includes an editorial by Ervin Epstein, Jr., who has been thinking of, dreaming of, and exploring the secrets of the basal cell nevus syndrome in the laboratory. He has been a great networker, even before the notion of networking was named, and he has interacted with clinicians and basic scientists throughout the world, as documented in his editorial. He starts with thoughts induced by sleep — or possibly hypoxia — on a transcontinental flight, reading, and integrating models and information from other diseases. Key steps of interacting with drug companies and convincing the money managers that basal cell nevus syndrome is important and that it could help their bottom line are expounded. The story is still in progress, so it is useful for the historians who will be digging though his emails and laboratory notebooks that Erv has shared his narrative in this issue.


Credit: Image credit: copyright Macrovector on

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