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Vol 93 No 14 - April 4, 2016

Purdue University’s Collaboration with the Healthcare Industry

Presented By: Dr. Ken Musselman


Dr. Ken

Dr. Musselman is the Strategic Collaboration Director, Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering (RCHE) at Discovery Park, Purdue University. He has a BA from Western Michigan and MS and PhD degrees from Purdue. He is a Fellow and Past President of the Institute of Industrial Engineers and has lectured 170 times and authored 60 articles.

Healthcare in the USA consumes 19% of GDP and an estimated another 5-10% in associated costs. This is more than $9K per person and is forecast to grow to 14K per person in about 10 years. This is more than is spent on energy. So the focus of RCHE is the Grand Healthcare Challenge.

The mission of RCHE is to “pursue a transformed healthcare delivery system by conducting impactful research guided by national priorities and leveraging collaborative partnerships”. Partnerships include major hospital systems, medical equipment manufacturers, and pharmaceutical firms. RCHE was started under President Jischke in 2004. Purdue does not have Medical School, but Dr Jischke took that as a positive saying that made them unique. Appropriately RCHE is based in Discovery Part with no formal ties or allegiance to any academic school at Purdue. The emphasis is on interdisciplinary research and, in fact, all projects must involve at least two academic disciplines. This is reflected in the staffing of 80 faculty members from eight disciplines assisted by 80 PhD candidates.

Research-To-Impact-Cycle is a five phase process followed by all projects.


Standard practice for university research is Phases A, B, and C concluding with publication. RCHE extends this with Phases D and E to close the loop and ensure practical impact.

Here is a slide comparing Healthcare to Manufacturing. Dr Musselman stressed the three points in red as significant differences:


1. Entity – intrinsic and often unknown >> In mfg object (widget) does not act on itself, but in healthcare the object (patient) does act on it itself, often not following doctors’ advice
2. Lot size of 1 >> Mfg strives for identical widgets, but healthcare is individual
3. Adherence >> Mfg uses high quality processes with predictability; Healthcare has to deal with inconsistent individual results.


In next slide, RCHE focuses on improving delivery of health care.

Dr Musselman outlined six projects:

1 > Nurse Time and Motion (Multi-Site) > Hospitals layouts are all over the map so which is the best? A study with nurses wearing RFID badges to measure the distances walked was undertaken. It showed an amazing range of with some walking 6 mi per shift (on avg). The study was flawed, though, as it didn’t account for clever nurses serving multiple patients per trip....

2 > Preventable Hospital Readmissions > Studies of the demographics of patients at Bay Care and the Cleveland Clinic predicted which would be readmitted (expensive and invoking Medicare reimbursement penalties). Efforts then focused on the at-risk group to mitigate readmissions.

3 > Company Wellness > A free corporate health clinic measured health parameters of employees. Trying to get them to change behavior on their own was difficult, but when presented with the statistics that they were less healthy than their co-workers, they were motivated to change.

4 > Diabetes Population > At risk diabetes patients were monitored and then presented with their data. The feedback led to improvement over time.

5 > Infusion Pump Informatics > Infusion pumps are ubiquitous in hospitals, but the manufacturers only give nominal set-up parameters, fearing legal action if they make max/min recommendations. Hospitals asked RCHE for assistance in setting up practical guidelines.

6 > Gesture Recognition in Sterile Environments > Keeping equipment clean in operating rooms is a constant challenge. RCHE developed software to recognize hand gestures for hands-free commands to operate equipment in operating rooms.

In conclusion, Dr Musselman remarked that in the Healthcare Grand Challenge engineers like to “fix the system” and doctors want to “fix the patient”, but both results are needed to achieve care that is safe, effective, patient centered, equitable, and cost effective.

Notes by John Peer

Vol 93 No 15 - April 11, 2016

Goethe Link Observatory & Helen Link Daffodil Garden

Presented By: Kurt Williams, Deputy Director/COO of Link Observatory Space Science Institute


Goethe Link Observatory, Space Science Institute

Kurt Williams, Deputy Director/COO of Link Observatory Space Science Institute, explained the mission of the Institute: to advance scholastic literacy of future generations with informal STEM education focused on NASA missions, astronomy and space exploration and to foster scientific curiosity in the next generation of leaders.

Link Observatory, used to find asteroids from 1949 to 1967, is now dedicated to providing informal science education to schools and the general public in central Indiana. The Institute partners with NASA and IU, bringing NASA into the classroom. The Institute has public lectures, private group programs and observatory telescope viewing, providing STEM education for grades 3-12 and advanced STEM science for grades 6-12, including remote access to NASA radio telescopes, science programs and classroom computer labs. Link Observatory tours are also available.

America's Space Astronauts

Greg McCauley, CEO of the Institute, made an interesting presentation about America’s astronauts. America was stunned when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik into a low Earth orbit in 1957 starting the Space Race, a part of the larger Cold War. Explorer 1, the first satellite of the U.S., was launched in 1958. Unlike Sputnik, it made scientific observations. Yuri Gagarin was a Soviet cosmonaut who made an orbit of the earth in 1961.

The U.S. learned to fly in space during Project Mercury. Alan Shepard made the first U.S. space flight in 1961 on Freedom 7. Twenty days later President Kennedy made his now-famous speech, starting the Space Race. The Mercury Project used the Redstone Rocket. There were six manned Mercury flights.

Project Gemini included ten manned flights with longer duration missions, rendezvous, docking and spacewalks, using a Titan rocket.

The Apollo project was destined for the moon using the Saturn 5 rocket. It had a command module and a lunar module. In 1967, Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee died in a flash fire in the capsule during a test on the ground. Six unmanned flights followed, to be certain that the Apollo system was safe.

In 1968 Wally Schirra, Donn Elisele and Walter Cunningham made the first manned flight of the Apollo Command Module. In December 1968, Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders were the first humans to fly around the moon. It was the first manned launch using a Saturn 5 rocket.

Apollo 9, in 1969, took James McDivitt, Dave Scott and Rusty Schweickart on an orbital test flight of the Command Module and the Lunar Module. Apollo 10 took Thomas Stafford, John Young and Gene Cernan on a dress rehearsal for a moon landing during which they came within 50,000 ft. of the surface of the moon.

On July 16, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first men to walk on the moon; Mike Collins was also on that journey. Armstrong had to manually fly the Eagle as there was a crater where they were going to land. The Eagle landed with only seventeen seconds of fuel left for the descent. It was “one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Apollo flights 12 through 17 followed. Apollo 13 was an aborted flight due to an explosion of the onboard oxygen tank in the Service Module. McCauley, CEO of the Institute, worked for NASA in planning the use of the Lunar Rover on the moon, although the astronauts rarely followed the planned route. .

Read more at and and Ray E. Boomhower, '"The Doctor and the Stars: Goethe Link and His Observatory," Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History, v. 19, no. 4, Fall 2007, pp. 17–23.

Dr. Goethe Link Observatory


Goethe Link was often called a Renaissance man. A surgeon and a founder of the I.U. School of Medicine, he was also an expert naturalist, aeronautics buff, and astronomer. He must not have spent much time sleeping. In fact, he was probably up stargazing. He was such an avid astronomer that in 1939 he built an observatory at his country house in northwest Morgan County.

He welcomed amateur and professional astronomers alike to share his observatory. Members of the Indiana Astronomical Society helped grind and polish the mirror of the 36-inch telescope.

The white frame building has a metal clad dome housing the telescope, a library, darkroom, 150-seat auditorium, observation deck and control room, kitchen and sleeping quarters. Clearly, this was a serious passion for Link. Researchers at the Link Observatory discovered more than 100 new asteroids. Dr. Link gave the observatory to Indiana University in 1948 but continued to live next door until he died at 101 in 1980.

While Goethe hosted astronomers by night, his wife Helen planted daffodils by day; nearly twenty acres of them…more than a thousand varieties, including many hybrids she created.

Today, the Goethe Link Observatory may be better known to the public for the daffodils than for its astronomical achievements. Light pollution from Indianapolis diminished the facility’s usefulness for research, but the daffodils still bloom in breathtaking profusion.

Thanks to the Indiana Astronomical Society, Dr. Link’s observatory and Helen’s daffodil fields can be viewed on occasions in the month of April.

Helen Link's Daffodils - A Living Legacy



Goethe Link, one of the founders of the IU School of Medicine and himself a practicing surgeon until his 88th year, bought his wife Helen a bushel of daffodil bulbs one day in the 1940s, thinking they would be a welcome addition to their 50-acre home high on a hill south of Mooresville. The property was also the home to a full size observatory Dr. Link had built in the 1930s that was being used by the Indiana University Astronomy Department as well as by Dr. Link himself.

Helen, whose fondness for daffodils went back to childhood and memories of her mother, planted about a thousand bulbs over the next several years, but that was just the beginning. Over the years, she developed many of her own hybrids and at its peak, there were 17 acres and 1,100 varieties of daffodils in bloom each spring, including the bulbs Goethe brought home all those years ago. But no matter how many thousands of daffodils there were, Helen always knew her favorite, "the first one that blooms!"

Goethe Link (1879 - 1981) and Helen Link (1912 - 2002) are buried on the east side of Section 67 at Crown Hill Cemetery. Now owned by Indiana University and maintained by the Indiana Daffodil Society, her field of daffodils is open to the public each weekend in April, as well as Dr. Goethe's observatory.


After the very interesting program, we got to look through the Link Telescope, as the rain had stopped and the clouds had parted. However, there was mud in the parking area and the bus got stuck. Those of us on the bus were rescued by a giant tow-truck, with more flashing lights on it than we had ever seen. The bus got back before midnight; bringing our mission to a successful conclusion

Click HERE to view several pictures of the daffodil garden. Click HERE for instructions on viewing or downloading individual slides or viewing the slides in a slideshow

Notes by Malcolm Mallette

Vol 93 No 16 - April 18, 2016

The Etiologies & Effects of Normal Human Knee Pressure Variations

Presented By: William O. Irvine, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon, Retired, Orthopedics Indianapolis


Dr. William

Thanks to Dr. William O. Irvine MD for his very interesting talk today on the topic of the etiologies and effects of normal human knee pressure variations. Dr. Irvine is a retired Orthopedic Surgeon from Orthopedics Indianapolis. Dr. Irvine has maintained an interest in research in his chosen field. since his retirement.

Dr. Irvine presented his research project centered around his observation that the knee undergoes physical changes depending on the degree of flexion or extension. These positional changes cause the pressure in the knee joint to vary, and there are physiologic changes in and around the knee on dependent on these pressure changes within the knee. Dr. Irvine explained this using the example that the knee works somewhat similar to a bellows with varying amounts of tension at the front due to contractions and relaxations of the quadriceps muscle, which controls the amount of tension on the anterior tendons, and the contractions and relaxations of the popliteus and hamstring muscles at the back of the knee. As a result of these, he calculated, using sophisticated mathematics, that 1 to 2 cubic centimeters of fluid moved into and out of the knee joint between flexion and extension. His calculations were based on MRI studies of the knee done at full extension, and flexed 35 degrees off of full extension.

His second observation based on the MRI exams was that the blood flow around the knee was greater or less between flexion and extension, and that this helped the flow of blood and lymphatic fluid in the lower extremity.

His third surmise was a postulation that the flow of fluid into and out of the joint helped carry nutrients and oxygen to the cartilage, and remove waste products and carbon dioxide from the joint. Much thanks to Dr. Irvine for his efforts on our behalf. /p>

Notes by Bill Elliott

Vol 93 No 17 - April 25, 2016

History of Patent Medicines in America – 1700’s through 1900’s

Presented By: Richard L. Schreiner, Scientech Member


Dr. Richard

Dr. Schreiner introduced the history of patent medicines in America by describing Lydia Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound which, through mass marketing circa 1876, became one of the best known patent medicines of the 19th century. Ads suggested the men loved it because it made women “so much easier to live with.”


Unorthodox medicines emphasized “nature’s way” and attacked “regular” or “orthodox” doctors. Patent medicines became a catch-all phrase for products with secret ingredients and which purported to cure or treat specific complaints without the need to consult a physician, pharmacist or other health care professional. Thus families could “doctor themselves” at low cost (compared to seeing a doctor). The term “Quack” described the promotion of false and unproven health schemes for a profit and was most often used to denote the peddling of “cure alls”, patent medicines, devices, etc. Most ingredients were similar to those in competitors’ products but the specific ingredients and amounts were “secret”. Many provided short term “relief” because of alcohol and narcotics. Dangerous ingredients included alcohol – up to 80% (160 proof), opium (sap of poppy), morphine (isolated from opium around 1800), cocaine, heroin (synthesized from morphine 1898), and cannabis.

It is estimated only 2% of the patented medicines launched in New York had any significant degree of success. Expense of advertising was a major reason for failures. In 1859 the estimated sales were $3.5 million/year ($103 million/year in 2015 dollars) with a population of only 31 million. 1850-1900 was the Golden Age of patent medicine in the U.S. with a rapid increase in industry and manufacturing, urban living, massive advertising, dramatic increase in the number of newspapers and magazines, increase in literacy and the absence of regulation. In 1905 estimated sales were $75 million/year ($1.94 billion in 2015 dollars) with a population of 84 million.


The appeal of patent medicines included: physicians knew little about causes of diseases and had few effective treatments in the 1700s and 1800s, patients with serious diseases treated by “regular doctors” did not get better, regular doctors could not compete with wild claims of the patent medicines, there were relatively few physicians and pharmacists available, professional standards for physicians were very low, medical education was extremely lax, and an M.D. diploma could be bought for minimal cost. “Heroic medicine” used by regular (orthodox) physicians (bloodletting, blistering, mineral products) was painful, debilitating and ineffective. Most patent medicines were “gentle” and made you feel better if it contained alcohol and/or narcotics. Self diagnosis and self prescribing were consistent with the American independent attitude – “every man his own doctor”. Advertising encouraged the public to believe they were sickly, and if they took a medicine and felt better, they credited the medicine.

Surviving OTC Products include: Absorbine Jr, Anacin, Bayer Aspirin, Bromo-Seltzer, Carter’s Little Pills (Carter’s Little Liver Pills), Doan’s Pills, Lydia Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound, Phillips’ Milk of Magnesia, Smith Brothers Cough Drops, and Vicks VapoRub. Products no longer sold as medicines include: 7-Up, Dr. Pepper, Hines Root Beer, Pepsi Cola, Tonic water, Coca-Cola (caffeine replaced cocaine as active ingredient in 1903). Thousands of “Patent Medicines” continue today including: herbs, probiotics, vitamins, spices, sexual enhancers, weight reducers, pain relief, and antiaging products.

During the 1880s-1900s, many attempts were made to pass legislation but were blocked by patent medicine manufacturers. A key figure promoting passage was Dr. Harvey Washington Wiley (a Hoosier), Chief Chemist in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1882, who was named “Father of the Pure Food and Drug Act” which was passed in 1906.

Dr. Schreiner introduced his brother, John A. Schreiner, R.PH, who operates the “History of Pharmacy Research Center” in Griffith, IN, which has a vast array of patent medicines.

Notes by Donald Mink

Vol 93 No 18 - May 2, 2016

Purdue Bound Mentoring of Underrepresented Minority Students

Presented By: Wesley Campbell, Director of Purdue Bound, Purdue Polytechnic Institute


Wesley Campbell

Today’s speaker, Wesley Campbell, director of Purdue Bound at the Polytechnic Institute of Purdue University, explained the outreach program "Purdue Bound: Mentoring of Underrepresented Minority Students”. Mr. Campbell, married with three children, is an ordained minister and pastored two churches in Texas before returning to Lafayette to work with the “Purdue Bound” initiative. This was a program started by former Purdue president Dr. Jischke in 2001. His goal was to start a partnership between Purdue, Indianapolis Public Schools, and the business community.

Mr. Campbell lived in the Chicago projects as a child until two older sisters moved the family out to a safer neighborhood. They constantly told him that he was going to college. He learned that anyone could improve themselves through the opportunity afforded by an education, so that became the focus of his career. In 2004 he became director of the College of Technology, now called the Polytechnic Institute.

The emphasis became low income students in IPS from three high schools; Tech, Shortridge and Attucks. Purdue was looking for STEM majors from these schools. In 2007 the first high school grads from the Purdue Bound classes actually enrolled in Purdue. There were 28 in all. Four years later, 7 actually graduated. This was felt to be highly successful. Investing in young people’s education is always valuable. This year there will be 13 graduates making 80 graduates from Purdue since the program started. Mr. Campbell considers this a highly successful number. In addition, many of the program participants have attended and graduated from other universities.

There are several activities to help attract potential students to Purdue, such as summer camps and internships at Purdue and internships with local businesses. It is the goal that 50 kids from IPS enroll in Purdue annually.

Notes by Jim Dashiell

Vol 93 No 19 - May 9, 2016

Indiana in the 1920s: The Ku Klux Klan in the Hoosier State

Presented By: Jason S. Lantzer, PhD, Assistant Director, University Honors Program, Butler University


Dr. Jason

Sally Kohn commented recently on CNN that Indiana was once known for being the state that had the most powerful KKK in the country. In 1924 the KKK was behind the election of the governor of the state. She talked about Indiana being very divided socially and racially and that these represented the causes of the Donald Trump landslide. She did not realize that the KKK of the 1920s was not at all reflective of the people of today in Indiana.


The Clansman

The organization was formed in the late 1860s primarily by Southern whites to refight the Civil War after they were decisively defeated. Thomas Dixon, Jr. wrote a book, "The Klansman" which became an inspiration for D.W. Griffith's important film "Birth of a Nation" in 1915. Dixon himself was noted primarily for his efforts in obtaining benefits for Confederate veterans. The film was a great commercial success. It portrayed black men as unintelligent and sexually aggressive toward white women. The KKK was dramatized as a heroic rescuing force.

William Joseph Simmons later came up with the idea that the Klan must come back with the idea of defending Southern whites. He tried to develop it as a fraternal organization similar to the Masons or the Elks. He wanted to make it financially successful, mostly for himself, by collecting dues and selling Klan paraphernalia. Simmons was able to get a charter for the organization from the state of Georgia.

Hiram Wesley Evans was another character who pushed out Simmons from the organization and further developed it for his personal monetary profit. He began to focus his activities in Evansville and later Indianapolis. The blacks, of course, were also a focus of hate; there were black lynchings. A Jew by the name of Leo Frank was also lynched in this frenzy of hate.


D C Stephenson

Taking advantage of the environment which was filled with patriotism, Protestantism and prohibition, D.C. Stephenson really got the organization going nationwide, but particularly in the Midwestern states of Indiana, Illinois and Ohio. He emphasized America first with antipathy toward any foreign-born individuals in the United States. He opposed Catholics, constantly being concerned by the hegemony of the Pope in Rome. Stephenson was gaining political power as well as great wealth from dues collected and Klan items being sold. The Klan had exciting marches with fireworks and much pomp, attractive to many individuals. They would even march into churches in full Klan regalia depositing $20 in the collection box. Many of the Protestant ministers were against this activity but continued focusing on good American citizenship which at the time included a heavy tincture of hate.


Gov. Ed

Stephenson's growing wealth and influence were important in the election of Indiana Governor Ed Jackson. The end of Stephenson's career occurred with the rape, beating and subsequent death of Madge Oberholtzer. The trial took place in Noblesville, Indiana. Despite Stephenson's influence with the governor, he did not receive a pardon and went to jail with a long sentence. David Curtiss Stephenson Edward L. Jackson.

Additional reading on the subject is in books by L.J.Moore, M.W.Lutholtz, Todd Tucker and J.S.Lantzer

Addendum from Club Historian Bill Dick: “Stephenson’s trial was held in Noblesville. Madge Oberholzer took bichloride of mercury, which made her ill. Some scientists thought that she died from the mercury. According to the late Dr. John E. Pless, forensic pathologist, Oberholzer died from infection. She lingered for a month and at autopsy she was found to have multiple lung abscesses from sepsis. The infection started from a bite mark made by Stephenson on Oberholzer’s chest. She died from this infection in this pre-antibiotic era.

In the 1920s Scientech Club advised the mayor of Indianapolis and the state governor regarding scientific issues. They also printed proclamations. In early 1927, one of the proclamations asked Mayor John L. Duvall and his wife to resign. His wife was city controller. Duvall had taken bribes from D.C. Stephenson, KKK Grand Dragon. They both resigned in October 1927.”

Notes by Jerry Kurlander

Vol 93 No 20 - May 16, 2016

Medical Professions in the California Gold Rush

Presented By: John Schreiner, Retired Pharmacist and Founder/Owner of the History of Pharmacy Research Center in Griffith, IN


John Schreiner

John Schreiner is a retired pharmacist from Valparaiso, enjoys research in pharmacy and is the owner of the Pharmacy Research Center located in Griffith, Indiana. He presented the story of how an 1850s pharmacist became well known in the modern numismatic world but not well known in the druggist world.

He first heard of the druggist, J. L. Polhemus in 1986 when he was at a numismatic convention. One of the dealers there was selling a United States quarter which had a pharmacy advertisement countersigned on it. The coin read: "J L Polhemus, druggist; 190 J St corner of 7th, Sacramento, CA.” In the 1850s, stamping coins with an address was a popular and inexpensive way of advertising. After several years of research, Mr. Schreiner was able to uncover a rather remarkable story.


Clipper Ship

J.L. Polhemus was born in 1825 in New York. He started working with a druggist at the age of 14. The president of the United States from 1846 to 1849 was James Polk who secured the passage of a treaty to annex, from Mexico, the territories of lower California, Arizona and New Mexico. When, in 1848, gold was discovered at Sutter's Creek Mill the Gold Rush was on. Polhemus decided to travel


Wreck of the
Central America

to California to seek adventure and opportunity, sailing by ship around Cape Horn. The voyage took 165 days. Eventually settling in Sacramento, he was accepted into the American Pharmaceutical Association in 1866, but died 3 months after he was accepted. His wife continued the pharmacy for eight years.


Polhemus Coin

In 1857, the ship SS Central America set sail for New York from California, via the Isthmus of Panama. A hurricane sank the ship near North Carolina. About 30 years ago, the Columbus- Discovery group devised a plan to salvage the ship using an underwater robot called Nemo. Among items found were J. L. Polhemus stamped coins.

In 2000 the Christie Auction House in New York sold a Polhemus counterstamped coin for $48,300.

Notes by Russell Judd

Vol 93 No 21 - May 23, 2016

Aspirin - the Wonder Drug

Presented By: Dr. Bill Dick, Scientech Member


Dr. Bill Dick

The aspirin story neither begins with the Bayer Company nor ends with it, but they are the company when one contemplates aspirin.

The drug aspirin dates back 7,000 years to the Sumerians, when the willow tree was mentioned on a stone tablet. The bark and sap of the willow tree relieved pain and swelling. The Egyptians of 5,000 years ago also knew of the myrtle tree for pain; it was another tree that contained salicylic acid.


Edwin Smith Papyrus


Ebers Papyrus

Edwin Smith was the first American to reside in Egypt, living in Luxor (Thebes) in the early 1860’s. He obtained two papyri, which were about 3,500 years old. One papyrus described surgical cases and became know as the Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus. The other one contained medical conditions and remedies and was know as the Ebers Papyrus. The Egyptians knew the willow plant as tjert; the Latin name is salix.

So, the story begins with the Sumerians, moves to the Egyptians, and then goes on to Greece. Hippocrates (450 BC) knew of willow bark for pain relief. From there we go to England, where an Anglican minister, Rev. Edward Stone, told his Earl of the bark of an English tree, “which I found to be a powerful astringent, and very efficacious in curing agues and intermitting disorders.” His finding was later presented to the Royal Society of London in 1763.

Various scientists from France, Italy and Germany were involved in the research. The person who first synthesized acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) was Charles Gerhardt of Strasbourg in 1853. William Purkin of England worked with coal tar chemicals, creating a purple dye. The Bayer Company of Germany worked on the compounds and produced acetanilide in 1886, which was trademarked as Antifebrine. The drug trademark era had begun.


Three Bayer scientists produced acetylsalicylic acid, which was trademarked as Aspirin in 1899. A – acetyl chloride, spir – spirea ulmaria the plant, and in, a common ending for medicines at the time. Aspirin was originally a powder and it was dispensed only through a physician’s prescription. Aspirin was used for arthritis, headache, common cold, influenza and many other ailments.

As a result of WW I, the Bayer Co. lost all of their property in the U.S. and everything was sold to Sterling Drugs, then a maker of quack medicines. Later, they had many rivals, including American Home Products and Bristol-Myers. Due to TV advertising in the 1950’s aspirin sales increased. Then in 1962, ibuprofen was discovered.


Ibuprofin Molecule

In the US, Ibuprofen was first produced by Upjohn in 1974. When it went off patent, American Home Products (Advil) and Bristol-Myers (Nuprin) entered the marketplace. Then in the 1970’s, John Vane and Priscilla Piper of England showed that ASA blocked prostaglandins, the basis for aspirin’s prevention of pain.

Ibuprofen has 20 times the anti-inflammatory power, 16 times the analgesic power and 10-20 times the antipyretic power. How could aspirin survive? Well, it has. Its new usage was in the prevention of heart disease. It also has a role in prevention of strokes, and many forms of cancer.

In 1994, Bayer bought Sterling Winthrop, once again allowing the use of the Bayer name in the USA. Bayer now sells about 33% of the ASA in the world. The world’s top selling analgesic was aspirin until 1989. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is now first in sales.

Notes by Bill Dick

Vol 93 No 22 - June 6, 2016

Influence of Exercise with Aging: Sleep Apnea, Fibromyalgia

Presented By: Professor Anthony S. Kaleth, PhD, FACSM, Department of Kinesiology, IUPUI


Dr. Tony Kaleth

Today’s talk by Dr. Kaleth was on Exercise and Aging, or as he called it “Outpacing the Grim Reaper”. An overview of the talk includes the effect of Aging and Chronic Disease, The Role of Exercise and Physical Activity, Exercise, Health and Mortality, and Walking – A New Vital Sign?

The prevalence of age-related diseases and disorders is rapidly increasing. 85.6 million US adults have Cardio-Vascular Disease (CVD) and there is a heart attack in the U.S. every 43 seconds. The average age of the first heart attack is 64 and 70 for men and women, respectively. While most people are aware of the significance of high blood pressure, only about 54% of them have it under control. Another risk factor of CVD is diabetes.

The rate of Type 2 Diabetes was flat until 1994, and now it is almost out of control in the adult population. This disease causes hypertension, blindness, kidney disease, amputations, and neuropathy which leads to an early death. The biggest societal problem we face is the growth of body composition (being fat) which is the number one cause of Type 2 Diabetes.

The obesity of the Indiana population in 1990 was between 10-14%. The last study in 2010 shows the population of Indiana with an obesity rate of between 25-29%. Dr. Kaleth pointed out that many people think this rate of obesity is due to caloric intake. Yet there is little evidence to support this claim - then how do we explain this trend? It is due to the lack of physical activity of our population. We have moved from a work place that required hard labor to one that requires little if any physical activity. Between 1960 and 2010 the calories expended by men on the job has dropped from 1575 to 1400. Our children no longer play outside, but spend their time indoors and doing little if any physical activity. The percentage of people who report leisure time physical activity has dropped from 51% between 1988 – 1994 to 43% in 2009 - 2010.

Physically inactive people have 1.5 to 2.4 times the risk of developing CVD. At the same time the physically active adult has between 30-40% lower risk of developing CVD compared to the inactive adult.

What about exercise or being fit? The components of being fit includes frequency, intensity, time and type of physical activity. Dr. Kaleth has these recommendations for exercise. Frequency: 5 days a week moderate, or 3 days a week vigorous. Intensity: on a scale of 0-10 with 5-6 being moderate, and 7-8 for vigorous, time with moderate being between 30-60 min per day, and 20-30 min day vigorous. Type: any modality that does not impose excessive orthopedic stress. Resistance: all major muscle groups, with 10 to 15 reps on a 2-3 day a week schedule.

Walking is the new vital sign that all physicians should be asking their patients about. The mortality rate among men who walked less than 1 mile per day was nearly twice that among men who walked more than 2 miles per day. It has also been shown that there is a protective effect for stroke in older men by walking. Can we outpace the grim reaper? The grim reaper has been shown to walk about 2 mph. So get out and start walking every day over 2 mph and stay ahead of the grim reaper.

Notes by Hank Wolfla

Vol 93 No 23 - June 13, 2016

The Evolution of the Sword

Presented By: Andrew Tharp


Drew Tharp

Mr. Drew Tharp, a member of the Indianapolis Fencing Club, gave a talk on The Evolution of the Sword at today’s meeting. Drew began his talk with some very good quotes. “A sword, a spade, and a thought should never be allowed to rust” from James Stephens and “The history of the sword is the history of humanity” by Richard F. Burton.

Mr. Tharp noted that between 25% and 50% of all scientists are engaged in military projects. The sword was the pinnacle of technology from roughly the 5th to the 14th centuries in most of the world. Peter Johnsson in his book the Paradoxes of Sword Design, Arctic Fire 2012, tells exactly what a sword should be. A “Sword needs to hit with force and weight, but needs to feel light in the hand. It needs to track true through the cut, but it must be very nimble and react quickly to maneuvers of your hand and body. It should be agile, but still sure in its aim. It needs to be hard, but also tough. It needs to be still, but also flexible… The making of the sword is the balance of these things.”

The sole purpose of a sword is very simple; it is meant to kill people. It is intended not to hunt or to cut weeds, but to kill. The first swords were made of bronze, and were easily bent. Many bent swords were found in the graves of warriors. Next came iron, or what we call pig iron, with very little carbon. Pig iron was brittle and would break. The first good steel swords were made from iron and carbon, and the steel was called Wootz steel or sometimes Damascus steel. Research now shows that some of these swords contain carbon nanotubes. Damascus steel swords were made by folding the steel over and over. Damascus steel was found all over the world, but it is thought that most of it was made in India. This showed how wide the trade of quality sword steel was very early in the world’s history.


Tharp's Sword Collection

While the Japanese sword is frequently considered the greatest sword ever made, most experts will say that this is not true. The Japanese Nihonto sword was made by folding steel 6 to 10 times over burning charcoal. Then a layer of clay was put over the cutting edge of the sword while it was red hot to harden the cutting edge while keeping the spine of the sword strong so that it would not break or bend.

In the beginning, design of the sword was limited by materials, but slowly, over time that changed. Ultimately, the design of the sword was optimized either to cut or to thrust. This was impacted by the change in the armor of the warriors. Chain link armor could be cut and sometimes punctured with a stab. Metal plate armor was designed so that the cutting sword would not enter. Yet a sword properly designed to thrust could penetrate some of the metal plates. The military continued to experiment with cut versus thrust until swords became obsolete. No one ever found a definite answer as to which approach was better. Modern fencing now includes both the cut and thrust swords.

Drew encourages Scientech members that if they have an interest in using swords in the hobby of fencing, the Indianapolis Fencing Club would be an ideal place to explore. Click to view the web site for the Fencing Club.

Notes by Hank Wolfla

Vol 93 No 24 - June 20, 2016

Marion County’s Diamond in the Rough

Presented By: Brittany Davis-Swinford, Manager, Senior Naturalist, Eagle Creek Park



Brittany Davis-Swinford presented an update regarding one of the eleven largest municipal parks in the entire United States, Eagle Creek Park. The park is located in Indianapolis, Indiana at 5855 Delong Road, 46254, just a short driving time from downtown Indy. Here you can enjoy breathtaking nature in action within the confines of 3200 acres of land and 1400 acres of Eagle Creek Reservoir. Admission attendance during 2015 was 1,068,710. Revenues of about $1,245,000 were received in 2015 at this park to help maintain and grow the Indianapolis Park System, and to expand nature experiences and interactive educational opportunities. Plan to visit this wonderful facility several times a year to take advantage of the many enjoyable sights and for learning more about nature. The color changing of the leaves is spectacular each fall season.

These nature facilities contain an almost endless number of opportunities for activities such as sailing and boat rentals. There are 22 miles of hiking trails, 2 nature centers, 2 retreat centers, a fitness course, multitudes of picnic areas and shelters, a swimming beach, state nature preserves, cross-country skiing paths and a waterfowl sanctuary. Many pleasant vistas reveal awesome wonders of nature that are very close by us. The Scientech Club Foundation has made several financial donations to the Eagle Creek Park Foundation and provided volunteer work efforts towards this great park.






Ornithology Center


Discovery Center

A brief chronology of growth of the park is shown below:

- 1934-1970: J.K. Lilly, Jr., brother of Eli Lilly, bought a 12-acre tract of land at the site of Eagle Creek Park. Over the next 20 years, he acquired more land and reforested the area. He renamed it Eagle Crest Forest Reserve, and it was protected by a fire tower located northeast of the Ornithology Center. Lilly then donated some of these land areas to Purdue University. A severe flood in 1957 in that area of the city raised concerns; plans were then made for the necessary flood control.

In 1964 Mayor Barton asked for support of a recreational area, reservoir and flood control. Financing was provided by two bond issues and federal grants. The original park master plan proposed that the park be self-sufficient, with revenues generated from entry and concession fees.

In 1966 Indianapolis purchased 2,286 acres from Purdue for $3.2 million and dam construction was initiated.

In 1970 the reservoir was full and open for limited use; construction on other park facilities continued.

Some other significant events were:

- 1986 A world-class rowing course was constructed in preparation for the 1987 Pan Am Games.

- 1987 Lilly Lodge was remodeled and opened for meetings and park programs. The water level of the reservoir was first lowered to provide a habitat for shore birds.

- 1991 The Scott Starling Nature Sanctuary was dedicated on the north end of the reservoir.

- 1995 The Park Foundation agreed on the need for a new Nature Center, but had to wait to move forward on the project until Holliday Park was completed.

- 1997 The Park Foundation became the umbrella volunteer organization for Eagle Creek Park, and the Advisory Committee became a standing committee of the Foundation. The Indy Parks board approved the revision of the park master plan. Also, the Peace Learning Center opened at the former Indian Museum site after the collection was moved to the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art in 1989.

- 2007 The new Earth Discovery Center opened near the site of the old ranger station.

- 2009 The Nature Center reopened as the Ornithology Center after renovation by a team of volunteers. Over 265 bird species of the 408 bird species known in Indiana have been seen at this park. The Sunday Morning Birders have been meeting here weekly since 1970.

- Recently, a new education Migration Course has been established to teach more about the hazards encountered in those bird migration routes. Bird migration mishaps cause about 50% reductions in the flocks.

- Six hundred children have received certificates, so far. Interactive displays are available for learning experiences.

Notes by Dick Carter

Vol 93 No 25 - June 27, 2016

Water Contamination in Flint, Michigan

Presented By: Rick Rediske, Analytical Chemist, Grand Valley State University


Dr. Rick

Today’s talk on the Flint, Michigan water contamination was given by Dr. Richard R. Rediske, Ph.D. an expert in Environmental Chemistry from Grand Valley State University and the associated Annis Water Resources Institute. Dr. Rediske was involved in the study of the Flint, Michigan water crisis and gave us an accounting of the sequence of events leading up to the crisis, and the many failures at the state, federal, and local levels of government and hired consultants.

He first gave us the history of human knowledge of the dangers of lead ingestion from the discovery of lead in Turkey in 6500 BC to the statement by Dioscorides, a Greek employed in the Roman Army in the first century AD that “Lead makes the mind give way.”

Despite the well-known health hazards of lead, particularly in the last 200 years, we are still living with “legacy lead” contamination from lead paint, lead pipes, and solder. Lead at the household tap may come from city water pipes, home pipes, or solder used for home plumbing. Lead pipes, solder, and flux have only been banned since 1986. There are still considerable amounts of lead in the nation’s water supply, and lead levels at the tap of many homes is far in excess of the federal guidelines of 15 ppb. Water companies are able to stay within federal guidelines only by clever manipulation of the loop holes in the clean water act, leaving many homes with extremely high levels of even up to 1000 ppb.

Flint, Michigan in particular has a lot of lead pipes in old homes, and in the city water pipes. Originally, Flint got its water from Detroit. To save money, they decided to take water from Lake Huron instead. Until the necessary connections could be made, it was necessary to take water from the Flint River. Detroit water was dosed with phosphate to control corrosion of the pipes. There was no corrosion control plan for the new water source, and the high level of salts in the surface water runoff caused corrosion to occur in the lead and iron pipes. This caused very high lead levels in many homes. These high lead levels can cause damage to developing brains in fetuses and young children in particular, and we will be suffering from this damage for years to come as these children perhaps underachieve and pursue crime.

The lead problem was denied by the local officials from MDEQ (Michigan Department of Environmental Quality) for a considerable period of time. Officials even told falsehoods trying to sweep the problems under the rug. The EPA was notified by Lee Anne Walters who had her water tested at her Flint home and found lead levels of 104 ppb. The EPA was assured by MDEQ that they had corrosion control in place (a falsehood), and the EPA did nothing until things came to a boil seven months later. The current situation is that corrosion control is now in place in Flint, and the water is judged to be safe.

An important side issue is that early attempts to control corrosion in the pipes caused a marked increase in the iron content, and a resulting drop in the chlorine content of the water. This most likely allowed the iron dependant Legionella bacteria to flourish, and there was an outbreak of Legionnaires disease.

Many thanks to Dr. Rediske for this timely and informative talk. Judging from the higher than usual attendance, and many questions, this was a very enjoyable afternoon for all present.

Notes by Bill Elliott