- Audio: The Scientific Summit Story
After the paper was written (but not yet published) and the results were presented, John Essigmann and John Groopman decided to celebrate...
- Audio: The Truth Table Explanation
John Essigmann shows the eight stereochemical possibilities for an aflatoxin-guanine adduct.
- Video: Aflatoxin's Story
Jerry Wogan describes how aflatoxin was discovered and how he came to study it.
- Video: An Early Approach: X-Ray Crystallography
John Essigmann talks about an early approach to determining the adduct structure.
- Video: Analyzing the NMR Data to Obtain the Preliminary Structure
John Essigmann walks through the determination of the adduct structure from the NMR information.
- Video: Closing the Deal
Once the basic adduct structure had been elucidated, John met with George Büchi and the other authors to show them his results.
- Video: Competition in Science
Jerry Wogan discusses the pros and cons of competing with other research groups.
- Video: Early Clues to the Adduct Structure
At this point in his research, John Essigmann had isolated what he suspected was a DNA adduct ("Peak 1" in the notebook and timeline). However, it wasn't uniformly believed that his material was the adduct. He could have isolated AFB2α, a metabolite of AFB1, or the dihydrodiol. In this video, he describes a simple experiment that rules out both of those possibilities.
- Video: Gerald Wogan on Research
Jerry Wogan talks about his favorite aspect of research.
- Video: Getting to Jerry Wogan
Once he arrived at MIT, John Essigmann wanted to work with Jerry Wogan. That turned out to be harder than he had originally anticipated.
- Video: Getting to MIT
John Essigmann talks about how he came to be at MIT.
- Video: Hydrolysis Methods
This video builds on the information contained in "The Early Meeting with George Büchi." John Essigmann discusses alternative approaches to the formic acid hydrolysis method he developed, and why his method started "out of favor."
- Video: Jerry Wogan: Background
Jerry Wogan talks about his background and how he arrived at MIT.
- Video: Mass Spectrometry of the Adduct
John Essigmann discusses the difficulties of getting a good mass spectrum of the putative aflatoxin adduct.
- Video: NMR: The Backstory
John Essigmann talks about how he obtained the NMR spectrum of the adduct.
- Video: Publication
All the data was ready. The authors had to decide where to publish...
- Video: Robert Croy on Experiments
Bob Croy weighs in on the most important things to take into consideration when planning an experiment.
- Video: Robert Croy on Research Part I
Bob Croy describes his favorite thing about doing research.
- Video: Robert Croy on Research Part II
Bob Croy describes his least favorite thing about doing research.
- Video: Robert Croy: Background
Bob Croy talks about his background and how he came to be involved in the aflatoxin work at MIT.
- Video: Taking the Publishing Plunge
Jerry Wogan enumerates some of the considerations that go into deciding when to publish a scientific manuscript.
- Video: The "Go for it all" Story
Bob Croy tells the "Go for it all" skiing story that set the stage for many risky experiments, only some of which ended well.
- Video: The Beginnings of a Collaboration
John Essigmann describes his first meeting with George Büchi and their shared passion for skiing.
- Video: The Early Meeting with George Büchi
This is the continuation of "The Beginnings of a Collaboration." John Essigmann details the two important pieces of information that George Büchi gave him at the beginning of the collaboration between their labs.
- Video: The Research Process
Jerry Wogan describes the decision making process involved in research.
- Video: The Two Liter Problem Part I
John Essigmann sets the stage for the serendipitous experiment that saved him months of work. The problem he was grappling with at the time was how he could go about isolating enough of the adduct (about 3-5 mg) to determine its structure using NMR and mass spectrometry.
- Video: The Two Liter Problem Part II
John Essigmann tells the story of how a tiny mistake led him to a method that allowed isolation of large quantities of adduct at a time. This video is a continuation of "The Two Liter Problem: Part I."
- Video: The Value of Scientific Collaboration
Jerry Wogan talks about what it's like to collaborate in science and why collaborations like the one he undertook with George Büchi's lab for the aflatoxin work are useful.
- Video: What is good science?
Jerry Wogan defines the ubiquitous phrase "good science."
- Video: What is special about MIT?
Jerry Wogan talks about what makes MIT a special place to do research.
- Video: What is the Guanine Site of Attachment?
John Essigmann had successfully reduced the pool of possible adduct structures down to two, the N7 and the N9 adducts. He needed to design an experiment that would distinguish between the two. He describes the solution in this video.
- Video: Where Did the Fluorescence Go?
All aflatoxins are fluorescent. However, the material that John Essigmann isolated early in his research (Peak 1) was not fluorescent; as a result, he had to convince George Büchi that his material did in fact contain aflatoxin as he suspected. John tells the story of how he accomplished that, given Büchi's scientific standards.
- Image: In the Lab
John Essigmann's lab bench.
- Image: In the Lab
- Image: In the Lab
- Image: Mountain Climbing
- Image: Postcard from Morzine
The text reads: "Hi Gang: This is one of the most amazing places I've ever been to in my life--everything's perfect! On our first day here, I skied the mountain the chair lift is on, the mountain across the valley and a third larger mountain--Bob+Paul: eat your hearts out. It's been snowing all day and I think there will be 2' of powder tomorrow--see you next week. John"
- Image: Skiing with the Croys
John Essigmann and the Croys prepare to ski down a trail.
- Image: The Scientific Summit
- Image: The Truth Table
A schematic of all the possible reactions of a hypothesized epoxide intermediate.