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September 22, 2008
Science Newsletter Logo

Muskingum College Home Page

Please direct questions and comments to:

In this issue:

  • Microbiology Undergraduate Research Fellowship
  • The Southeastern Ohio Meteorite Shower of 1860

Science Quotes

  • "In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught."--Baba Dioum, Senegalese Conservationist
  • "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell."--Edward Abbey
  • "Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons."--Popular Science (1959)

    SC 204
    Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 8 - 10 PM.

    CHEM 105 & 111 -- Sunday and Thursday nights
    CHEM 213 -- Sunday nights
    7:00 - 9:00 p.m. in SC 338

    Need help with your career plans? Sign up with MentorNet. It's free!

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    Microbiology Undergraduate Research Fellowship (MURF) - formerly ASM Minority Undergraduate Research Fellowship

    The Program

    The goal of the Microbiology Undergraduate Research Fellowship (MURF) program is to increase the number of underrepresented undergraduate students who wish to, and have demonstrated the ability to pursue graduate careers (Ph.D. or MD/Ph.D.) in microbiology. Students will have the opportunity to conduct full time summer research with an ASM member at their home institution or at a host institution, and present research results at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students and the ASM General Meeting.

    Students will:

    • Agree to participate in an undergraduate summer research program at a U.S. based institution
    • Conduct a research project for a minimum of 10 weeks beginning in the summer of 2009
    • Work with a faculty mentor who is an ASM member
    • Submit a research abstract to the 2009 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS)
    • Submit a research abstract to ASM for presentation at the 2010 ASM General Meeting.

    The fellowship allows students to decide the institution, research area, and level of activity for the summer. Based on interests, independence, and ability, students can choose the model that best meets their needs.

    The ASM MURF host institution program offers two models for students to choose from: Traditional and Community based.

    Community Based Program
    In this model, clusters of ASM Fellows (5-8) are placed at the same institution to conduct basic science research for 10-12 weeks. Fellows will participate in a weekly seminar series, journal club, GRE preparatory course, graduate admission counseling and career counseling.

    Traditional Program
    In this model, an ASM fellow has the choice of remaining at their home institution or request to be placed at a host U.S. Institution of the student's choice to conduct basic science research.

    From a list provided on the application, students interested in conducting research at a host institution will select three institutions where they would like to conduct their summer research. Every effort will be made to place fellows at their first choice. Fellows will conduct research for a period of 10-12 weeks. In most cases, the student will be the only ASM fellow at that institution and will become a participant of a larger summer program already in existence at the institution. Opportunities will be available for the fellow to participate in activities established by the host institution (i.e. poster presentations, journal clubs, social activities, etc.) Summer activities vary at each institution.

    Fellows selecting to remain at their home institution will conduct research for a period of 10-12 weeks with an ASM faculty mentor at their home institutions.

    Please note that ASM will offer only the traditional program for the 2009 funding cycle.

    Eligible student candidates for the fellowship must be from groups that have been determined by the applicant's institution to be underrepresented in the microbiological sciences. The ASM encourages institutions to identify individuals that have been historically underrepresented, and remain underrepresented today in the microbiological sciences nationally. These groups include African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, and Pacific Islanders.
    In addition, applicants must also:

    • Be U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident
    • Be enrolled as full-time matriculating undergraduate students during the 2009-2010 academic year at an accredited U.S. institution
    • Be either freshmen with college level research experience, sophomores, juniors, or seniors who will not graduate before the completion date of the summer program
    • Be members of an underrepresented group in microbiology
    • Have taken introductory courses in biology, chemistry, and preferably microbiology prior to submission of the application
    • Have strong interests in obtaining a Ph.D., or M.D./Ph.D. in the microbiological sciences, and
    • Have lab research experience.

    The MURF program is supported by funds provided by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM).

    • The program provides a total funding of up to $5,850.
    • Up to $3,500 for student stipend
    • Up to $850 for student lodging
    • Up to $500 for roundtrip travel to the host institution (if applicable)
    • Two-year ASM student membership
    • Up to $1,000 in travel support to attend 2010 ASM General Meeting.

    Travel support will be provided for students who will present the results of their research project at the 2010 ASM General Meeting. Travel funds are contingent upon acceptance of an abstract for the General Meeting.

    Criteria of Selection
    Student applicants should be able to demonstrate:

    Academic achievement

    • Achievement with previous research experiences or independent projects
    • Commitment to research
    • Career goals as a research scientist
    • Personal motivation to participate in the program
    • Willingness to conduct summer research with an ASM member at their home institution or at a sponsoring U.S institution

    Leadership skills
    Involvement in activities that serve the needs of underrepresented groups.
    February 1st
    , 2009

    The online application is currently unavailable, but for more information please contact:

    Microbiology Undergraduate Research Fellowship
    Education Board
    American Society for Microbiology
    1752 N Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20036
    Tel: 202-942-9283/Fax: 202-942-9329

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    The Southeastern Ohio Meteorite Shower of 1860

    Dr. Henry McCreary was an eye-witness of the meteorite shower in 1860--he was 24 years old. In 1923, Dr. McCreary wrote an account of the event he witnessed, intended for a newspaper article. He was a medical doctor and practiced his profession in the New Concord area for over 50 years. Dr. McCreary was also Adjunct Professor of Science at Muskingum College for 22 years and also a member of the Board of Trustees of the College. He was 24 years old at the time of the meteorite shower.

    The article below was written by Dr. Henry McCreary during his 88th year.


    This article is written in response to a request of Pres. J. Knox Montgomery, Sr., D.D., of Muskingum College and enquiries by other parties in regard to this event.  This fall of meteorites is said to be the most remarkable ever observed in this country and equal to if not surpassing the most famous fall at L’Aisle in France in 1803.  Yet the only mention of it in the Encyclo. Brit. is that “Guernsey Co. fall of meteorites had 30 stones.”  An event so wonderful so rarely observed and attested fully in detail and occurring in our very midst seems more remarkable than merely to be numbered.  Some of us are yet alive whose eyes saw, whose ears heard and hands handled these heavenly visitors.  One of them, the largest one 103 lbs., came down on Chestnut Knob in sight of New Concord.

    The stone of loftiest flight soared on till over Muskingum College Campus where it dropped within 10 rods of our flag pole and is now in the College museum.  16 ½ lbs.  A Godsend and so let it be regarded.  Recorded as a matter of history to be preserved to enlighten this and future generations.  We are safe in saying that not one person in a million ever has seen or ever will see such a phenomenon and most persons are prone to consider a reference to such an occurrence in ancient times as a mere myth or at best only a very doubtful legend of the past.

    So many fictitious stories of wonderful events are published now-a-days which no one is expected to believe that we are an incredulous people and so things which actually occur but seldom, and which we never see, are hard to believe.  Thus there are agnostics with regard to well attested facts both in sacred and profane history.  That this subject may be fairly understood at the outset we will state that on May 1, 1860 more than 30 stones of various sizes fell from the sky to the earth scattered over a field reaching from a point about 3 miles east of Claysville nearly to New Concord.  A field about 10 miles long and 3 miles wide.

    These stones are technically called aerolites and the term meteorites is applied to them as bodies luminous while passing through the atmosphere.  Nearly all of them fell in Guernsey Co. Ohio and most of them in Westland township.

    The writer was at his home in that township at this time and distinctly heard the explosions as they are called, which were also heard by many persons far and near as reported by them.  The day was cool and only thin broken clouds were in sight.  The explosions resembled the firing of heavy canon and musketry occurring in rapid succession and continuing a short time, and followed by a roaring sound resembling distant thunder.  These sounds and a concussion were heard and felt at Barnesville, Cambridge, New Concord, Marietta, W. Va. and the intervening country.  The sizes of 24 of these stones and the owner of land where they fell is given below.


    103 lbs.



    56 lbs.



    52 lbs.



    50 lbs.



    41 lbs.



    36 lbs.



    23 ½ lbs.



    26 lbs.



    16 lbs.



    15 lbs.



    8 ¼ lbs.



    4 ½ lbs.



    4 lbs.



    3 ¾ lbs.



    3 ¾ lbs.



    3 ¾ lbs.



    3 lbs.



    2 ¾ lbs.



    2 lbs.



    2 lbs.



    2 lbs.



    1 lbs.



    1 lbs.



    ½ lbs.


    The largest one of these stones fell in Muskingum Co., half a mile S. E. of New Concord, and about the same distance from the spot where Miss Eliza Ballou, who afterwards married Abram Garfield and became the mother of President Garfield, once taught school.  This stone fell on land belonging to Peter Shainholts, which was partially cleared and leased to Wm. Patterson for pastureage.  When Mr. Patterson knew the stone to be there he said he would go and dig it out before breakfast.  He found it had gone through two roots of a tree each about as thick as his leg and was about five feet in the ground.  He didn’t get it till P.M.  I think he did like Dewey at Manila, stop the battle for breakfast.  At any rate he got the rock.

    Just here by way of parenthesis is a question for discussion:  Was Mr. P. the rightful owner of that stone?  He did not inherit it nor buy it.  And by right of discovery was it his any more than if it were a vein of coal or precious metal?

    In a few days Prof. E. B. Andrews of Marietta College came and I assisted him and Mr. Patterson to weigh the stone, first in the air and then in the creek to get the weight which was 103 lbs. and Specific gravity 3.550.  Prof. Andrews bought it off Mr. Patterson and it is now in the Marietta College museum.  Another of these stones is in the Museum of the Historical Society of Cleveland, Ohio. Gen. Whittlesy bought it from Wm. Grumman.

    I have before me a brochure of twelve octavo pages compiled by J.L. Smith M.D., Prof. of Chemistry in the University of  Louisville, Ky. containing many statements of facts collected by him and Profs. Andrews and Evans of Marietta in reference to this matter and other similar occurrences.  I might say that I believe this document to be an able one and perfectly reliable as to the statements made by witnesses in and near New Concord.  Though a few mistakes occur as to the locality; New Concord is said twice to be eight miles east of Cambridge a mistake of sixteen miles.  The word southeast is also used twice where it should be southwest.  Another mistake is on the map.  Marietta is marked lat. 40 and New Concord lat. 41.  New Concord is at lat. 40.  The 40th parallel north passes through the new addition to the campus of Muskingum College.  We now quote testimony as follows:  “We the undersigned do hereby certify; that at bout half past twelve o’clock on Tuesday, May the 1st 1860 a most terrible report was heard immediately overhead, filling the neighborhood with awe.  After an interval of a few seconds a series of successive reports, the most wonderful and unearthly ever before heard by us took place, taking a direction from Meridian to southeast, where the sounds died away like the roaring of distant thunder jarring the houses for many miles distant.”

    Signed by A.G. Gault, Jas. McDonald, Nancy Mills, Ichabod Grumman, Samuel Harper, Rev. Jas C. Murch, Mrs. M. Speer, Angie McKinney.  The above is from those who heard the noises but did not see the fall.”


    Dr. William Cassidy, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Mrs. Betty G. Cupoli, Columbus, Ohio

    Mrs. Martha Kulp, Finleyville, Pennsylvania

    Muskingum College Students:

    Mr. Terry Brown, Barberton, Ohio

    Miss Sara Ann Nichol, Indiana, Pennsylvania

    Miss Polly Sue Parrott, Galion, Ohio

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