Obituary Notice 283 Obituary

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                                          Obituary Notice
                                  FRANK LEE PYMAN, D.Sc., F.R.S.

The news of the death on 1 January 1944 of               During this period Pyman collaborated with Sir
Dr Frank Lee Pyman, after a prolonged illness,           Henry Dale, the late Sir Patrick Laidlaw, Dr F. H.
at the age of 61, has been received with deep            Carr, the late Prof. Barger and Dr C. M. Wenyon
regret by his many friends in this and other             and many other distinguished scientific workers.
countries.                                                  (2) The nine years spent in Manchester widened
   Pyman was an original member ofthe Biochemical        Pyman's influence, developed his ability as a teacher
Society, and his death removes another member of         and lecturer, brought him new colleagues and
that distinguished group of men who have been            friends, and produced a large output of scientific
responsible for the development of chemistry-            work of the very highest standard.
particularly medicinal chemistry-in this country            (3) The fifteen years during which Pyman worked
during the last thirty years and to whom must be         at Nottingham brought the influence of a distin-
given the credit for the high respect in which British   guished academic scientific worker back to industry
work in this field is held to-day.                       again, with his intellectual powers fully developed
   Pyman was born on 8 April 1882. He acquired           and well able to apply the scientific method to the
an early liking for chemistry at Dover College and       solution of the problems of industry.
entered Owens College, Manchester, at the age of            At the time of his arrival in Nottingham he was
seventeen, gaining a James Gaskell Scholarship.          45 years old; he soon gathered round him a group
He graduated with first class honours in chemistry       of research workers capable of following his leader-
in 1902, being placed at the head of the list and        ship, and another very productive period followed.
awarded the Mercer Scholarship and the Le Blanc          His paper with C. E. Coulthard and J. Marshall
medal. He then went to the Polytechnic at Zurich         (J. chem. Soc. 1930, p. 280) on 'The variation of
to study with Bamberger, and for his research work       phenol coefficients in homologous series of phenols',
there was awarded the degree of Ph.D. Basle in           arose from the work carried out in connexion with
 1904. In 1910 he was awarded the degree of D.Sc.        the now famous patent action between Sharpe and
by the University of Manchester, and in 1922 (at         Dohme Inc. and Boots Pure Drug Company Limited.
the age of 40) he became a Fellow of the Roya.l          The experience gained in the course of this case was
Society. He was awarded the Hanbury Medal of             of the greatest value to Pyman and to his company
the Pharmaceutical Society in 1936.                      in the years that followed.
   When Pyman returned to England from Zurich               Apart from his published work on the amindines,
in 1905 he worked for a short time with T. E. Thorpe     amoebicides and derivatives of harmine and har-
at the Government Laboratory, and in 1906 he was         maline, Pyman was able to make substantial contri-
appointed to the staff of the Wellcome Chemical          butions to knowledge relating to the manufacture
Works, Dartford. He followed Dr F. B. Power as           of arsphenamines, insulin, liver extract, saccharin
Director of the Wellcome Chemical Research Labo-         and potassium permanganate. When the Horti-
ratory in London in 1914, and in 1919 he became          cultural and Veterinary Research Departments of
Professor of Technological Chemistry in the Uni-         Boots Pure Drug Company Limited were formed,
versity of Manchester and Director of the Depart.        they were placed under Pyman's direction and his
ment of Applied Chemistry in the College of              inspiring influence was of the greatest value, par.
Technology.                                              ticularly during their early formative years. He
   In 1927 Pyman was appointed Head of the Re-           had always been keenly interested in gardening and
search Department of Boots Pure Drug Company             had a wide knowledge of horticultural science.
Limited in Nottingham and became a Director of              Soon after coming to Nottingham, Pyman inaugu-
the Company in 1929, which appointment he held           rated a monthly research conference to which dis-
at the time of his death.                                tinguished academic workers were invited. His own
   Pyman's work falls naturally into three periods:      academic background enabled him to realize the
   (1) Fourteen very productive years at Burroughs       importance of not interfering in any way with the
Wellcome and Company Limited, where he com-              complete independence of the academic worker, and
menced his studies on the connexion between              this conference functioned very efficiently and
chemical constitution and physiological action.          happily under his guidance.
Important papers on tropeines, isoquinoline alka-           It was characteristic of Pyman to be diffident
loids, pilocarpine and glyoxaline were published.        about expressing an opinion if he thought he was
     Biochem. 1944, 38                                                                                 19
284                                        OBITUARY NOTICE                                                 I944
short of evidence or if he considered the problem to       Opera House in Frankfurt, Borlin, Copenhagen,
be unsuitable for solution by the scientific method        Stockholm or Paris.
of approach. This attitude of mind gave all the more         Pyman was for many years a regular attender at
point to his opinions when he felt inclined to express     the Annual Meetings of the Society of Chemical
them. His dignified presence and gift of clear and         Industry, The British Medical Association and The
concise expression inspired confidence and enabled         British Association, and when these Societies held
him to put his views with great force in all circum-       their meetings in Nottingham, he was called upon
stances.                                                   to play a leading part in their functions. He did so
  Between 1927 and 1939 it was frequently neces-           very willingly because he always appreciated the
sary for Pyman to visit not only most of the countries     interdependence of academic science and industry.
in Europe but also the United States of America               He made friends easily and developed his capacity
and Canada. Wherever he went it was evident that           for friendship more and more as he grew older. All
scientists in other countries held him in the same         his friends and colleagues will remember gratefully
high regard as his colleagues at home. To be able to       the warm hospitality that he and his wife were
travel widely was a source of great satisfaction to        always ready to give, and his students and all those
him. He also enjoyed the opportunities it gave him         who worked under his guidance wiU cherish the
to indulge his taste for good music. Few things            memory of his inspiring leadership.
gave him greater pleasure than an evening at the                                                  L. ANDERSON

                      Notes on the Toxins of Egyptian Scorpions
           BY AHMED HASSAN MOHAMMJD, Biochemical Department, Faculty of Medicine,
                              Fouad I Univer8ity, Cairo
                                          (Received 9 February 1944)
This note records observations on scorpion venoms,         pentoxide. The potency of this toxin, measured as
including some details of the unpublished method           the minimal lethal dose (M.L.D;) for the rat, was
of Dr & Mrs Hassan for the' purification of the            about 25-50/ug./100 g. body weight.
toxins, and an examination of the stability and
absorption spectra of the purified products.                         PROPERTIES OF PURIFIED
    PREPARATION OF PURIFIED TOXINS                                      TOXIN PREPARATIONS
The species of scorpion used were: Buthus quinpe           In the sequel, unless otherwise stated, 'toxin' refers
8atriau8, B. leptochelys, B. acute carinatu8, B. hotten-   to a purified product prepared in the above manner.
totta minax. Stings and last segmnent of the tails         Toxin prepared as described dissolved easily in dis-
(the telsons) of scorpions were detached and dried         tilled water to give a clear solution. The following
over calcium chloride. The dried telsons were ground       properties of the toxin were observed, using an
in a mortar for about 30 min. with quartz sand,            aqueous solution containing 1 mg./ml.: Millon,
wetting with small volumes of 0.1 N-HCI. The finely        xanthoproteic and biuret reactions were positive.
ground mass was extracted with 5 x 30 ml. lots of          There was no prbcipitation on boiling or half-
0. 1 N-HCI, the liquid being separated by decanta-         saturation with ammonium sulphate. (Half-satura-
tion. The combined extracts were neutralized with          tion with ammonium sulphate did produce a small
N-NaOH, a sat. aqueous solution of picric acid             flocculent precipitate, which was non-toxic, from a
added and the liquid allowed to stand for 24 hr.           solution containing 4 mg. toxin/ml.) Toxin was
The supernatant liquid was poured off the precipi-         completely precipitated by full saturation with
 tate which had formed. This precipitate, containing       ammonium sulphate, by absolute ethanol and by
the toxin, was repeatedly extracted with 80 % (v/v)        acetone. Picric acid gave a precipitate which dis-
 acetone in water, until no more soluble picrate was       solved on heating and reappeared on cooling. The
 removed.,The toxin was then precipitated as hydro-         general behaviour was that of a proteose. Incinera-
 chloride by adding a few drops of conc. hydrochloric      tion of 20 mg. of dried toxin left no residue.
 acid and an excess of acetone to the combined 80 %           Ab8orption .pectra of toxins and veno?ni. Absorp-
 acetone extracts. The toxic precipitate was centri-        tion spectra of toxins purified as described from the
 fuged off, washed successively with dry acetone and        four species mentioned were examined, and also the
 dry ether, and kept in vacuum over phosphorus              venom from two of the species (Buthus quinque

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