|Taken from http://slowitaly.yourguidetoitaly.com/|
She discovered nerve growth factor, which could still have a big effect on things like Alzheimer's.
Where a scientist was still around, I made contact to get them to check out the chapter about themselves - Rosalyn Sussman Yalow( brilliant work with insulin), Jocelyn Bell Burnell(radio astronomy, discovered pulsars) and Rita Levi-Montalcini. I can't even remember how I found all these addresses, but it wasn't online - I have never regretted studying librarianship, especially the reference section! You really learn how to look things up. But I faxed to Rome and gave them a fax number which turned out to be useless, because one evening I got a call from one of the great scientist's staff, who said every time she tried to fax, someone on the other end picked up the phone and said,"Hello? Hello?" It was my friend Bart's fax/phone and not much use, it seemed. So I gave her my school's fax instead and her boss checked out my MS about herself. My publishers got in touch to ask for a photo and the chapter went into the book.
I suppose I admire her not only because of what she discovered, but because she made the most of what little she had and laid the foundations for her later work. I know about making the most of a little, but thinking of her really puts it into perspective. And she was going strong, right till the end. Sleep well, Rita - you have earned your rest!