Wednesday, October 12, 2005

# Posted 6:23 AM by Patrick Belton  

GETTING HIGH REDUX: I'm off to take a tour of Novartis, one of the larger Swiss biotechnology firms, courtesy of OxBlog's Mad German Scientist correspondent. Novartis's claim to fame, among others I'm sure, is that its parent company Sandoz was the first synthesiser of LSD in 1938, churning it out as a psychiatric miracle cure from 1947 until the Establishment started using it to control the minds of British rockers and thereby rule the world. ( was I not meant to say that - yes, I'll take it right down.) Basel chemist Albert Hofmann had been looking for alkaloid derivatives, and only found out he'd made something interesting five years later when he accidentally ingested a bit of it on the workbench. History records that he did quite a bit of further investigation of his results. Just to be on the safe side.
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