T H E   N I H    C A T A L Y S T     S E P T E M B E R  – O C T O B E R   2004


If you have a photo or other

graphic that reflects an aspect of life

(including laboratory life) or a

quotation that scientists might

appreciate that would be fit to print

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send it to us via e-mail:

<catalyst@nih.gov>; fax: 402-4303; or mail: Building 2, Room 2E26.

Also, we welcome "letters to the editor" for publication and your reactions to anything on the Catalyst pages.


In Future Issues...

IRP Research Roundup

Research Festival/Job Search

Teams for the Road

Kids' Catalyst: Tone Trek

Clanging Glasses

You’ll need: One set of three glasses (real glass–plastic doesn’t work so well–wonder why?) Another set of three glasses of similar shape, but different size Water A pencil

Fill the first glass to the top with water. Pour the water from the first glass into the second glass until they’re even. Then take the second glass and pour water into the third glass to make them even. Take one of the 1/4-full glasses and fill it all the way up. Now you have three glasses—one is full, one 1/2 full, one 1/4 full.

Now take a pencil and tap the side of the glasses. You don’t need a piano to tell that they all sound different. (If you have a music teacher around, ask them to write the notes down on the staff.)

Now it gets really interesting. Use the same method to fill the next set of glasses. They’re not the same glasses, but they still follow the same pattern. You’ll find that the difference between the first and second glasses is the same as the second and third. Do you think this will work for glasses that have a completely different shape? Give it a try. Do you think the difference will be the same or less with four glasses filled in 1/4-glass increments? What about 12?

Singing Coins (in Balloon)

You’ll need: A balloon A penny, a nickel, a dime, and a quarter

This one is really fun! Blow up your balloon, choose a coin and place it inside the balloon, and twirl. Pretty strange sound, huh? Try whirling at different speeds, and write down how the sound changes when it’s going fast or slow. Try this with the other coins, too. Does a quarter sound different from the dime? What about how inflated the balloon is? Does that change the tone?

Whistling Paper

You’ll need: Looseleaf paper (to begin) Scissors A pencil

Make a whistle out of a piece of paper. How? Get some looseleaf paper and cut a strip about six inches long and two inches wide. Fold it in half (widthwise), and in the middle of the fold poke a pencil all the way through the paper. Fold it in half again, touch the two outside flaps (but don’t smash them together), and blow through the folds. Be careful, this can be much louder than you would ever think a piece of paper could get! Try this with different size holes, different types of paper (file folders, tissue paper, index cards), and with different people.

Jennifer White


The NIH Catalyst is published bi-monthly for and by the intramural scientists at NIH. Address correspondence to Building 2, Room 2E26, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892. Ph: (301) 402-1449; fax: (301) 402-4303; e-mail: <catalyst@nih.gov>.

Michael Gottesman
Deputy Director for Intramural Research, OD

John I. Gallin
Director, Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center,
and Associate Director for Clinical Research

Lance Liotta
Chief, Laboratory of Pathology, NCI


Celia Hooper

Fran Pollner

Shauna Roberts

Aarthi Ashok
Karen Ross
Jennifer White
Myrna Zelaya-Quesada



Jorge Carrasquillo, CC
David Davies, NIDDK
Dale Graham, CIT
Hynda Kleinman, NIDCR
Elise Kohn, NCI
Susan Leitman, CC
Bernard Moss, NIAID
Michael Rogawski, NINDS
Joan Schwartz, NINDS
Gisela Storz, NICHD


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