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2019 - 2020 LEGISLATURE
November 22, 2019 - Introduced by Senators Risser and Olsen, cosponsored by
Representatives Allen, Tauchen, Magnafici, Anderson, Sinicki, Steffen,
Spreitzer, Subeck, Tusler and C. Taylor. Referred to Committee on Senate
SJR77,1,1 1Relating to: declaring December 10, 2019, as Howard Temin Day in Wisconsin.
SJR77,1,32 Whereas, Howard Martin Temin was born on December 10, 1934, in
3Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Annette Lehman and Henry Temin; and
SJR77,1,84 Whereas, Howard published his first scientific paper at the age of 18 before
5graduating from Swarthmore College in 1955, and he began his research as a
6graduate student in the laboratory of Professor Renato Dulbecco at the California
7Institute of Technology, where he studied animal virology and authored his doctoral
8thesis on the Rous sarcoma virus (RSV); and
SJR77,1,119 Whereas, after earning his Ph.D. in 1959, Howard developed the theory that
10RSV and other retroviruses could enter a cell and make DNA copies of themselves
11before integrating into the host genome; and
SJR77,1,1312 Whereas, in 1960, Howard accepted an assistant professorship in the McArdle
13Laboratory for Cancer Research at UW-Madison; and
1Whereas, in 1964, Howard proposed that RSV could translate its RNA into
2DNA, redirecting the reproductive activity of a cell and causing it to reproduce the
3translated DNA along with its own DNA, producing more cancer cells; and
SJR77,2,74 Whereas, Howard's theory that a virus can infect and transform cells was
5initially met with skepticism because it ran contrary to the “central dogma” of
6molecular biology proposed by Francis Crick, which held that DNA was effectively
7immune from manipulation; and
SJR77,2,118 Whereas, Howard's key discovery came in 1970, when he found that certain
9tumor viruses, now known as retroviruses, carry the enzymatic ability to reverse the
10flow of information from RNA back to DNA in a process known as reverse
11transcriptase; and
SJR77,2,1612 Whereas, in 1975, Howard, his former professor Renato Dulbecco, and David
13Baltimore won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their “discoveries
14concerning the interaction between tumor viruses and the genetic material of the
15cell,” now recognized as one of the most important discoveries in modern medicine;
SJR77,2,1917 Whereas, the discovery of reverse transcriptase led to the rapid development
18of tests for a human retrovirus and a class of drugs to combat the HIV/AIDS
19epidemic, saving an untold number of lives; and
SJR77,2,2520 Whereas, in the 1970s, Howard delivered a number of lectures in the Soviet
21Union and aided “refuseniks”—researchers who were targeted by the KGB and
22refused permission to emigrate from the Soviet Union—by providing them with gifts
23that could be resold to help support their families and giving them reprints of
24scientific journals because their access had been restricted by the Soviet
25government; and
1Whereas, Howard's tenacity, moral compass, and unwillingness to accept the
2“central dogma” of molecular biology and political threats against science and free
3thought from a totalitarian state reflected the highest credit on himself and the
4“Wisconsin Idea” that holds that education should influence people's lives beyond the
5boundary of the classroom; and
SJR77,3,76 Whereas, Howard taught and conducted research at UW-Madison until his
7death from lung cancer on February 9, 1994; and
SJR77,3,118 Whereas, since 1998, one of the two trails on the Lakeshore Path on the
9UW-Madison campus has been named after Howard, who was known to bike or walk
10the path to work every day, no matter the weather, using it for quiet contemplation
11and reflection; now, therefore, be it
SJR77,3,14 12Resolved by the senate, the assembly concurring, That in commemoration
13of the 85th anniversary of his birth, the Wisconsin Legislature hereby declares
14December 10, 2019, as Howard Temin Day in Wisconsin; and, be it further
SJR77,3,16 15Resolved, That the senate chief clerk shall provide copies of this joint
16resolution to Howard's wife, Rayla, and daughters, Miriam and Sarah.
SJR77,3,1717 (End)