Medicine: X-Ray Martyr

In a ramshackle Chicago laboratory, an earnest, imaginative young scientist named Emil Grubbe gazed at the greenish glow coming from a Crookes vacuum tube he had made. He put his left hand on the tube. It was warm. Grubbe (pronounced Grew-bay) was satisfied that the tube (useful only in scientific experiments) was working right. By summer's end, a severe skin irritation appeared on Grubbe's left hand. Dermatologists had no idea what it was. Then Grubbe heard that, from similar tubes, Wilhelm Konrad Roentgen had generated a new and mysterious form of radiation—X rays. "I knew then that I had been burned...