Science: Cortisone Jackpot?

Scarce and expensive drugs are the potential jackpot payoffs of pharmaceutical chemistry. Right now one of the most valuable is the steroid hormone, cortisone, which sells at wholesale for $23 a gram. Reason: under present commercial methods, it takes the bile from 1,000 tons of cattle to make a month's supply of cortisone for a single arthritis patient.

In the great chemists' drive to synthesize cortisone, some researchers start at the beginning with simple ingredients (TIME, May 7), others are trying to make the magic drug out of complex vegetable substances, which contain the building blocks of cortisone.

Chemical Trick. Some hormones are...

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