was an experimental anti-organ-rejection drug produced
at the University of Minnesota. It was sold but never
approved by the FDA, so people got in lots and lots of
trouble. But the drug itself worked fine. My job kind
of started off the whole production of ALG. I went out
to the St. Paul campus where the Agricultural College
was and transported the horse blood. Yup, that was the
secret ingredient. I would make up saline solution to
replace the blood the veterinarian students took out of the horses.
I also had to sharpen the needles the veterinarian students
used to take blood. I remember one telling me the vein they
used was the size of a quarter.
I got the job because my supervisor screwed up. She
used to make up the saline and transport the blood. But
one day she made saline but forgot to put any salts in
it. In other words she allowed the veterinarians to put pure water
into the horses bloodstream. The water rushed into the
salty cells of the horse to balance out the salt
distribution and basically exploded a horse from within.
One dead horse was enough - they decided to hire a chemical type to
do this job.
For production purposes we also had 55 gallon drums of
pure naturally distilled ethanol. That's 190 proof if you are
keeping score. Sure, big shot, you could go for 200 proof
(pure ethyl alcohol) but that was most likely made using
a boiling triaziatrop of water, ethyl alcohol, and benzene. Benzene,
being a carcinogen, is bad for you. I
remember late Fridays when couple of my female coworkers would
mix themselves drinks while they were waiting for some
process stage of the ALG to spin down in the centrifuges.
I will always have the picture of these two young women, Nixie
blue surgical hair caps, blue gowns: blue booties propped
up on chairs - chilling - their potent cocktails contained
within Coke cans. I don't think I ever indulged, maybe I
was too much of a candy ass. But then again, see "Rocket Fuel".