My Life in Science: Sydney Brenner, A Life in Science (Lives in Science)

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9780954027803: My Life in Science: Sydney Brenner, A Life in Science (Lives in Science)

... an entertaining account charts Brenner's life in his own words, offering a fascinating and intimate protrait of one of the giants of modern biology...

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About the Author:

Dr. Sydney Brenner is a distinguished Professor at the Salk Institute of Biological Studies in La Jolla, California. He also is President of the Molecular Sciences Institute, in Berkeley, California, an institute he founded to pursue interdisciplinary research in genomics, genetics and computational biology.

Dr. Brenner's contributions to science are legendary. They begin with his role in establishing the existence of messenger RNA (mRNA) in copying from DNA the genetic instructions the cell uses to make proteins. Following his work in molecular genetics, he set out to disentangle the intricate biochemistry of cellular development in an animal. He chose the nematode roundworm, C. elegans, as a model research organism in the laboratory. Former Brenner postdoctoral fellows eventually produced the complete genome of C. elegans, the first animal sequenced.

Through these and other pioneering achievements, Dr. Brenner laid the foundation for a revolution in the life sciences that we are experiencing today.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Seeing DNA ...of course the most important thing that happened then is that Jack Dunitz told me about all the developments with DNA in Cambridge because he was following it all. He told me that Francis Crick and Jim Watson had solved the structure of DNA, so we decided to go across to Cambridge to see it. This was in April of 1953.Jack and I and Leslie [Orgel] and another crystallographer went to Cambridge by car. It was a small car. It was very cold I remember, and the car wasn't heated. No one had heaters in cars then. We must have arrived in Cambridge in the late morning, at about 11am or thereabouts. We went into the Austin wing of the Cavendish Laboratory. I went in with Jack and Leslie, into this room that was lined with brick, and there on the side I can remember very clearly was this small model with plates for the bases - the original model with everything screwed together. And I could see the double helix! Francis was sitting there. This was the first time I met him and of course he couldn't stop talking. He just went on and on and on, and it was very inspiring, you see. Of course at this stage neither of the two famous Nature papers had yet appeared. The first paper was expected in a few weeks. They talked mainly about what eventually was in the second paper. Jim was at his desk in that room which I came to occupy later when I came to the Cavendish, and he was interspersing comments with Francis. So that's when I saw the DNA model for the first time, in the Cavendish, and that's when I saw that this was it. And in a flash you just knew that this was very fundamental. The curtain had been lifted and everything was now clear [as to] what to do. And I got tremendously excited by this.

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Sydney Brenner
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ISBN 10: 0954027809 ISBN 13: 9780954027803
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Sydney Brenner; Lewis Wolpert
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Sydney Brenner, Lewis Wolpert
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