Download Ahead of the Curve: David Baltimore's Life in Science by Shane Crotty PDF

By Shane Crotty

In Fifties, Watson and Crick demonstrated a so-called "central dogma" in molecular biology: DNA makes RNA, and RNA makes proteins. although, round 1970, teams in US discovered the 1st exception of this rule. David Baltimore's and Howard Temin's groups found that RNA makes DNA! This unforeseen discovering of theirs in cancer-causing RNA viruses not just made this box up-side down, but additionally opened a brand new road known as "recombinant expertise" a decade later, for cloning genes and transfering any gene from one species to a different virtually at will. hence, Baltimore and Temin shared a Nobel prize in 1975. Baltimore's greatness prolonged past the technology. He seen this international in an "unconventional" demeanour. He married a highly-talented chinese language biologist, and protested opposed to the hugely arguable US wars in Vietnam and Iraq. He has an excellent knowledge which shall we study from this well-written biography.

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Coli to the flask, incubated it, and grew up a stock of the phage! From the air in the lab enough viruses had stuck to the letter, like microscopic burrs, to generate a new stock. Versions of this legend di¤er as to whether the young scientist sent a thankyou note back. In other variations, the young molecular biologist invites the phage discoverer to give a lecture at his university and then scrapes samples of phage o¤ the speaker’s clothing or, even more mischievously, gives him a tour of a lab and then pulls the emergency shower handle, presumably flushing phage out of his hair and clothing and onto the laboratory floor.

In contrast, the monomers of proteins are amino acids, of which there are twenty di¤erent kinds, including glycine, methionine, glutamic acid, phenylalanine, and cysteine. For comparison, consider the musical scale, consisting of eight notes that, when arranged in long sequences, can express amazing complexity and information. In this analogy, DNA has a four-note scale and protein has a twentynote scale. The larger the scale, the greater the number of possibilities that can be expressed. A protein that is twelve monomers long (or consisting of twelve “notes”) has 100 million times more possible combinations than a polymer of DNA of the same length.

David wasn’t certain that he could come, because with Ledeen’s help he had already arranged to work at the Haskins Laboratory in New York that summer. He promised to find out as soon as possible if he could get out of his commitment at Haskins. Before David left, they sat and talked for some time. Back at home Baltimore checked with Haskins, and they agreed that David would do well to take advantage of the opportunity at Cold Spring Harbor. Baltimore wrote to Streisinger of the good news. He was coming to Cold Spring Harbor.

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