By Shane Crotty

In Fifties, Watson and Crick demonstrated a so-called "central dogma" in molecular biology: DNA makes RNA, and RNA makes proteins. besides the fact that, round 1970, teams in US chanced on the 1st exception of this rule. David Baltimore's and Howard Temin's groups came upon 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 street referred to as "recombinant know-how" a decade later, for cloning genes and transfering any gene from one species to a different virtually at will. consequently, Baltimore and Temin shared a Nobel prize in 1975. Baltimore's greatness prolonged past the technological know-how. He seen this international in an "unconventional" demeanour. He married a highly-talented chinese language biologist, and protested opposed to the hugely debatable US wars in Vietnam and Iraq. He has an excellent knowledge which lets study from this well-written biography.

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Extra info for Ahead of the Curve: David Baltimore's Life in Science

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Luria and Delbrück were drawn to the possibilities of biology research using phage because of their amazing experimental possibilities. One milliliter of water can hold over a hundred billion phage. With those kinds of numbers, Luria s wa rt h m o r e 25 and Delbrück could study genetic events that were extremely rare, conducting experiments that were simply impossible in Drosophila or mice. The virus experiments fascinated Baltimore. Building on the Phage Group’s experimental groundwork, Albert Hershey did a series of experiments with phage at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island in 1952, with the help of his technician, Martha Chase.

He saw this as one of the weird things about being a very talented scientist. All of your most creative work was done before you reached the age of thirty. This put quite a bit of pressure on him. But he came through, he did fine. But he was very conscious of that. . David was worried about having anything to do after he was thirty. The two spent late nights arguing about a formula for success. Scientific accomplishments—any accomplishments—weren’t enough, and they wrangled over the thorny issue of great men who were unscrupulous and cruel: There was a group of men who’d become Nobel Prize winners and important political leaders, but whom we didn’t want to be like, because they hurt other people so much—they hurt the people they lived with, the people they worked with.

Once colonies of clones have developed, genetic experimentation can begin. Phage experiments are similar. The biologist makes a bacterial lawn on an agar dish and then dilutes a phage sample and plates it over the lawn. An individual phage infects an E. coli, replicates within it, kills it, and releases a hundred new viruses, which infect the surrounding E. coli. After twelve hours, the viruses replicate to a point where they have killed all of the E. coli surrounding them, leaving a plaque—a vacant spot.

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