Creating a Physical Biology: The Three-Man Paper and Early Molecular Biology
Phillip R. Sloan, Brandon Fogel
University of Chicago Press, Dec 15, 2011 - Science - 319 pages
In 1935 geneticist Nikolai Timoféeff-Ressovsky, radiation physicist Karl G. Zimmer, and quantum physicist Max Delbrück published “On the Nature of Gene Mutation and Gene Structure,” known subsequently as the “Three-Man Paper.” This seminal paper advanced work on the physical exploration of the structure of the gene through radiation physics and suggested ways in which physics could reveal definite information about gene structure, mutation, and action. Representing a new level of collaboration between physics and biology, it played an important role in the birth of the new field of molecular biology. The paper’s results were popularized for a wide audience in the What is Life? lectures of physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1944. Despite its historical impact on the biological sciences, the paper has remained largely inaccessible because it was only published in a short-lived German periodical. Creating a Physical Biology makes the Three Man Paper available in English for the first time. Brandon Fogel’s translation is accompanied by an introductory essay by Fogel and Phillip Sloan and a set of essays by leading historians and philosophers of biology that explore the context, contents, and subsequent influence of the paper, as well as its importance for the wider philosophical analysis of biological reductionism.
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Abir-Am alleles analysis argument assemblage of atoms atomic physics back mutations Berlin Beyler biological phenomena biologische biologists biophysics Bohr’s Cambridge causal cell chapter chemical chromosome collaboration complementarity concepts Copenhagen Crowther Demerec Dessauer discussion dose Drosophila melanogaster effect energy Erwin Schrödinger experimental experiments explanation Gaffron gene gene mutation genetics German Glocker H. J. Muller Hans Gaffron History Høffding Holweck Ibid interpretation ionization irradiation Jordan Journal K. G. Zimmer Kaiser Wilhelm Institute lecture light Max Delbrück McKaughan mechanistic Molecular Biology molecules mutability mutation process mutation rate N. V. Timoféeff-Ressovsky nature Niels Bohr organism paper Pascual Jordan Phage philosophical photosynthesis physicist physics and chemistry produced quantum mechanics radiation Rajewsky reaction reductionism reductionist Ressovsky Roll-Hansen Schrödinger Science scientific specific Strahlentherapie structure target theory target zone target-strike target-theoretical teleological temperature theoretical Timoféeff Timoféeff-Ressovsky Timoféeff-Ressovsky and Zimmer tion unit University Press volume wavelength Wohl X-rays