Designs for Life: Molecular Biology After World War II

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, May 30, 2002 - Medical - 423 pages
0 Reviews
Molecular biology has come to dominate our perceptions of life, health and disease. In the decades following World War II, the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge was a world-renowned center of this emerging discipline. Crick and Watson, among others, did the work that made them famous in this laboratory. Soraya de Chadarevian's important new study is the first to examine the creation and expansion of molecular biology and its place on the postwar governmental agenda through the prism of this remarkable institution.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Introduction
1
A local study
2
The postwar era
4
The making of a new science
5
Histories of molecular biology
9
Too early too late?
13
Preview
14
POSTWAR RECONSTRUCTION AND BIOPHYSICS
17
Codes maps and sequences
186
Phages in the Cavendish
195
Disciplinary moves
199
Forging links
201
A new name
206
The case for a laboratory of molecular biology
209
Council decision
216
Using the media
218

World War II and the mobilisation of British scientists
20
Active mobilisation
22
Postwar planning
28
The place of science in postwar Britain
33
Science and public display
43
New departures
48
Reconstructing life
50
The need for biophysics
52
The Randall incident
55
Molecular structure
61
War mother of all things?
69
Physics of life versus physics of death
72
War recruits
78
Biophysicists and the transformation of biology
89
Proteins crystals and computers
98
Mad pursuit
100
The Cambridge Mathematical Laboratory
107
From punched card machines to electronic computers
111
Managing data
118
Assessing efficiency
121
Setting the limits
125
A new pace of research
132
Televisual language
136
Models as research tools
139
Publishing models
146
The shape of life
151
A new science
159
BUILDING MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
161
Locating the double helix
164
The debate on the origins
166
Annus mirabilis at Cambridge
170
A cuckoos egg
172
After the double helix
179
University politics
219
Negotiations over site
225
The biologists protest
228
Molecular biology in Cambridge
232
The origins of molecular biology revisited
236
Local strategy or general trend?
245
Biophysics at Kings College London
248
Action concertee and molecular biology in France
254
Benchwork and politics
261
Laboratory cultures
264
Molecular mechanism
272
Boundary objects
279
New technologies
281
In and out of the laboratory
283
Expansion
285
A new laboratory tool
287
Exporting the worm
291
Renegotiating molecular biology
294
On the governmental agenda
300
Brain drain
304
A political role
307
Biology census
310
Biology and Cold War politics
312
Modern biology
313
A Europe of biology
324
The end of an era
336
The party is over
339
From basic to applied?
345
The monoclonal antibody scandal
353
Conclusions
363
Bibliography
367
Index
403
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 390 - From the structure of antibodies to the diversification of the immune response.

Bibliographic information