Phage and the Origins of Molecular Biology

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John Cairns, G. S. Stent, James D. Watson
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2000 - Science - 366 pages
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This is an expanded edition of the landmark collection of 35 essays by pioneers of molecular biology that was first published in 1966 as a 60th birthday tribute to Max Delbruck. The book was hailed as "[introducing] into the literature of science, for the first time, a self-conscious historical element in which the participants in scientific discovery engage in writing their own chronicle. As such, it is an important document in the history of biology..." (Journal of History of Biology). This new edition includes Gunther Stent's obituary of Max Delbruck, two commentaries on issues raised in the book reprinted from Scientific American and Science, and a new preface in which John Cairns reflects on the book's creation and molecular biology's "age of innocence."

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About the author (2000)

James Dewey Watson James D. Watson was born on April 6, 1928. Watson was an extremely industrious student and entered the University of Chicago when he was only 15. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology four years later, and went on to earn a Ph.D. in the same subject at Indiana University. He was performing research at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, when he first learned of the biomolecular research at the Cavendish Laboratory of Cambridge University in England. Watson joined Francis Crick in this work in 1951. At the age of 25, he and colleague Crick discovered the structure of DNA, the double helix. Watson went on to become a Senior Research Fellow in Biology at the California Institute of Technology, before returning to Cambridge in 1955. The following year he moved to Harvard University, where he became Professor of Biology, a post he held until 1976. Watson and Crick won the 1962 Nobel Laureate in Medicine for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nuclear acids and its significance for information transfer in living material. In 1968, Watson published his account of the DNA discovery, "The Double Helix." The book became an international best-seller. Watson became the Director and later President of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. In 1988 he served as Director of the Human Genome Project at the National Institutes of Health, a massive project to decipher the entire genetic code of the human species. Watson has received many awards and medals for his work, along with the Nobel Prize, he has also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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