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

By Shane Crotty

In Fifties, Watson and Crick demonstrated a so-called "central dogma" in molecular biology: DNA makes RNA, and RNA makes proteins. even though, 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 in addition opened a brand new street referred to as "recombinant expertise" a decade later, for cloning genes and transfering any gene from one species to a different nearly at will. hence, Baltimore and Temin shared a Nobel prize in 1975. Baltimore's greatness prolonged past the technological know-how. He considered this global 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 a great knowledge which lets examine from this well-written biography.

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He was happily surprised by the answer. “The only way to do research was on government money: could I really make a life spending the government’s money to indulge my habit? As I looked to the feedback coming from the outside world in the early 1960s, the answer was a resounding yes. . ” Franklin’s laboratory consisted of Franklin himself, a technician, and Baltimore, all carefully pulling viruses apart, handling up to a trillion viruses a day. O‹cially, Franklin worked for Igor Tamm, the full professor who ran the animal virology laboratory.

Somehow, the dead smooth bacteria had turned the rough bacteria into dangerous smooth bacteria! This change was caused by an unknown chemical or molecule, which they called “the transforming principle,” that the rough bacteria acquired from the debris of the dead smooth bacteria. The transforming principle molecule, whatever it was, must be the hereditary material. Oswald Avery, working at the Rockefeller Institute in the early 1940s, searched for it. Avery and his colleagues Colin MacLeod and MacLyn McCarty performed a series of experiments in 1943 and 1944 in which they took batches of killed smooth pneumococcus bacteria, which they knew contained the transforming principle molecule, and tried to purify di¤erent types of molecules from them.

Darnell didn’t think he could use Baltimore, so he turned him down. Baltimore was mortified. Darnell’s rejection meant that he couldn’t do animal virology at MIT. Fortunately, Richard Franklin was interested by Baltimore’s curiosity and intelligence from their daily interactions at the lab bench. The two hit it o¤, and Franklin told Baltimore that he could join his animal virology lab at the Rockefeller Institute in Manhattan. ” When Baltimore returned to MIT in August he told Luria all that had transpired; he wanted to transfer to Rockefeller.

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