A History of Molecular BiologyPaperback
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- Publisher: HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS
- Format: Paperback | 342 pages
- Dimensions: 152mm x 233mm x 21mm | 445g
- Publication date: 1 March 2000
- Publication City/Country: Cambridge, Mass
- ISBN 10: 0674001699
- ISBN 13: 9780674001695
- Edition: New edition
- Edition statement: New edition
- Sales rank: 1,658,858
This text is a complete but compact account for a general readership of the history of the revolution within molecular biology. The author takes us from the beginning of the 20th century convergence of molecular biology's two progenitors, genetics and biochemistry, to the perfection of gene slicing and cloning techniques in the 1980s. Drawing on the work of American, English, and French historians of science, Michel Morange describes the major discoveries - the double helix, messenger RNA, oncogenes, DNA polymerase - but also explains how and why these breakthroughs took place. The text contains mini-biographies of the founders of molecular biology: Delbruck, Watson and Crick, Monod and Jacob and Nirenberg.
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The book is fascinating and compelling. Moreover, the style of the writing gives no hint that the English version is a translation. The book is clearly written by someone intimately acquainted with the science of molecular biology and the personalities involved...Morange concludes his Introduction with the words "Whatever the value of the interpretations put forward here, this book and the historical information it contains will enable others to take us further in the understanding of the molecular revolution in biology." I wholeheartedly agree: the book is indeed a work of scholarship, which, in addition to outlining the history of an exciting period in the development of biology, includes much thought provoking comment.--K. Manchester "Endeavor "
Table of contents
Part 1 The birth of molecular biology: the roots of the new science; the one gene-one enzyme hypothesis; the chemical nature of the gene; the "phage group"; the birth of bacterial genetics; the crystallization of the tobacco misaic virus; the role of the physicists; the influence of the Rockefeller Foundation; a new world view; the role of physics. Part 2 The development of molecular biology: the discovery of the double helix; deciphering the genetic code; the discovery of messenger RNA; the French School. Part 3 The expansion of molecular biology: normal science; genetic engineering; split genes and splicing; a new molecular biology; the discovery of oncogenes; from DNA polymerase to the amplification of DNA; molecular biology in the life science. Appendix: definition of terms.