A History of Molecular Biology

A History of Molecular Biology


By (author) Michel Morange, Translated by Matthew Cobb

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  • Format: Hardback | 342 pages
  • Dimensions: 165mm x 243mm x 27mm | 697g
  • Publication date: 30 June 1998
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge, Mass
  • ISBN 10: 0674398556
  • ISBN 13: 9780674398559

Product description

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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Review quote

Now, however, we have available in English a balanced, scholarly, and manageable survey of the history of molecular biology by Michel Morange, an author well-qualified to provide such a general history...His well-balanced account gives a very readable survey of this complex history, which should be useful to scientists, historians, and especially the general reader, as a point from which to view this important field of current science.--William C. Summers "Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences "

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.