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A rather ordinary person


Society for the Study of the Origin of Life
Christian de Duve Scientist
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Three years ago, or two years ago, I was invited very nicely by my friends to give a... a final lecture at a congress of the society dealing with the origin of life. They had a congress every year – now every other year. And this congress was in Mexico. It was a nice place, Oaxaca, and I gave the title, Draft of a Graft... of a Grant Application for Research on the Origin of Life [sic], because then I explained in that lecture some of these hypotheses and what kind of experiments I would do if I had a lab, if I had a grant, if I had some graduate students, if I had the equipment, and especially if I was thirty years younger.

Belgian biochemist Christian de Duve (1917-2013) was best known for his work on understanding and categorising subcellular organelles. He won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1974 for his joint discovery of lysosomes, the subcellular organelles that digest macromolecules and deal with ingested bacteria.

Listeners: Peter Newmark

Peter Newmark has recently retired as Editorial Director of BioMed Central Ltd, the Open Access journal publisher. He obtained a D. Phil. from Oxford University and was originally a research biochemist at St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical School in London, but left research to become Biology Editor and then Deputy Editor of the journal Nature. He then became Managing Director of Current Biology Ltd, where he started a series of Current Opinion journals, and was founding Editor of the journal Current Biology. Subsequently he was Editorial Director for Elsevier Science London, before joining BioMed Central Ltd.

Tags: Oaxaca, Mexico, Society for the Study of the Origin of Life

Duration: 1 minute

Date story recorded: September 2005

Date story went live: 24 January 2008