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Seymour Benzer
François Jacob Scientist
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Seymour Benzer is also a really extraordinary person. Seymour came over for a year, quite early on, soon after I arrived at Pasteur. We were in the same lab. And for more or less a year, he arrived in the morning, said- hi! and we didn't hear from him all day. And in the evening, he would say- bye! That's all we would hear from him all day. But he was surprising. Because he's a guy who- so you talk to him, you ask him a question, no answer, he doesn't say anything. And then, four days later he comes back and he's got to the bottom of the problem. He's also very very outstanding in his own way.
Seymour Benzer, c'est un personnage aussi très extraordinaire. Alors Seymour Benzer il est venu ici pendant un an, assez tôt, très peu de temps après que j'étais arrivé à Pasteur. Et on a été dans le même labo. Et pendant un an ou à peu près, il arrivait le matin, il disait- Hi ! et on n'entend plus un mot de la journée. Et le soir, il disait- Bye !. C'est tout ce qu'on entendait de lui pendant la journée. Mais c'est un type étonnant. Parce que c'est un type, alors vous discutez avec lui, vous lui parlez d'une question, pas de réponse, il dit rien. Et puis quatre jours après il arrive et il est allé jusqu'au fond de la question. Il est très très remarquable lui dans son genre aussi.

François Jacob (1920-2013) was a French biochemist whose work has led to advances in the understanding of the ways in which genes are controlled. In 1965 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, together with Jacque Monod and André Lwoff, for his contribution to the field of biochemistry. His later work included studies on gene control and on embryogenesis. Besides the Nobel Prize, he also received the Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science for 1996 and was elected a member of the French Academy in 1996.

Listeners: Michel Morange

Michel Morange est généticien et professeur à L'Université Paris VI ainsi qu'à l'Ecole Normale Supérieure où il dirige le Centre Cavaillès d'Histoire et de Philosophie des Sciences. Après l'obtention d'une license en Biochimie ainsi que de deux Doctorats, l'un en Biochimie, l'autre en Histoire et Philosophie des Sciences, il rejoint le laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire dirigé par le Professeur François Jacob à l'Institut Pasteur. Ses principaux travaux de recherche se sont portés sur l'Histoire de la Biologie au XXème siècle, la naissance et le développement de la Biologie Moléculaire, ses transformations récentes et ses interactions avec les autres disciplines biologiques. Auteur de "La Part des Gènes" ainsi que de "Histoire de la Biologie Moléculaire", il est spécialiste de la structure, de la fonction et de l'ingénerie des protéines.

Michel Morange is a professor of Biology and Director of the Centre Cavaillès of History and Philosophy of Science at the Ecole Normale Supérieure. After having obtained a Bachelor in biochemistry and two PhDs, one in Biochemistry, the other in History and Philosophy of Science, he went on to join the research unit of Molecular Genetics headed by François Jacob, in the Department of Molecular Biology at the Pasteur Institute, Paris. Together with Olivier Bensaude, he discovered that Heat Shock Proteins are specifically expressed on the onset of the mouse zygotic genome activation. Since then he has been working on the properties of Heat Shock Proteins, their role in aggregation and on the regulation of expression of these proteins during mouse embryogenesis. He is the author of 'A History of Molecular Biology' and 'The Misunderstood Gene'.

Tags: Seymour Benzer

Duration: 49 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008