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Aaron Novick and Leo Szilard
François Jacob Scientist
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Aaron Novick was one of Szilard's physics students. And when Szilard had had enough of atomic bombs and physics, he got into biology, they both got into biology. And so they did- their first work was something Monod had been doing on his side, which was a continuous growth device, you know bactogene. They called it bastostat and Monod called it bactogene but it was the same thing. And they did it independently. Szilard was incredible. He came in, sat you down, and sat opposite you with his notebook, he started asking questions, he wrote down all your answers. And a year later, he would say- that day at that time, you said this, is it still true?
Aaron Novick c'était un élève de physique de Szilard. Et quand Szilard en a eu par- dessus la tête des bombes atomiques et de la physique, il s'est mis à la biologie, ils se sont mis à la biologie tous les deux. Et alors ils ont fait- Leur premier boulot a été quelque chose que Monod faisait de son côté, qui était un appareil à croissance continue, vous savez le bactogène. Eux appelaient ça le bastostat et Monod, le bactogène mais c'était la même chose. Et ils l'avaient fait indépendamment. Il était formidable Szilard. Il arrivait, il vous prenait, il vous asseyait, il se mettait en face de vous avec son cahier, il commençait à poser des questions, il notait toutes vos réponses. Et puis un an après, il vous disait- Tel jour à telle heure, vous m'avez dit tel truc, est-ce que c'est toujours vrai ?

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 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'.

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.

Duration: 52 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008