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Salvador Luria


Jim Watson
François Jacob Scientist
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Jim Watson, that's... Well, you know Jim Watson?

[Q] I know him. But I know him as Head of...

He's an extraordinary person. Actually, he's probably the one that did the most molecular biology of all the system. He's the one who dragged Crick into it. And he's the one who... as well as the human genome. He's incredible. But at the same time, he's completely crazy. When you see him, he's very surprising.

[Q] And you also said that he was the one who read his paper during... him as well since...

Yes, which meant that... that was during a conference, the Copenhagen conference that I was talking about earlier. Every time someone was making a speech he would open his paper. Which means that when he went up to do his speech, everyone took a paper out.

Jim Watson, ça c'est... Ben vous le connaissez Jim Watson ?

[Q] Je le connais. Mais je le connais comme directeur...

C'est un personnage assez extraordinaire. En fait, c'est lui qui a fait probablement le plus de biologie moléculaire de tout le système. C'est lui quand même qui a entraîné Crick là-dedans. Et c'est lui qui... Plus le génome humain, il est extraordinaire. Mais en même temps, il est complètement farfelu. Quand on le voit, il est très étonnant.

[Q] Et vous disiez aussi que c'était lui qui lisait son journal pendant... Lui aussi puisque...

Oui. Ce qui fait que... ça c'était à un colloque aussi, le colloque de Copenhague dont je vous ai parlé tout à l'heure. Chaque fois que quelqu'un faisait un laïus, il ouvrait un journal. Ce qui fait que quand lui est arrivé pour faire son laïus, tout le monde a sorti un journal.

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.

Tags: molecular biology, human genome

Duration: 57 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008