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Cloning and animal experiments


Combating suffering no matter what
James Watson Scientist
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It’s hard to believe they won't be very important. Now, whether, you know, you can bring back a substantia nigra… It sounds like too tall an order, but what the [unclear] would find in biology is that things happen easier than we might have expected, so it’s not worth trying to predict. It’s just worth doing it, because the amount of money you would expend trying to see if they would work is so insignificant compared to that spent through handling the suffering that comes with the disease. So stem cells seem to be a no-brainer as far as, to me it’s a no-brainer that, in a real sense we should soon double the amount of money that goes toward disease fighting in the United States, because it’s one of the few areas where you can say the United States still has a leadership. And it will have financial consequences and, you know, people will want to come to the United States to be treated and all that. We just can't lose medicine. Whether Obama will have strong feelings after he becomes president with the realization that, my success in life has been to really not worry that I’m offending people, because I know I’m going to offend some whenever you go off the beaten track, and you have to go off the beaten track. It’s a question of whether you have friends. That if you have the proper friends you can get away with enemies, so those people who are afraid to have enemies are those people who don’t have friends.

American molecular biologist James Dewey Watson is probably best known for discovering the structure of DNA for which he was jointly awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins. His long career has seen him teaching at Harvard and Caltech, and taking over the directorship of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. From 1988 to 1992, James Watson was head of the Human Genome Project at the National Institutes of Health. His current research focuses on the study of cancer.

Listeners: Martin Raff Walter Gratzer

Martin Raff is a Canadian-born neurologist and research biologist who has made important contributions to immunology and cell development. He has a special interest in apoptosis, the phenomenon of cell death.



Listen to Martin Raff at Web of Stories



Walter Gratzer is Emeritus Professor of Biophysical Chemistry at King's College London, and was for most of his research career a member of the scientific staff of the Medical Research Council. He is the author of several books on popular science. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard and has known Jim Watson since that time

Duration: 2 minutes, 27 seconds

Date story recorded: November 2008 and October 2009

Date story went live: 18 June 2010