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Inserting nematode DNA into Bacillus subtilis


A new technique to get down to the molecular basis
Sydney Brenner Scientist
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Having got to this stage of — in the early '70s — of extensive analysis of the genetics of this beast, an extensive amount of work on the biochemistry beginning, the anatomy going ahead, the development going ahead, the whole of... techniques of knocking out neurones by laser abrasion, knocking out cells by laser abrasion and having a way of studying development, one felt the ship was, was at sea but it was very unclear where it was heading. And if we want to do something more definitively, which is get down to the molecular basis, we had to have some new technique.

South African Sydney Brenner (1927-2019) was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2002. His joint discovery of messenger RNA, and, in more recent years, his development of gene cloning, sequencing and manipulation techniques along with his work for the Human Genome Project have led to his standing as a pioneer in the field of genetics and molecular biology.

Listeners: Lewis Wolpert

Lewis Wolpert is Professor of Biology as Applied to Medicine in the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology of University College, London. His research interests are in the mechanisms involved in the development of the embryo. He was originally trained as a civil engineer in South Africa but changed to research in cell biology at King's College, London in 1955. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1980 and awarded the CBE in 1990. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1999. He has presented science on both radio and TV and for five years was Chairman of the Committee for the Public Understanding of Science.



Listen to Lewis Wolpert at Web of Stories



Duration: 56 seconds

Date story recorded: April-May 1994

Date story went live: 29 September 2010