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How to study development?


Thomas Hunt Morgan and Drosophila
Sydney Brenner Scientist
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Thomas Morgan was an embryologist - Thomas Hunt Morgan - who had worked at the turn of the century in many subjects and had discovered that he'd come to the end of what he could do with classical embryological techniques. And this is why in the beginning of the century he turned to genetics, because he thought that in genetics he would learn something, have a different approach to developmental biology, which he just felt had, had reached, a dead end. And of course he established drosophila as a experimental organism, and drosophila had this 50 years... growth and development and one felt, well, now one's come to the end of the genetic deviation and one must go back to the problems of biology that had been left behind, namely those of development.

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



Tags: drosophila, Thomas Hunt Morgan

Duration: 1 minute, 13 seconds

Date story recorded: April-May 1994

Date story went live: 29 September 2010