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Why I love pigments


My first ever research paper
Sydney Brenner Scientist
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[Q] You did do a research project in your BSc, with the manometer.

Yes, I did that, I built the machine and I also did some other things. I started to do fluorescence microscopy, which we had then; in fact, wrote a paper on this work, together with Joe Gillman and Teddy Gillman. Your first paper? I think it's my first paper.

[Q] What was the paper about?

The paper was on porphyrin fluorescence in the liver of pellagra, and I went on to study… I've got a copy of that somewhere, and…

[Q] But that must have been quite exciting.

It was very exciting, you see, and actually for me to realise… you see the porphyrins were connected with Rudolph Lemberg – that's when I learnt all about porphyrins.

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: Joseph Gillman, Theodore Gillman, Max Rudolph-Lemberg

Duration: 50 seconds

Date story recorded: April-May 1994

Date story went live: 24 January 2008