(Brenner, Sydney) Friedberg, Errol C.

Correcting the Blueprint of Life

  • First edition, first printing. Presentation copy inscribed from the author to Nobel Prize-winning biologist Sydney Brenner on the front free endpaper, “For Sydney Brenner, with the greatest respect & admiration for your contribution to science, Errol C. Friedberg”. 54 150

    Recipient Sydney Brenner (1927 - ) has been a leader in the field of genetics almost from the moment he received his doctorate at Oxford in 1954. He joined Francis Crick’s laboratory in 1956, and they did groundbreaking research on how DNA is decoded by cells. Brenner proposed that the nucleotides which comprise DNA (adenine, guanine, thiamine and cytosine) are read by the cell in sets of three called codons, with each codon representing an amino acid (for example, three adenines in a row is the codon for the amino acid lysine). A gene is simply a string of codons that directs the production of a protein molecule from individual amino acids. He also correctly predicted the existence of messenger RNA, the molecule that carries the genetic code from the nucleus to the ribosomes, where the translation process occurs.

    Following this work, it was Brenner’s efforts to establish a new laboratory organism for the study of genetics that led to his Nobel Prize. “Beginning in 1965, he began to lay the groundwork to make C. elegans, a small, transparent nematode, into a major model organism for genetics, neurobiology and developmental biology research. As a direct result of his original vision, this tiny worm became the first animal for which the complete cell lineage and entire neuronal wiring were known. Today, more than 1,000 investigators are studying C. elegans, and Brenner’s work was further honored when a closely related nematode was named Caenorhabditis brenneri” (Salk Institute biography).

    This volume charts the history of research on DNA repair mechanisms, a field close to that of Brenner, who appears on pages 54 and 150. Author Errol C. Friedberg was a biologist and historian of science at Stanford and the University of Texas, and a fellow South African. He is a leading figure in the study of DNA damage and repair and has made significant contributions to the scientific literature, as well as writing histories of DNA-related fields and popular books on scientific subjects.

  • ...An Historical Account of the Discovery of DNA Repair Mechanisms.

    Cold Spring Harbor: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 1997.

    Tall quarto. original blue cloth, titles to spine and upper board gilt. 9 pages of illustrations from photos. A fine copy.

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