(Brenner, Sydney) Infeld, Leopold | Albert Einstein. His Work and Its Influence on Our World

  • First edition, first printing. From the library of Nobel Prize-winning biologist Sydney Brenner, with his ownership signature and the date “25th July, 1950” on the front free endpaper.

    Sydney Brenner (1927-2019) was 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).

  • New York & London: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1950.

    Octavo. Original black cloth, title to spine gilt and publisher’s roundel to upper board in blind, grey and white patterned endpapers. With the dust jacket. Diagrams within the text. Vanguard bookseller’s ticket to the verso of the front free endpaper, pencilled price to the front flap of the jacket. Some faint white areas to the upper board. A very good copy in the price-clipped jacket with some small chips, a few light marks, and splits and toning of the spine panel.