By Jonathan Weiner
"A interesting history--. Literate and authoritative--.Marvelously exciting." --The ny instances e-book Review
Jonathan Weiner, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for The Beak of the Finch, brings his really good reporting abilities to the tale of Seymour Benzer, the Brooklyn-born maverick scientist whose learn of genetics and experiments with fruit fly genes has helped revolutionize or wisdom of the connections among DNA and behaviour either animal and human.
How a lot of our destiny is determined ahead of we're born? Which of our features is inscribed in our DNA? Weiner brings us into Benzer's Fly Rooms on the California Institute of know-how, the place Benzer, and his asssociates are within the technique of discovering solutions, usually impressive ones, to those questions. half biography, half exciting medical detective tale, Time, Love, Memory forcefully demonstrates how Benzer's reports are altering our global view--and even our lives.
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Additional info for Time, Love, Memory: A Great Biologist and His Quest for the Origins of Behavior
A guy with the flu would possibly not upward push and shine at his common hour, and he would possibly not sing within the bathe together with his general vigour, yet that doesn't suggest that his clock is damaged. It simply potential he has the flu. Rosbash was once elevating an identical objection that Benzer and his scholars had heard from the start in their venture. after they poisoned flies and located strains that acted unusual, how did they recognize they weren't simply breeding ill flies? To clone interval, Rosbash must make investments a large number of time in it. even though in precept the paintings is simple, the method of cloning a gene, checking out what protein it makes, and knowing what the protein does can take years, chewing up generations of grad scholars and postdocs. Rosbash didn't wish to clone a trivial cog in a few misplaced darkish nook of mobile metabolism. the sport used to be definitely worth the candle provided that interval used to be crucial to the clock. Rosbash placed the chances at fifty-fifty—which drove corridor up the wall. this present day whilst he speaks at conferences, Rosbash loves to inform the tale of these afternoons within the locker room. “There used to be loads of repetition,” he says. He and corridor argued an identical issues time and again, and so did the telephone men, who had lockers within the alley in the back of them. “One Monday they have been telling one another approximately their courtship adventures within the so much unfiltered phrases. I’m now not a prude or a fragile fellow, yet their tales have been severe even for my ears. i used to be embarrassed for the terrible ladies. “So there we have been conversing approximately fruit fly courtship, and there they have been speaking approximately mammalian courtship. And one of many mobile men came to visit, bare, dripping sweat, and stated, ‘You the molecular biologist? ’ ” “Yeah. ” “Well, why don’t we discover out what the gene does? ” the telephone man acknowledged impatiently. “Find out what the gene does, a good way to ultimately resolve it and don’t need to take heed to this superficial description. ” bankruptcy TWELVE Cloning an intuition without doubt the method of decipherment was once tough, yet purely via achieving it can one arrive at no matter what fact there has been to learn. —MARCEL PROUST, Time Regained the main DIRECT option to clone a fly gene is to take a needle and reduce it correct out of 1 of the large chromosomes within the fly’s salivary glands. those are chromosomes that hold additional copies of every gene: 1000s of copies aspect via part, such a lot of that in the course of the microscope each one salivary chromosome appears to be like swollen and banded, like an overweight coral snake. whilst drosophilists first stumbled on these banded chromosomes, it used to be as though they have been seeing their maps made flesh. In a fuzzy means they can make out the destinations of white, yellow, and different genes that Sturtevant had mapped on that first evening, and the bands have been with reference to the positions the place Sturtevant had mapped them. lower than the microscope, with a tiny needle and a micromanipulator to lead the needle, a talented drosophilist can easily slice out the DNA from the quarter of the large chromosome the place the gene lies. one of many pioneers of this type of cloning used to be Vincent Pirrotta, who was once then on the eu Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany.