By M. García-Sancho
Sequencing is frequently associated with the Human Genome venture and celebrated achievements in regards to the DNA molecule. notwithstanding, the background of this tradition contains not just educational biology, but additionally the realm of computer-assisted details administration. The e-book uncovers this heritage, qualifying the hype and expectancies round genomics.
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Extra resources for Biology, Computing, and the History of Molecular Sequencing: From Proteins to DNA, 1945–2000
In so doing, Sanger was applying the cleaving, separation and quantification methods of analytical chemistry already used by the other members of Chibnall’s group. He was also employing, though not experimentally, the synthetic chemistry strategy of attempting to reconstruct the original molecule from the fragments’ overlaps. Sequence determination, as a distinctive form of work, also added specific features to the protein chemistry of Chibnall’s group. By incorporating new instruments into amino acid analysis – DNFB and paper chromatography – Sanger gave a new qualitative dimension to this method, which was then able to yield not only the composition of insulin, but also the sequence.
It was this identity – a stark contrast to the multi-perspective, metabolic studies of Hopkins’s – that framed the initial attempts to determine the sequence of proteins. Insulin and a new biochemical form of work 33 In a 1907 lecture, Fischer reflected on this convergence of chemistry and biology, a convergence he considered natural, citing other nineteenth-century German chemists as the precursors of this union. Germany had been – and still was at that time – a leading scientific and industrial power, not only in chemistry, but also in other disciplines.
Its publication coincided with a change of strategy in attempts to solve the coding problem. During the mid-1950s, Brenner and Crick, along From chemical degradation to biological replication 43 with other researchers, had sought to mathematically deduce the rules matching protein and DNA sequences. They adapted the methods of cryptography, a technique widely used in World War II to decipher coded enemy messages (Kay, 2000, ch. 4; Strasser, 2010, pp. ; Strasser and de Chadarevian, 2011, pp. ). However, towards the end of the decade Crick and Brenner decided to apply a markedly different technique: they produced mutations in bacteriophage viruses by submitting them to radiation and studied how alterations in their very simple DNA sequences affected the formation of proteins.
Biology, Computing, and the History of Molecular Sequencing: From Proteins to DNA, 1945–2000 by M. García-Sancho