Alexander Gann

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As Francois Jacob tells it, one afternoon in September 1958, just back from New York, he walked into Jacque Monod’s office at the Pasteur Institute in Paris; he believed he had something exciting to discuss. But he found an unimpressed Monod brusquely dismissive. Tired from his flight, Jacob quickly gave up and went home to bed. The next day he returned(More)
Shortly after the dawn of biochemical genetics, Escherichia coli K-12 replaced Neurospora crassa as the key model organism. With E. coli K-12 came another, even simpler, system: each bacterial cell contained a dormant virus (bacteriophage) called lambda (λ). Occasionally, the quiescent λ genome was activated to generate free phage particles. Thus it was(More)
In 1980 Mark Ptashne published a review entitled How λ repressor and Cro work followed by another, in 1988, called How eukaryotic transcriptional activators work. The bold — almost, some might feel, naïve — ambition these titles betray is unashamedly the author’s: to generate a coherent picture of how genes are switched on and off. Mark Ptashne’s approach(More)
In 1980 Mark Ptashne published a review entitled How λ repressor and Cro work followed by another, in 1988, called How eukaryotic transcriptional activators work. The bold — almost, some might feel, naïve — ambition these titles betray is unashamedly the author’s: to generate a coherent picture of how genes are switched on and off. Mark Ptashne’s approach(More)
Recently released letters shed light on the Nobel prize nominations for the discovery of the DNA double helix 60 years ago. On 31 December 1961, Francis Crick sent Jacques Monod, at Monod’s request, a nine-page account of the discovery of the structure of DNA (see D. T. Zallen Nature 425, 15; 2003). Crick laid out what was known before work on the structure(More)
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