A New Insight into Sanger’s Development of Sequencing: From Proteins to DNA, 1943–1977

  title={A New Insight into Sanger’s Development of Sequencing: From Proteins to DNA, 1943–1977},
  author={Miguel Garc{\'i}a-Sancho},
  journal={Journal of the History of Biology},
Fred Sanger, the inventor of the first protein, RNA and DNA sequencing methods, has traditionally been seen as a technical scientist, engaged in laboratory bench work and not interested at all in intellectual debates in biology. In his autobiography and commentaries by fellow researchers, he is portrayed as having a trajectory exclusively dependent on technological progress. The scarce historical scholarship on Sanger partially challenges these accounts by highlighting the importance of… 

Recasting the Local and the Global: The Three Lives of Protein Sequencing in Spanish Biomedical Research (1967–1995)

It is argued that protein sequencing had three distinct Spanish lives and was inextricably linked to the biographies of its users and suggested that the local configuration of a new scientific technique should not be sought in its similarities or idiosyncratic differences with a given ‘global’.

Making room for new faces: evolution, genomics and the growth of bioinformatics.

It is argued that historians of genomics can draw some lessons from the history of molecular biology, in part because some of the actors, concepts, and tools have made a transition between the two fields.

From metaphor to practices: The introduction of "information engineers" into the first DNA sequence database.

This paper explores the introduction of professional systems engineers and information management practices into the first centralized DNA sequence database, developed at the European Molecular

Genetic Information in the Age of DNA Sequencing

It is argued that DNA sequencing, rather than changing the meaning of genetic information, transformed the possibilities of what could be achieved with this concept and directed it to large-scale enterprises such as the Human Genome Project.

Collecting, Comparing, and Computing Sequences: The Making of Margaret O. Dayhoff’s Atlas of Protein Sequence and Structure, 1954–1965

  • B. Strasser
  • Biology
    Journal of the history of biology
  • 2010
This paper explores the historical development of collecting, comparing, and computing molecular sequences, focusing on the work of Margaret O. Dayhoff, Richard V. Eck, and Robert S. Ledley, who produced the first computer-based collection of protein sequences in 1965.

Ray Wu as Fifth Business: Deconstructing collective memory in the history of DNA sequencing.

  • Lisa Onaga
  • Biology
    Studies in history and philosophy of biological and biomedical sciences
  • 2014

An RNA Phage Lab: MS2 in Walter Fiers’ Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Ghent, from Genetic Code to Gene and Genome, 1963–1976

It is argued that RNA phages, discovered in the 1960s, were also instrumental in the making of molecular biology, and illuminates two decisive shifts in post-war biology: the emergence of molecular Biology as a discipline in the1960s in Europe and of genomics in the 1990s.

Contrasting Approaches to a Biological Problem: Paul Boyer, Peter Mitchell and the Mechanism of the ATP Synthase, 1961–1985

  • J. Prebble
  • Biology
    Journal of the history of biology
  • 2013
The correspondence between Mitchell and Boyer, both Nobel laureates, exposes their different approaches to both this enzyme and to the hypotheses of oxidative phosphorylation and illuminates a key step in the development of bioenergetics.

Bidirectional Shaping and Spaces of Convergence

It is argued that DNA databases are spaces of convergence for computing and biology that change in form, meaning, and function from the 1960s to the 2000s, and both the view of a natural marriage and of a digital shaping of biology are qualified.

From the genetic to the computer program: the historicity of 'data' and 'computation' in the investigations on the nematode worm C. elegans (1963-1998).

  • M. García-Sancho
  • Computer Science
    Studies in history and philosophy of biological and biomedical sciences
  • 2012



Proteins, enzymes, genes: the interplay of chemistry and biology

The present huge volume is a reworking and enlargement of Fruton's Molecules and life: historical essays on the interplay of chemistry and biology, bringing forward the history of physiological chemistry from the 1950s to the 1990s.

Reconceiving the Gene: Seymour Benzer's Adventures in Phage Genetics

This book relates how, between 1954 and 1961, the biologist Seymour Benzer mapped the fine structure of the rII region of the genome of the bacterial virus known as phage T4, a tipping point in mid-twentieth-century molecular biology.

Meselson, Stahl, and the Replication of DNA: A History of 'The Most Beautiful Experiment in Biology'

This book vividly reconstructs the complex route that led to the Meselson-Stahl experiment and provides an inside view of day-to-day scientific research--its unpredictability, excitement, intellectual challenge, and serendipitous windfalls, as well as its frustrations, unexpected diversions away from original plans, and chronic uncertainty.

The rise and fall of the idea of genetic information (1948-2006)

It is suggested that the concept of DNA as information reached a climax with the proposal of the Human Genome Project (HGP), but is currently facing a crisis coinciding with the questioning of the information society.

From molecular genetics to genomics : the mapping cultures of twentieth-century genetics

The Moral and the Political Economy of Human Genome Sequencing and Making Maps and Making Social Order: Governing American Genome Centers, 1988-93 are reviewed.

A History of Molecular Biology

Michel Morange’s volume wonderfully demonstrates that historical analysis can provide an effective means of understanding present-day concerns, and predicts that the integration of molecular and evolutionary biology will be a source of creative interdisciplinary interaction in the coming years.

The Philosophy and History of Molecular Biology: New Perspectives

Paradigms as Path: Pattern as Map - Classical Genetics as a Source of Non-Reductionism in Molecular Biology D. Thaler.

The Politics of Macromolecules: Molecular Biologists, Biochemists, and Rhetoric

It is shown that not until a generation later, in the 1 960s, did the scientific establishment begin to register and respond to this ongoing restructuring of the scientific order away from traditional disciplinary regimes, with their monopolies over the academic reproduction of "knowledgepower" systems and resulting social control.

The Development of the Physical Chemistry of Proteins, 1898–1940 *

  • J. T. Edsall
  • Chemistry
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
  • 1979
The physical chemistry of proteins is inseparable from the work of the analytical and structural chemists, so that what I have to say today is closely interwoven with the themes developed by the other speakers, notably with Dr. Fruton’s and Dr. Pirie's contributions.