By Istvan Hargittai

This beneficial e-book comprises 36 interviews, together with 26 with Nobel laureates. It offers a cross-section of biomedical technological know-how, a box that has been dominant in technology for the previous part century. The in-depth conversations disguise vital study components and discoveries, in addition to the roads to those discoveries, together with features of the scientists' paintings that by no means observed e-book. in addition they carry out the humanness of the well-known scientists - the reader learns approximately their backgrounds, aspirations, failings, and triumphs. The publication is illustrated with snapshots of the conversations and photographs supplied by way of the interviewees. it's a follow-up to the seriously acclaimed Candid technology: Conversations with recognized Chemists, through an identical writer.

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The final recognition that transformation was possibly a model for genetic transfer is the point. There wasn’t any model before. When you determined that DNA was the transforming principle, was it assumed that it had universal validity? The reason that you would at least assume the possibility that it was universal was because it was already known that the chromosome is where the DNA is. This suggested right away that this was a possibility. Didn’t you feel an urge to go on with this research? That’s the question that I have thought a fair amount about.

I coined the term exobiology to initiate that as a discipline. Starting in 1961, NASA offered to fund an instrumentation laboratory, which I directed at Stanford. We helped to put together the Viking mission to look for life on Mars. This required a deep analysis of what are the criteria of life, what are the most efficient methods of recognizing it, what if it’s not quite like terrestrial life, and so on. I was convinced that one common denominator would be organic molecules. I also thought that chirality would be a strong evidence of life.

Today this wouldn’t seem to be feasible. The endowment has remained more or less fixed while the institution grew enormously, mostly with the influx of federal funds. The ratio of claimants to internal resources became much larger. I still tried to protect that tradition as much as I could, and I hoped to have enough unrestricted resources while I was President that I could allocate them if I could recognize a Bruce Merrifield to at least enable him to continue. I did that; I did it imperfectly, and it became more and more difficult as time went on.

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