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An interview with Sydney Brenner

Errol Friedberg, Professor and Chair, Department of Pathology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas interviews Sydney Brenner, winner of the 2000 Albert Lasker Special Achievement Award. Dr. Brenner is President and Director of Science at The Molecular Sciences Institute in Berkeley, California.

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Part 1: Early Education
Growing up in the "relative isolation" of South Africa, Dr. Brenner says he became a self-taught chemist until going on to university there and later to Oxford.

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Part 2: Encounter with Francis Crick
When Brenner met Jim Watson and Crick at Cambridge, he says he realized what his life's work would be. Brenner and Crick shared an office for some 20-odd years.

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Part 3: Most Rewarding Scientific Contribution
At Cambridge, Brenner cites the experiments leading to analyzing the triplet code most intellectually gratifying.

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Part 4: Transition from Prockaryotes to Higher Organisms
After the DNA structure was accepted, a period some scientists describe as an experience of anticlimax, was exciting for Brenner as he turned to the study of "real living organisms."

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Part 5: The Politics of Genetic Engineering
Brenner writes a paper for the Ashby Commission to dissuade legislation that he felt could inhibit scientific investigation.

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Part 6: The Politics of Genetic Engineering Continues
Brenner works in Britain to prevent moratorium legislation based on "fallacious biological theories."
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Complete transcript
You may also download the full transcript of all four parts of the interview as a single HTML file to print or download (42 KB), or or e-mail a plain text version of the file.

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