Phage and the Origins of Molecular Biology / Edition 1

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This hugely influential book, published in 1966 as a 60th birthday tribute to Max Delbr ck, is now republished in a 40th anniversary edition. In addition to the landmark collection of 35 essays by pioneers of molecular biology, this edition contains an additional essay by Sydney Brenner, one of the few influential molecular biologists of the time not to contribute to the original book. The essay contains material prepared for the original edition, but not submitted at the time, and a newly written view of the phage group seen from the perspective of someone close to, but not an intimate member of, that famous school. This new edition also retains material added to the expanded 1992 edition, including Gunther Stent's obituary of Max Delbr ck, two commentaries on issues raised in the book reprinted from Scientific American and Science, and the preface in which John Cairns reflects on the book's creation and molecular biology's age of innocence. On first publication, the book was hailed as [introducing] into the literature of science, for the first time, a self-conscious historical element in which the participants in scientific discovery engage in writing their own chronicle. As such, it is an important document in the history of biology... (Journal of History of Biology). And in another review it was described as required reading for every student of experimental biology... [who] will sense the smell and rattle of the laboratory (Bioscience). The book was a formative influence on many of today's leading scientists.

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Editorial Reviews

The Quarterly Review of Biology
There are those who cherish first editions, but the centennial edition, which contains everything in earlier versions, has a bonus beyond the inclusion of the gallery of photographs — it is cheaper than most of its well-worn predecessors. I heartily recommend the book to those who have never read these personal narratives of the early days of microbial genetics. All can benefit and learn from Phage and the Origins of Molecular Biology. Molecular biology is not dead! Long live the phage!
This 1992 expanded edition festschrift (for eminent molecular biologist Max Delbruck--1906-1981) comprises a reprint of the original 1966 edition with the addition of a new preface and three chapters previously published in Scientific American, Science, and Genetics, respectively. The essays discuss significant mileposts in the field over a 30-year period. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780879698003
  • Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
  • Publication date: 10/2/2007
  • Edition description: Anniversar
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents

I Origins of Molecular Biology
Introduction: Waiting for the Paradox 3
A Physicist Looks at Biology 9
Biochemical Genetics: Some Recollections 23
The Target Theory 33
High Energy Phosphate Bonds: Optional or Obligatory? 43
II The Phage Renaissance
Bacteriophage: One-Step Growth 53
Electron Microscopy of Phages 63
The Eclipse in the Bacteriophage Life Cycle 79
The Prophage and I 88
The Injection of DNA into Cells by Phage 100
Transfer of Parental Material to Progeny 109
Electron Microscopy of Developing Bacteriophage 116
III Phage Genetics
Phenotypic Mixing 133
Mating Theory 142
On the Physical Basis of Genetic Structure in Bacteriophage 150
Adventures in the rII Region 157
Conditional Lethals 166
IV Bacterial Genetics
Mutations of Bacteria and of Bacteriophage 173
Gene, Transforming Principle, and DNA 180
Sexual Differentiation in Bacteria 201
Bacterial Conjugation 216
Story and Structure of the [lambda] Transducing Phage 226
Growing Up in the Phage Group 239
Demonstration of the Semiconservative Mode of DNA Duplication 246
The Autoradiography of DNA 252
[Phi][chi]: Multum in Parvo 258
The Relation between Nuclear and Cellular Division in Escherichia coli 265
VI Ramifications of Molecular Biology
The Mammalian Cell 275
The Plaque Technique and the Development of Quantitative Animal Virology 287
Quantitative Tumor Virology 292
The Natural Selection Theory of Antibody Formation; Ten Years Later 301
Cybernetics of the Insect Optomotor Response 313
Terminal Redundancy, or All's Well that Ends Well 335
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