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George Beadle: An Uncommon Farmer

Biography / Memoir

By: P Berg and M Singer

383 pages, B/w photos

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press

Hardback | Aug 2003 | #150376 | ISBN: 0879696885
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £19.99 $26/€23 approx

About this book

A towering scientific figure whose work marked the transition from classical genetics to the molecular era. He won the Nobel Prize with Edward Tatun for identifying that the role of genes is to specify proteins. This is the first biography of a giant of genetics, written by two of the field's most distinguished authors.

Berg (a Nobel laureate biochemist at Stanford University) and Singer (a former president of the Carnegie Institution of Washington), are thoroughly acquainted with Beadle's work and its place in the history of genetics. Not only do they tell us a lot, both scientific and personal, about Beadle, but they set the stage by describing his associates and their work. The authors have done their homework, reading the old literature and conducting hours of interviews. The result is a full, accurate, authoritative, and balanced biography. And their writing is splendid as well... One of the delights of Berg and Singer's informative biography is their vivid portrayal of the real Beadle. Science The book tells us in detail about Beadle's two marriages, the salaries he earned (but not their equivalent values today), his journeys by ship and by train, and the fact that he succumbed to Alzheimer's disease. There is plenty here for everyone. Those interested in the history of genetics will want to read the whole book, but today's students would benefit from just a few chapters. Nature Berg and Singer's biography of Beadle is authoritative and complete, in that it covers in considerable detail both scientific and personal aspects of the life of this remarkable (in my view, almost uniquely appealing) biologist-administrator. Nature Genetics


An uncommon farmer; agriculture college at Lincoln; genetics at the quarter century; The Corn Co-operation; The Fly Group; from corn to flies; three eyed flies; becoming a professor; from flies to molds; one gene one protein; confronting the skeptics; in Morgan's footsteps; post war science and politics; genetics and the nuclear age; Oxford and the Nobel Prize; accepting a university presidency; restoring the university's eminence; the corn years; epilogue.

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