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Jacques Monod was undoubtedly one of the most creative minds in 20th century science. His career spanned the early years of molecular biology, a "golden age" of creative thought and hypothesis-driven research. Monod's work at the Pasteur Institute was marked by an unbroken succession of great discoveries. Many of the concepts he developed are still central to modern biology, including the elegant theory of allostery, which arose from his interest in how proteins recognize chemical signals. Scientists now recognize that most mechanisms of cell signaling involve allosteric interactions, and even the prion theory rises from this concept.
A collection of personal accounts from friends and colleagues, this revised volume offers the reader a glimpse of the charismatic personality of Jacques Monod. Many aspects of his life are touched on lightly: music, sailing, philosophy, rock climbing. His skills as theoretician, experimentalist, administrator, and mentor, on the other hand, appear often and powerfully in many of these essays. Each chapter reveals the excitement and camaraderie of Monod's laboratory and the compelling fascination of the birth and development of concepts, the building of a discipline. This book enriches modern biologists, and nonscientists as well, with an understanding of defining events of the past.
Origins of Molecular Biology incorporates the complete text of Monod's Nobel Prize lecture and the complete bibliography of his scientific papers. Dozens of personal photos of Monod and his colleagues are included, with thumbnail biographies of the contributors, eminent scientists in their own right.
Hardcover, 358 pages, illustrations, index.