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The lac Operon: A Short History of a Genetic Paradigm (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 17. September 1996

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This book describes the history and present knowledge of a paradigmatic system, the lac operon of E. coli. The first part of the book presents the history of the operon and various schools of thought regarding genetic control in general. The second part presents a number of false interpretations and misconceptions and demonstrates how easily a scientist may deceive himself. The third and last part thoroughly covers the current state of knowledge of the lac operon including the importance of the auxiliary operators and discussions of several X-ray structures, one of which was published shortly before this book went into press. A unique combination of personal anecdotes and present-day science makes this book appealing to students, postdocs, active and retired researchers alike.


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Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Benno Müller-HIll and Wally Gilbert isolated the lac repressor, a type of protein that Jacob and Monod had predicted was capable of controlling the expression genes, both in metabolic pathways as well as in viruses, and perhaps in general for many genes. If you ever wondered exactly what this involved and wanted to picture the state of the art at that time this is the book to read. Along with Mark Ptashne's 'The lambda switch', this will give you the complete picture, written in an excellent style and with deep insight stemming from the pioneer himself.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.8 von 5 Sternen 4 Rezensionen
7 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A short review of a short history 15. Dezember 2000
Von Drew Endy - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
This book is like Ptashne's "Genetic switch" but more personal and at a higher scientific/intellectual level (read "Genetic Switch" first if you have no idea what it is). "The lac Operon" is annotated with many short, colourful, 'behind-the-scenes' anecdotes about the people who were (are) doing the science. These anecdotes, and other historical facts, do an outstanding job of placing the research questions of the time (the answers to which are today taken as 'self-evident truths') in context.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A staccato approach to history 10. August 2011
Von John Duncan - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
This is a strange book, but a rewarding one to dip into. Strange because in much of it there is no real narrative, but just a large number of short snippets (sometimes as short as a few lines), without much to link them together. The first part is a sort of history, and the sentences are like the book, short and simple -- "Courageously Monod decided to neglect it. It was not even mentioned. This was the right decision." I think it would be heavy going to try to read the whole book from cover to cover, but one can learn a lot by reading it in small doses.

The second part is called "Misinterpretation", and consists of a long series of snippets describing the mistakes people made, why they made them, and how the truth emerged. The author does not exempt himself from such analysis: "It is so easy to make a mistake. A certain sloppiness is inherent in all experiments. Often the effect one is looking for is minute...". The paragraph ends with an admission that the results he thought he had found were wrong: "This was embarrassing, but it was true."

The book begins and ends (with mentions from time to time in between) by lamenting the lack of interest young scientists have in the history of their subject: how did we reach where we are now? What were the crucial experiments? Why is Max Delbrück famous? This was asked to a doctoral candidate in the Max Delbrück Laboratory, who had no idea. I recently made a test of my own asking two or three doctoral candidates in France if they knew who Jacques Monod was: again, they had no idea. History is important, however, because if we have no understanding of why mistakes were made, or how things were clarified, we are not well armed against making similar mistakes in the future.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The lac Operon, a Paradigm of Beauty and Efficiency 23. Juli 1998
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
In "The lac Operon - A Short History of a Genetic Paradigm", Benno Mueller-Hill does an excellent job of describing the history, mistakes, and present-day view of the lac operon. I found it an enjoyable read. The book is written at a level that assumes the reader already knows a bit about molecular biology, and starts with "A Short History of the lac System from its Beginning to 1978". I found the middle section most interesting, where the mistaken interpretations of the lac operon are considered. This would be a very educational read for students (and post-docs and researchers) in the field. Finally, the last section discusses the current model for how the lac Operon works; this model has not made it to many of the undergraduate molecular biology / Genetics textbooks yet. Overall I was quite happy with this short book on the first bacterial operon to be characterised.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen If you see one case you've seem many ... 19. Juli 2010
Von F. G. Nobrega - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
If you want to have a good idea how a scientific discovery is made in biology, in fact in molecular genetics (how genes are turned on and off), read this book and recommend it to your graduate students. One learns, through the discussion of the relevant work, how the subject developed until a complete hypothesis is proved and accepted. Particularly interesting is the section that comments about the many papers that were published by reputable investigators but turned out to be wrong and ended up in science's vast wastebasket. This self-correcting ability of science requires social scrutiny and time.
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