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Chapter 4 : A Bit of Luck
In this chapter, the author relates his experiences as Jacques assistant at the laboratory. The core of the question in those days (1948–1950) was to understand why there was an increased rate of enzyme formation upon addition of the substrate (adaptation) or a diauxic inhibition. The working hypotheses in the lab were that “many different enzymes may stem from a common precursor or pool of precursor molecules” and that the “master pattern configuration determining the specificity was not the enzyme itself but a pre-existing self-duplicating unit (the gene).” On April 11, 1949, the author and Jacques spent the day at 37№C to give birth to the “bactogène.” The results were encouraging and Jacques wrote in his notebook the theory which was the basis of the bactogène.