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Chapter 1 : Asilomar: the End of the Beginning

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Asilomar: the End of the Beginning , Page 1 of 2

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Abstract:

This chapter reconstructs, from an abundant record, the story of the climactic event of the first act, the 1975 Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA Molecules. The subject needs to be viewed in the broadest context. Therefore, one has to zoom in upon it from the past, using a lens of wide angle. The briskly expanding network of basic scientists, widely scattered in universities or nonprofit laboratories, was largely self-regulating and became unified in a worldwide profession with the same objectives and intrinsic ethic. Indeed, this shared belief in the autonomy and right of internal regulation of scientific investigation became the central dramatic theme of the recombinant DNA controversy. For genetic studies, there are fundamental differences between the bacteria and most other living things. The former are termed prokaryotes because they have no cellular nucleus and the chromosomes are free in the cell juice, or cytoplasm. In bacteria, some of these genes are in circular DNA molecules, or plasmids, which are often exceptionally mobile and can transfer genes to other bacteria. Viruses are packets of genes and proteins so small they can pass through filters that capture bacteria. The most effective and continuous self-monitoring of the scientific tribes is derived from regular gatherings of the warriors and the elders to examine in depth recent performance and progress.

Citation: Fredrickson D. 2001. Asilomar: the End of the Beginning , p 1-27. In The Recombinant DNA Controversy. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818029.ch1

Key Concept Ranking

Simian virus 40
0.4488128
DNA Synthesis
0.41381553
DNA Restriction Enzymes
0.41154233
0.4488128
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