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Chapter 9 : From Party-Going Chemist to Worldly Microbiologist
During the early 1960’s the author’s arrival in Boston as a scientific immigrant to work in Shattuck Laboratories led to development of his interest in microbiology. He assumed responsibility for research projects with students and also taught a laboratory course, fielding difficult questions from medical students. Later he worked on a research project on the biochemical mode of action of streptomycin was moving along, when he learnt about Wally Gilbert's work on the separation of Escherichia coli ribosomal subunits and the demonstration that transfer RNA bound to the large subunit. The author did a lot of experiments on poly U-stimulated translation in vitro, using a variety of antibiotics and radioactively labeled amino acids; and the author says that it was awesome to see the counts increase when an aminoglycoside was added. This led to the discovery of antibiotic-induced errors and the role of the 30S ribosomal subunit in the translation of messenger RNA into protein. Many of his works and achievements were due to his contacts with renowned researchers at parties.