Chapter 9 : From Party-Going Chemist to Worldly Microbiologist

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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 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.

Citation: Daves J. 2000. From Party-Going Chemist to Worldly Microbiologist, p 66-70. In Atlas R (ed), Many Faces, Many Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818128.ch9

Key Concept Ranking

Aromatic Amino Acids
Bacterial Cell Wall
Bacterial Genetics
Messenger RNA
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Citation: Daves J. 2000. From Party-Going Chemist to Worldly Microbiologist, p 66-70. In Atlas R (ed), Many Faces, Many Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818128.ch9
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1. Jimenez, A.,, and J. Davies. 1980. Expression of transposable antibiotic resistance element in Saccharomyces. Nature 287: 869 871.
2. Berg, D. E.,, J. Davies,, B. Allet,, and J.-D. Rochaix. 1975. Transposition of R factor genes to bacteriophage I. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 72: 3628 3632.
3. Benveniste, R.,, and J. Davies. 1973. Aminoglycoside antibiotic-inactivating enzymes in actinomycetes similar to those present in clinical isolates of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 70: 2276 2280.
4. Helser, T. L.,, J. E. Davies,, and J. E. Dahlberg. 1972. Mechanism of kasugamycin resistance in Escherichia coli. Nat. New Biol. 235: 6 9.
5. Yamada, T.,, D. Tipper,, and J. Davies. 1968. Enzymatic inactivation of streptomycin by R factor-resistant Escherichia coli. Nature 219: 288 291.
6. Davies, J.,, and F. Jacob. 1968. Genetic mapping of the regulator and operator genes of the lac operon. J. Mol. Biol. 36: 413 417.
7. Davies, J.,, and B. D. Davis. 1968. Misreading of ribonucleic acid code words induced by aminoglycoside antibiotics: The effect of drug concentration. J. Biol. Chem. 243: 3312 3316.
8. Davies, J.,, D. S. Jones,, and H. G. Khorana. 1966. A further study of misreading of codons induced by streptomycin and neomycin using ribopolynucleotides containing two nucleotides in alternating sequence as templates. J. Mol. Biol. 18: 48 57.
9. Davies, J.,, W. Gilbert,, and L. Gorini. 1964. Streptomycin, suppression, and the code. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 51: 883 890.
10. Davies, J. E. 1964. Studies on the ribosomes of streptomycin-sensitive and resistant strains of Escherichia coli. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 51: 659 664.

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