Origin of C. elegans

David Waring dwaring at fred.fhcrc.org
Tue Aug 16 18:04:22 EST 1994

In article <32f3kf$ahd at u.cc.utah.edu> Rafa Maldonado,
Rafael at genetics.med.utah.edu writes:
> Hi netters, I hope someone out there could help me. I'm looking for the
> letter that S. Brenner wrote explaining why he shwitched to development
> in C. elegans. I have read it recently but I can't remember where, and
> I don't remember the recipient either. Any clue will be apreciated.
> Thanks in advance.


You are certainly refering to the letter he wrote to Max Perutz in 1963. 
There is an excerpt in the  "The Nematode C. elegans"  edited by Bill
Wood  and published by Cold Spring Harbor Press  or as we generally refer
to it "the worm book"

For those who have not seen it,  I will post a few sentences.  Remember
this is 1963

"Dear Max,

These notes record and extend our discussion of the possible expansion of
research activities int the Molecular Biology Laboratory

First some general remarks.  It is now widely realized that nearly all
the 'clasical' problems of molecular biology have either been solved or
will be solved in the next decade.  The entry of large numbers of
American and other biochemists into the field will ensure that all the
chemical details of replication and transcription will be elucidated. 
Because of this, I have long felt that the future of molecular biology
lies in the extension of research to other fields of biology, notably
development and the nervous system.  This is not an orignial thought
because, as you well know, many ofther molecular biologists  are thinking
in the same way...."

David Waring 
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center
dwaring at fred.fhcrc.org

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