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Hardcover | Out of Print | December 1977 | ISBN: 9780262160674
Paperback | $44.00 X | £32.95 | June 1980 | ISBN: 9780262660464
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A Century of DNA

A History of the Discovery of the Structure and Function of the Genetic Substance


Why did it take more than a century of research before scientists properly understood what DNA was and what it did within the cell? A Century of DNA aims to answer this question, tracing the history of DNA research across interrelated subjects, including embryology, biophysics, organic chemistry, histology, physiological chemistry, and genetics. The chapters follow a chronological sequence in the development of ideas on DNA, and incorporate biographical material on researchers involved in these discoveries. Comprehensible to the general scientific reader and to the specialist, this book is a unique look at the foundations of molecular biology.

About the Author

Franklin H. Portugal served on the scientific staff of the National Institutes of Health and was a professor at the University of Maryland University College. He is currently Clinical Associate Professor of Biology and Director of the M.S. in Biotechnology Program at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. His 1979 book, A Century of DNA (MIT Press), coauthored with Jack S. Cohen, remains in print today. He worked in Nirenberg’s lab from 1967 to 1970.


“"...a considerable contribution to the history of the subject." Nature”—
“"A major work in the history of science." The Wall Street Journal”—
“"As detailed and accurate a factual reconstruction as we are likely to be given for a generation" Human Nature”—
“"The general objective of this laudable." Science”—