Oral history of British science

Perutz, Max (Part 15 of 19). National Life Stories Collection: General

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  • Subjects

    Molecular Biology

  • Recording date

    2001-06-30, 2001-08-18, 2001-09-15, 2001-10-06, 2001-10-27, 2001-11-29, 2001-12-08

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, Cambridge, UK

  • Interviewees

    Perutz, Max, 1914-2001 (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Thompson, Katherine, (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 15: MP explains behaviour of crystals in metals and in ice and talks about experiments done in laboratory in Cambridge. His experience of work on ice crystals during war work was helpful. He now speaks about another 'sideline' of his work with cycle cell anemia - he explains the disease and its effect on patients. There is no cure but now better treatment. MP got involved because of his haemoglobin studies. explains difference of cycle cell haemoglobin and the genetic implications. By means of optical observations he discovered the difference between cycle cell blood and normal blood, a difference in growth and rigidity of crystals. He published results in letter to Nature. Paulin was not pleased about his interference. Reaons why he later gave up work on cycle cell anemia. In 1951 -during Congress of Crystallography in Paris people at Pateur Institute implied that MP faked his results. He remained discredited for many years but after 20 years Nightoff (??) proved that MP's experiments were correct. He explains why people at Pasteur Institute were wrong. By that time MP had no more time for this problem.

  • Description

    Nobel Prize-winning molecular and author Max Perutz is interviewed about his life and work. Mentor to James Watson, co-discoverer of DNA, Perutz died before this interview could be completed.

  • Related links

    Visit this interviewee's page on the 'Voices of Science' web resource

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