Oral history of British science

Perutz, Max (Part 18 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 18: MP discusses his illness from which he suffered for many years, describes the various medical treatments and the many different doctors he saw, without success and the times he was so ill that he almost felt like resigning from the MRC. In 1955 he went to see a German research worker who was working on Folic acid. He suggested that MP stop eating bread (gluten free flour) and from that moment he recovered. Coeliac desease was discovered in Holland during the war when during shortage of bread people used flour made from ground up bulbs for children, who got better and so it was thought to be a children's disease. Later a test for this disease was discovered and MP describes the test and effect of the disease on the intestine. MP gives me copies of letters he wrote to his sister describing Nobel Prize celebrations in Stockholm. MP also spent some time in Sweden in 1951 during International Congress of Crystallography and talks about the special friendly treatment he received from the Swedes. MP also mentions meeting the Queen when she opened the MRC laboratory in Cambridge and that he was impressed by her.

  • Description

    Nobel Prize-winning molecular biologist 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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