Oral history of British science
Klug, Aaron (Part 12 of 31). National Life Stories Collection: General
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2002-10-29, 2002-11-03, 2002-11-20, 2002-11-27
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge
Klug, Aaron, 1926-, (speaker, male)
Thompson, Katherine (speaker, female)
AK working on spherical virus at Birkbeck. In 1956 he went to the States found them working on Polio virus in solution, managed to get some, explains importance of polio virus being RNA virus. Talks about security arrangements working at Hospital of Tropical Diseases. AK explains problems of crystals in solution, changed glass container. Story of how more crystals were brought through customs! Found that silica tubes worked OK for crystals. Published a paper which made AK's reputation. In 1962 Caspar and AK published paper on physical principles of construction of virus shells. Explains importance of that - gives mathematical details. Max Perutz cautious about the results but accepted them by 1966. That put AK on the map. He developed new methods in electron microscopy. He left Birkbeck in summer 62. Some of his group moved to Cambridge earlier. He built his own x-ray diffraction set, explains why needed. Second son was born in July 1963.
Nobel Prize-winning chemist Aaron Klug in conversation about his life and work. Klug is most famous for his research into crystallographic electron microscopy.