Oral history of British science
Klug, Aaron (Part 15 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)
Analysis started 64 - 65 - 3D image reconstruction in 68 - 70. At the same time he worked on structure of tobacco mosaic virus - aim was atomic resolution - continued work from Rosalind. Solved to low resolution by 1971. He explains how to do it, specifically in tobacco mosaic virus. Ken Holmes solved it later in 1978. AK started to think how virus assembles - about RNA structure. Assembly of virus is one of his most important work - explains - explains self assembly. About building models in 58 - explanation of specificity - on molecular scale. He explains his course of thought and continuation of work. The importance of pH - explains experiment - interaction of protein with RNA. Explains solution of problem. There were a lot of disbelievers to his theory. He managed to assemble virus in 6 minutes! AK gave Harvey lecture in 1977 in New York. More detail of this work later. Roger Hart published work that virus can use any RNA but this is not true at pH 7. Aftermath: this assembly system was used to introduce foreign genes into plants. Vaccines made in plants - explains. Virus vectors! AK laid foundation for structural molecular biology. Laboratories were not departmentalised - this is different in the States. What is special at MRC-LMB lab in Cambridge - no restricted funding. AK started chromatin work.
Nobel Prize-winning chemist Aaron Klug in conversation about his life and work. Klug is most famous for his research into crystallographic electron microscopy.