Oral history of British science

Klug, Aaron (Part 20 of 31). National Life Stories Collection: General

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  • Subjects

    Biophysics; Chemistry

  • Recording date

    2002-10-29, 2002-11-03, 2002-11-20, 2002-11-27

  • Recording locations

    MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge

  • Interviewees

    Klug, Aaron, 1926-, (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Thompson, Katherine (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    AK talks about solving the structure of nucleosomes to low resolution. It was later learned from high resolution studies that 'tails' of histones stuck out beyond nucleosomes and what that meant. AK gave up on chromosome structure in 1982 when he got the Nobel Prize. The official title of the prize: 'For development of crystallographic electron microscopy and elucidation of the structure of nucleic acid protein complexes of biological importance'. AK explains the meaning of title. The work took 10-12 years. AK left work on t-RNA due to competition from USA. He got Nobel Prize undivided.. He explains why he was not totally surprised getting the prize but then talks in detail on how he was informed about it, how he reacted, the Champagne celebrations in the laboratory. Other stories about Nobel Prize distribution, and the mistakes made here when inventions were not patented. AK now sees to it that it does not happen any more. More about receiving the Nobel Prize - on 10th December - the celebrations, was joined by all his family. But AK did not become professional 'laureate' - he started to work on a new problem from which he discovered Zn fingers and explains about this work Back to Sweden, AK talks about his Nobel speech and mentions others who got prize at the same time. Amusing incident of South American prize winner who brought troupe of dancers from Colombia for celebrations.

  • Description

    Nobel Prize-winning chemist Aaron Klug in conversation about his life and work. Klug is most famous for his research into crystallographic electron microscopy.

  • Related links

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

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