Oral history of British science
Klug, Aaron (Part 22 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)
Talk about publications in 1985. People found Zn fingers a powerful way of using as guide - to target genes - to work out code of DNA recognition. AK first to show how to use it - to switch off deleterious gene - explains work on cancer genes. Talk about work on mouse onco-genes. AK used mouse cells with oncogene in it - using Zn fingers to switch it off.. AK published paper showing for the first time how to switch off deleterious genes. Talk about his collaborator in his work. Americans patented work. Zn fingers now 'big business'. AK explains problems arising - gene therapy -delivery of system to its target in the cell. The system is not yet practically useful - possibly more useful in switching genes on rather than off. Ultimately would be useful to switch on blood supply to heart. AK's work from 1949 - 2001 building '6-fingers' - explains this work and reasons for it and his present ideas on this work. AK decided to work on different work with Chinese post-graduate doc. On Zn fingers who can also bind RNA. Now talk back to work in 1980s when they tried to crystallise Zn fingers with RNA but failed - have now worked out system - explains how they did it - found 2 different modes in which Zn fingers recognised RNA. This will be published on Nov. 6th. AK explains why Zn was used in experiments. Story of doctor in Iraq who discovered in 1950 that certain boys don't go through puberty - reason deficiency of Zn.
Nobel Prize-winning chemist Aaron Klug in conversation about his life and work. Klug is most famous for his research into crystallographic electron microscopy.