Sunday, 24 November 2013

Fred Sanger, sequencing legend, passed away

As you're all no doubt already aware, Fred Sanger passed away last Tuesday.

The inventor of methods to sequence both proteins and nucleic acids (and netting himself Nobel Prizes for each), if anyone can be said to be the father of sequencing, it is him.

I'm not planning to write too much about his work here (not least because I've just written a piece on it for BioNews, which should go up tomorrow available here). I do however have to share a wonderful quote of his that I found nestled in an autobiographical piece he wrote after his second Nobel (that I think has instantly become a feature of my future presentations).

Although at the time it seemed to be a major change from proteins to nucleic acids, the concern with the basic problem of "sequencing" remained the same. And indeed this theme has been at the centre of all my research since 1943, both because of its intrinsic fascination and my conviction that a knowledge of sequences could contribute much to our understanding of living matter.

He's not wrong there.


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