EXHIBITS: Secrets of the Phage

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Science  23 Sep 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5743, pp. 1971
DOI: 10.1126/science.309.5743.1971c

After scraping through his chemistry and biology classes, Salvador Luria (1912-1991) only entered medical school in his native Italy because of parental pressure and “my own lack of alternative inclinations.” Luria caught the science bug, though, and some 40 years later shared the 1969 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for pioneering work on viral genetics. The latest installment in the U.S. National Library of Medicine's Profiles in Science series looks back at his life and career. He was one of the first researchers to harness bacteriophages—viruses that attack bacteria—to probe the mechanics of inheritance. At the site, you can browse photos, letters, selections from Luria's laboratory notebooks, and other documents. For example, you'll find his breakthrough 1943 paper with biophysicist Max Delbrück that solidified the then-controversial idea that bacteria have genes.


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