Outrage over recombinant DNA, Paul Berg
Interviewee: Paul Berg. Paul Berg's student, Janet Mertz, planned an experiment that would recombine DNA from a monkey virus with DNA from a bacterium that lives in the human gut. Berg describes colleague Bob Pollack's outrage at this. (DNAi Location: Manipulation > Revolution > Players > Paul Berg > Outrage over recombinant DNA)
And she described our intent and success in creating the first recombinant and how we intended to use it. That seemed to have invoke a huge concern amongst the teacher in that course, named Bob Pollack. And Pollack told her he thought that was the most dangerous and outrageous experiment that anybody could possibly do. And shortly thereafter I got a telephone call from Bob, telling me the same thing, that he thought this was, asking me had I realized how dangerous an experiment this would be, that the idea of trying to put genes that were known to cause cancer in animals into a bacterium that inhabited the normal human intestinal tract.
paul berg video,human intestinal tract,robert pollack,monkey virus,recombinant dna,human gut,dnai,mertz,interviewee,bacterium,outrage,telephone call,manipulation,genes,colleague,cancer,animals
Renowned biologist and philosopher Robert Pollack reflects on his concern over the potential danger of Janet Mertz's experiment inserting a cancer-causing gene from a monkey virus into a bacterium that lives in humans.
Paul Berg recollects his reaction to his colleague Bob Pollack's opposition to experimentation with recombinant DNA.
Paul Berg speaks about his student Janet Mertz's experiment to make the first recombinant DNA molecule.
Paul Berg discusses the usefulness of recombinant DNA to isolate and study genes.
Paul Berg talks about why experiments with recombinant DNA set off a firestorm of controversy, including a moratorium on further experimentation with rDNA.
Paul Berg speaks about Herbert Boyer's research into the process by which an organism, such as a bacterium, can recognize and destroy foreign DNA.
Paul Berg talks about cohesive (sticky) ends and their significance in genetic engineering.
In 1974, scientists in the field of recombinant DNA drafted a letter calling upon "scientists throughout the world" to suspend certain types of studies until hazards could be assessed. Paul Berg talks about the "Moratorium Letter."
Paul Berg talks about possible dangers of recombinant DNA.
Walter Gilbert talks about his group's early success with isolating the rat insulin gene and making recombinant rat insulin.