Cloning the human insulin gene, Walter Gilbert
Interviewee: Walter Gilbert. The recombinant DNA moratorium meant Gilbert had to go to England's Porton Down facility to try and isolate human insulin. He only had one chance ... (DNAi Location: Manipulation > Production > Players > Walter Gilbert > It wasn't human insulin)
We were trying to identify a fragment of DNA corresponding to a human insulin gene, it's actually a DNA copy of an insulin RNA, and we have a human insulin of a tumor, human tumor that makes insulin, which we thought we could take the RNA from, make a copy, identify a piece that would actually be the human insulin sequence. We could identify that by interacting that piece with a fragment of the rat insulin gene, which we already knew and use that as a tag, because the two genes have very, very similar sequences. We went through all the procedure, we run the material on what's called gel electrophoresis, moving up to a jelly-like material between glass plates, and we found what we thought was the human insulin gene. When we got back home we discovered that what we had actually isolated was the same rat insulin gene we had started with, that the gel plates we had brought, the glass plates, were contaminated with rat insulin from earlier experiments done here that had, we had actually by these very, very sensitive techniques been able to re-isolate essentially contaminant, the contaminating material rather than the material we wanted to find.
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Walter Gilbert talks about his group's early success with isolating the rat insulin gene and making recombinant rat insulin.
In the late 1970s, there was a moratorium on recombinant DNA work. Gilbert had to go to England's Porton Down facility to try and isolate human insulin.
David Goeddel talks about how another group was trying to make insulin.
Walter Gilbert's group tried to isolate the human insulin DNA sequence using the rat insulin DNA sequence.
Walter Gilbert talks about close but no cigar.
Walter Gilbert talks about the reasons for making insulin with recombinant DNA.
Walter Gilbert talks about his feelings regarding the insulin project and science in general.
David Goeddel was one of the first scientists Herb Boyer hired for the insulin project. Here, David Goeddel talks about Genentech's general strategy for synthesizing insulin.
Synthesizing human insulin using recombinant DNA, 3D animation with no audio
Stanley Cohen and Herbert Boyer transform bacteria with a recombinant plasmid, and Doug Hanahan studies induced transformation.