Building on scientific discovery, Eric Lander

Interviewee: Eric Lander. Eric Lander talks about building on scientific discovery.

Each new fundamental discovery about life gives rise to a set of tools to use in the lab to make more discoveries. So understanding the structure of DNA suggests how it replicates, and then isolating the polymerases that copy DNA, well once you've got those polymerases in hand they're not just the fundamental understanding about how life copies DNA, they give you the ability to copy DNA. So you can do things for example like DNA sequencing. Once you understand how DNA is propagated in a bacterial cell with little vectors, you can use those vectors to do cloning. Once you understand how bacteria defend themselves against viruses by chopping things up with restriction enzymes, you can use those restriction enzymes. Once you understand how the body uses its immune system to make antibodies, you can make antibodies, monoclonal antibodies, to recognize proteins, etc., etc., etc.

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