Reflecting on Asilomar meeting, James Watson
Interviewee: James Watson. More than 25 years after the historic meeting, James Watson looks back. (DNAi Location: Manipulation > Revolution > Putting it together > James Watson looks back at Asilomar)
Now it's more than 25 years since Asilomar, and in looking back at the meeting, no one could have predicted the wonderful things that have happened since then. We had limited objectives, maybe make human insulin and understand some cancer genes. But we had no idea as to the way we were going to change society.
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James Watson recollects his feelings about the Asilomar meeting.
Synthesizing human insulin using recombinant DNA, 3D animation with no audio
Walter Gilbert talks about his group's early success with isolating the rat insulin gene and making recombinant rat insulin.
James Watson talks about what was needed to read the genetic message.
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 ...
Walter Gilbert talks about his feelings regarding the insulin project and science in general.
David Goeddel talks about how another group was trying to make insulin.
Concerned lawyer Alexander Capron talks about what was learned at Asilomar.
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.
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.