, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 367–369 | Cite as

Looking for quantum in life

Philip Sloan and Brandon Fogel (eds): Creating a physical biology: The Three-Man Paper and early molecular biology. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2011, ix+319pp, $35 HB
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Book Review

The 1935 paper “On the Nature of Gene Mutation and Gene Structure” by Drosophila geneticist Nikolai Timoféeff-Ressovsky, radiation physicist Karl Günter Zimmer, and theoretical physicist Max Delbrück (a student of the physicist Niels Bohr) has held an important place in the historiography of molecular biology. Commonly known as the “Three-Man Paper,” it has been situated at the center of the “origins” narrative in the history of molecular biology. In Phage and the Origins of Molecular Biology, the 1966 festschrift for one of the authors of the Three-Man Paper, Delbrück, some of his colleagues and disciples trace the birth of molecular biology to his attempt to discover “other laws of physics” through his study the phenomena of life and heredity: first he used biophysical methods, such as irradiation and quantum mechanics, to understand the stability of the gene; then he studied the phage, the hydrogen atom of biology, to ask fundamental questions about the nature of heredity....

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Korea Institute for Advanced StudySeoulRepublic of Korea

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