Notes from a DNA Pioneer

Continuing the discussion from Darwin Devolves - Another Huge Advance Against Darwinism and for Intelligent Design:

You were one of the pioneers. Can you point us to some of the papers you were on? What work did you do? What was it like? Do you have pictures?

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I suspect the pictures would look like this one:

Luckily, I started (mid 1990’s) after Sanger sequencing was automated.


I was hardly a pioneer. Sequencing short stretches of DNA was pretty standard in molecular biology labs when I was in grad school. And yes, my films looked just like the one T_aquaticus posted. I remember when my department got an automated system, though some of the PIs wondered why we needed it when we had grad students.


I did Maxam-Gilbert and later, dideoxy sequencing in the mid- to late '80s. It definitely wasn’t pioneering work although at the time I started you could still almost get a Ph.D. for sequencing a gene. I might’ve been the first at the university to use the Sequenase kits: So much better than Klenow fragment polymerase. I wish I had kept a few of the X-ray films from that time. They’re almost art pieces now…


In my department the standard PhD project was find a gene, clone a gene, sequence a gene, express a gene, mutate a gene.


(Raises hand)


Klenow fragment - boy, that brings back memories.:grinning:

And racking pipette tips into empty tip boxes on Friday afternoons was fun as well…

Good times. I worked mainly with RNA so everything had to be autoclaved. Making RNAse free water was a two day project. Touch my stuff and you die.

Had to walk 10 miles by foot, to and from lab, through raging blizzards. Uphill, both ways…