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BLACKBURN, Elizabeth Helen.

Sequence Studies on Bacteriophage FX174 DNA by Transcription....

A dissertation submitted to the University of Cambridge for examination for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

Availability: In stock

Published: Cambridge Darwin College, 1974

Stock Code: 114800

OR On display in 100 Fulham Road


The doctoral dissertation of Nobel Prize-winning molecular biologist Elizabeth Blackburn, signed by the author on the preface and with six neat manuscript annotations in her hand, including one of significant length on table 3.II. From the library of Frederick Sanger, with two small pencilled notes in his hand.
Elizabeth Blackburn completed her PhD at Cambridge under the supervision of Sanger, whose lab was then focused on the bacteriophage FX174. Bacteriophages are viruses that attack bacteria, and FX174 is a particularly small and simple species that can live in E. coli, making it ideal for genetic investigations. Only a few years after Blackburn submitted her thesis, Sanger and his team completed the first successful sequencing of a DNA genome using FX174. The same virus species was later used to prove that fully-functional DNA sequences could be synthesised in the laboratory.
Blackburn was herself awarded the Nobel Prize in 2009 for the co-discovery of the enzyme telomerase, which replenishes telomeres, the sequences at the ends of chromosomes. Telomeres protect the rest of the cell's DNA from damage, and they shorten during each cell division and as a result of certain types of chemical interactions, eventually leading to genetic mistakes. Telomerase repairs the telomeres, and while it does not naturally occur in most cell types it is present in stem cells and cancers, which reflects the telomere's connections with aging, cancer, and numerous genetic diseases.

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Tall quarto. Original black cloth, spine lettered in gilt. Photocopied typescript, text on the rectos only.


28 tipped-in photographs, 9 folding charts, and charts and diagrams in the text.


Spine rolled, a few minor scuffs and marks to cloth, small hole in cloth of spine and two tiny holes at bottom edge of front board, a very good copy.


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