From Virus Research to Molecular Biology: Tobacco Mosaic Virus in Germany, 1936-1956

Journal of the History of Biology 37 (2):259-301 (2004)
Abstract
In 1937, a group of researchers in Nazi Germany began investigating tobacco mosaic virus with the hope of using the virus as a model system for understanding gene behavior in higher organisms. They soon developed a creative and interdisciplinary work style and were able to continue their research in the postwar era, when they made significant contributions to the history of molecular biology. This group is significant for two major reasons. First, it provides an example of how researchers were able to produce excellent scientific research in the midst of dictatorship and war. Coupled with the group's ongoing success in postwar Germany, the German TMV investigators provide a dramatic example of how scientific communities deal with adversity as well as rapid political and social change. Second, since the researchers focused heavily on TMV, their story allows us to analyze how an experimental system other than phage contributed to the emergence of molecular biology.
Keywords Adolf Butenandt  Germany  history  molecular biology  National Socialism  tobacco mosaic virus
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1023/B:HIST.0000038206.09052.7a
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,798
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Emigration, Isolation and the Slow Start of Molecular Biology in Germany.U. Deichmann - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 33 (3):449-471.
What is a Virus? The Case of Tobacco Mosaic Disease.Ton van Helvoort - 1991 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 22 (4):557-588.
Institutionalizing Molecular Biology in Post-War Europe: A Comparative Study.J. B. - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 33 (3):515-546.
National Politics and International Trends: EMBO and the Making of Molecular Biology in Spain (1960-1975).J. M. - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 33 (3):473-487.
Reconstructing Life. Molecular Biology in Postwar Britain.S. Chadarevian - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 33 (3):431-448.
Naturalists, Molecular Biologists, and the Challenges of Molecular Evolution.Joel B. Hagen - 1999 - Journal of the History of Biology 32 (2):321 - 341.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus: Biology, Immunology and Therapy (Review).Richard Novak - 2004 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 47 (2):305-308.
Collective Phenomena and the Neglect of Molecules: A Historical Outlook on Biology.U. Deichmann - 2007 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 29 (1):83-86.
The Prion Challenge to the `Central Dogma' of Molecular Biology, 1965-1991 - Part I: Prelude to Prions.E. M. - 1999 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 30 (1):1-19.
The Role of the Virus in Origin-of-Life Theorizing.Scott Podolsky - 1996 - Journal of the History of Biology 29 (1):79 - 126.
Added to PP index
2011-05-29

Total downloads
7 ( #539,117 of 2,199,777 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #300,206 of 2,199,777 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature