Today one of the worlds most famous living biologists, Sydney Brenner, publishes his scientific autobiography with BioMed Central (www.biomedcentral.com).
A giant of modern biology, Sydney has contributed enormously to the fields of molecular and developmental biology over the past 50 years. Famously, he identified and named 'messenger RNA', which is crucial for converting the genetic code of DNA into proteins. Later, shifting direction in his research, he pioneered the use of the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans as a model organism for developmental biology - an animal that is now the focus of work for over 1000 researchers across the globe.
My Life in Science, as the autobiography is called, offers a unique window into the world of scientific discovery. Sydney vividly takes us through intense discussions with other, world-renowned scientists, the frustration of disappointing experiments and the intense build-up to that 'Eureka!' moment. We follow him from his modest beginnings, living in his fathers shoe shop in South Africa, to the heights as director of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England and beyond.
This entertaining account captures the essence of a renowned scientist and captivating raconteur who has achieved something of a cult status within the biomedical community. His sharp wit and withering humour on the subject of the researchers lot appeared for many years in the columns of the journal Current Biology. Now, finally, we have a chance to hear his own story, in his own words.