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DNA Pioneer Frederick Sanger Dies Aged 95 - 03/12/2013
 
The British scientist who helped work out how to sequence DNA and paved the way for the modern revolution in the understanding of genetics, has died
 
Frederick Sanger, a biochemist who worked at the Medical Research Council's Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge until his retirement in 1983, was 95 (The Guardian, Wednesday 20 November 2013).
 
A point of interest is that Fred Sanger, before his career really took off on the study of the action of insulin had some work that paralleled what Frank Wokes and Lester Smith were doing on biosynthesis of potatoes and other matters that required coaching in biochemistry, mathematics and physical chemistry and engaged the biochemists at the Vegetarian Society Nutrition Research Centre working on vitamin B12. There was, at the time, a fellowship of Quakers and Fred Sanger was one of them; he was a CO (conscientious Objector) in World War II. They were interested in the scope of plant proteins and launched the journal Plant Foods for Human Nutrition.
 
Subsequently, the group were interested in the potential of plant foods avoiding production of animal protein. One wonders how far science would have changed if Fred Sanger had been caught up in WWII and his great advances hadn’t been won.
 
In those days, vegetarian meant a complete vegetarian (or vegan). The word was redefined a good deal later and led to the words vegetarian and vegan.
 
 
 
 

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