Nobel Prizes and the emerging virus concept

Nobel Prizes and the emerging virus concept The existence of infectious agents smaller than bacteria was demonstrated already during the 1890s. After this discovery it took more than 50 years before a resilient definition of viruses could be given. There were separate developments of knowledge concerning plant viruses, bacterial viruses and animal viruses. In the mid-1930s, Wendell Stanley at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research at Princeton described the purification and crystallization of tobacco mosaic virus. The finding of an “infectious protein” led to him receiving a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1946. In studies initiated at the end of the 1930s, bacteriophages were used as a model for replicating genes. They led to important insights into the unique characteristics of virus-cell interactions. However, an understanding of the chemical nature of animal virus particles and their mode of replication was slow in coming. Not until the early 1950s did tissue culture techniques become available, which allowed studies also of an extended number of animal viruses. This article discusses the emergence of concepts which eventually allowed a description of viruses. The unique real-time analyses of the state of knowledge provided by the Nobel Prize archives were used in the investigation. These archives remain secret for 50 years. Besides all of the underlying documents of the Prize to Stanley, comprehensive investigations made in the mid 1950s of Seymour E. Cohen, Max Delbrück, Alfred D. Hershey and Salvador D. Luria (the latter three received a Prize in Medicine in 1969) and of André Lwoff (he shared a Prize in Medicine with Francois Jacob and Jaques Monod in 1965) were reviewed. The final phase of the evolution of our understanding of the virus concept closely paralleled the eventual insight into the chemical nature of the genetic material. Understanding the principle nature of barriers to the development of new concepts is of timeless value for fostering and facilitating new discoveries in science. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archives of Virology Springer Journals

Nobel Prizes and the emerging virus concept

Loading next page...
 
/lp/springer_journal/nobel-prizes-and-the-emerging-virus-concept-bNxM8ir1EI
Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 by Springer-Verlag
Subject
Biomedicine; Infectious Diseases; Medical Microbiology ; Virology
ISSN
0304-8608
eISSN
1432-8798
D.O.I.
10.1007/s00705-008-0088-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The existence of infectious agents smaller than bacteria was demonstrated already during the 1890s. After this discovery it took more than 50 years before a resilient definition of viruses could be given. There were separate developments of knowledge concerning plant viruses, bacterial viruses and animal viruses. In the mid-1930s, Wendell Stanley at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research at Princeton described the purification and crystallization of tobacco mosaic virus. The finding of an “infectious protein” led to him receiving a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1946. In studies initiated at the end of the 1930s, bacteriophages were used as a model for replicating genes. They led to important insights into the unique characteristics of virus-cell interactions. However, an understanding of the chemical nature of animal virus particles and their mode of replication was slow in coming. Not until the early 1950s did tissue culture techniques become available, which allowed studies also of an extended number of animal viruses. This article discusses the emergence of concepts which eventually allowed a description of viruses. The unique real-time analyses of the state of knowledge provided by the Nobel Prize archives were used in the investigation. These archives remain secret for 50 years. Besides all of the underlying documents of the Prize to Stanley, comprehensive investigations made in the mid 1950s of Seymour E. Cohen, Max Delbrück, Alfred D. Hershey and Salvador D. Luria (the latter three received a Prize in Medicine in 1969) and of André Lwoff (he shared a Prize in Medicine with Francois Jacob and Jaques Monod in 1965) were reviewed. The final phase of the evolution of our understanding of the virus concept closely paralleled the eventual insight into the chemical nature of the genetic material. Understanding the principle nature of barriers to the development of new concepts is of timeless value for fostering and facilitating new discoveries in science.

Journal

Archives of VirologySpringer Journals

Published: Jun 1, 2008

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off