Geneticist and genetic engineering pioneer Ray Wu died on February 10 of cardiac arrest. He was 79. In 1970, Wu developed a new location-specific primer-extension technique that became the first method of sequencing DNA. In the following decade, Frederick Sanger adapted the approach for faster sequencing, and received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the work in 1980. Wu's lab also devised other approaches that were used to analyze genetic sequences and to construct vectors for cloning genes, many of which remain in use. A 1985 linkurl:paper; from Wu's group describing the use of cDNA probes to analyze the evolutionary history of a gene family has been cited more than 1800 times. linkurl:Jack Szostak; of Harvard Medical School, who worked in Wu's lab a Cornell University as a grad student and postdoc between 1973 and 1979, remembered his advisor as a person who gave people in the lab the freedom...

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