The Scientist intern Jonathan Scheff reports: Seymour Benzer, whose research into the structure and function of genes as well as the connection between genes and behavior laid the foundation of modern genetics, died on Friday, November 30, at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena. He was 86. linkurl:David Anderson,;http://www.dja.caltech.edu a colleague at the California Institute of Technology, where Benzer was a professor of neuroscience, in a statement called Benzer "a giant in science... He started an entire field, and few people can claim to have done that." In the 1950s, scientists believed genes to be indivisible units strung along the chromosome, like "beads on a string," as Benzer said in a 1991 linkurl:interview;http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechOH:OH_Benzer_S for Caltech's Oral History Project. Benzer-- inspired by Guido Pontecorvo in Glasgow--wondered if scientists considered genes indivisible simply because they couldn't observe the gene at a fine enough resolution. Benzer worked with the bacterium Escherichia coli and the T4...
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