Saturday, April 2, 2016

Dawson: first with both 'in vitro' DNA & 'in vivo' Penicillin

Because 'in vitro' research (inside glass test tubes) and 'in vivo' research (inside the body) are considered the polar opposites of each other, it is the rare scientist indeed who scores a notable first in both fields.

So consider the fact that for billions of years DNA had worked its magic solely inside the body, until 1929 when Dr Henry Dawson first put it to work inside a glass test tube (in vitro) : dawning the age of direct genetic modification.

Or that for millions of years penicillin had worked its magic solely outside the human body, until 1940 when Dr Henry Dawson first put it to work inside the human body (in vivo) : dawning the age of life-saving systemic antibiotics.

So the unknown Dawson's firsts include in vitro DNA & in vivo Penicillin

Perhaps it is true when academics explain away these breakthroughs of the relatively unknown Dawson as simply the result of just someone being lucky.

But as Dawson's competitor Sir Ernst Chain once said in dismissing his own receiving of the Nobel Prize, "no, true genius is a matter of being 'lucky', twice !"

And so let us remember the genius of the unknown (but twice lucky) Dr Dawson .....

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