Study Guide

The Gene - "Clone or Die" (Part Three) Summary & Analysis

Siddhartha Mukherjee
This Study Guide consists of approximately 78 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Gene.
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Summary

In 1975, recombinant DNA scientist Herb Boyer was approached by venture capitalist Robert Swanson and together they founded Genentech with the goal of creating synthetic insulin to replace the inefficient and expensive contemporary practice of deriving insulin from animal innards. Insulin is a complex hormone so Boyer decided to test his methods on a simpler protein: somatostatin. In 1977, he and his team were successful in synthesizing somatostatin from scratch. They were now racing against other scientists to be the first to synthesize insulin. However, Genentech had an advantage: because they were a private company and not a university, they were exempt from federal guidelines. Furthermore, their particular methods exempted them from Asilomar restrictions. Unlike others, they were not working with human genes to try to clone insulin but were attempting to synthesize insulin from scratch. In 1978, Genentech succeeded and patented their...

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This section contains 629 words
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Buy The Gene Study Guide
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