JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Picture of the biochemist Dr Sydney Brenner, born in South Africa on March 13th 1927. The petri dish in the centre contains a culture of Caenorhabditis elegans, a nematode worm whose study Brenner has made his life's work. He began research into the worm in 1963, around when the photo at upper right was taken. Since then Brenner's team of scientists has grown and grown, as has the body of knowledge which they've collected (all of which is encapsulated in the book at lower left). Already, a 'wiring diagram' of its nervous system has been drawn up (bottom), along with a map of its genes (a draft of which is at top left). The vials, at right, contain solutions of the worm's DNA.
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