JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Alan Coulson (born July 3rd 1943), the British biochemist who worked with Dr John Sulston to produce a map of the genes contained in the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans. Their work involved splitting DNA from the worm into fragments, each of which was inserted into a virus for storage and copying. The DNA in each of these 'volumes' was then converted into a unique pattern not unlike a supermarket bar-code. The codes were meticulously compared for overlaps and then arranged in order accordingly. The completed map, published in 1990, is currently being used in further studies aimed at actually decoding the genome or genetic blueprint of C. elegans.
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