Big ideas, beautiful questions: great papers
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20 Nobel prize for Drosophila body plan Before: where does a fly body plan come from?
After: we're done here. It's successive division into bands
11 Counting 'letters' in genetic code 'words' Before: is it 3? 4? And we know nothing about implementation :-(
After: OK, which 3-letter words mean which amino acid? We're good on stop codons & degeneracy
tBio Cricket
the paper
13 How enzymes come to be This is a deep and rich review paper covering many aspects. I think the use of substrate analogs (pp. 323-4) is particularly brilliant in separating models: pre-enzymes achieve shape to become active, or are created paper
6 Molecules are 3-dimensional This is a summary, but it's pretty awesome. By counting isomers, predictions of a model of tetrahedral carbon bests one that is planar link
2 The Periodic Table A summary, but well-written and lots here

tBio exercise

12 Meselson-Stahl: semiconservative replication Everyone loves this one. But the FOUNDATION is often skipped. The key insight: how to make 'old' DNA different from 'new' DNA--and detect the difference. link
5 Mendel Mendel's excellence as an experimentalist bears highlighting. He picked peas for a reason. He thought about characters to use. He thought about strains to use. He spent 2 years establishing 'reliable' strains. paper
7 Scrambled ribonuclease Wonderful, simple experiment demonstrating that protein folding information was innate to the amino acid string.

Stryer summary

9 Crick invents tRNA This was a newsletter to colleagues in which he predicted tRNAs to resolve challenges in the question "How can nucleic caids 'mean' amino acids?"
Predicts the 20 synthetases, among other things.
25 tRNA 3rd position 'wobbling' I think the arts of 'figuring out' and 'thinking forward' are neglected in current teaching (and too often practice) of science. By looking at the filled in codon table, thinking about interactions, and knowing about basepairing, Crick proposes wobble. Too bad a Brit nailed it, or it'd be 'wiggle' Paper as .pdf
25 Whodunnit: is the genetic material DNA or protein? Choice of experimental system and the clever use of a blender to break the phage's grasp on its host combine to show that the information flows with the DNA, not the Protein. Also critical: each of these things is not like the other.

my PPT or Keynote
Video lecture