Break things to move fast

Move fast, break things – Zuckerberg

an old, beautiful story where breaking things, or breaking the tasks into the smallest pieces helped move fast, or faster

“Boyer’s plan for the synthesis of insulin was almost comically simple. He did not have the gene for human insulin at hand—no one did—but he would build it from scratch using DNA chemistry, nucleotide by nucleotide, triplet upon triplet—ATG, CCC, TCC, and so forth, all the way from the first triplet code to the last. He would make one gene for the A chain, and another gene for the B chain. He would insert both the genes in bacteria and trick them into synthesising the human proteins. He would purify the two protein chains and then stitch them chemically to obtain the U-shaped molecule.”

Excerpt From: Siddhartha Mukherjee. “The Gene”.

(…) Gilbert “had for many days past, trudging through an airlock, dipping his shoes in formaldehyde on his way into the chamber in which he was obliged to conduct his experiments. Out at Genentech, we were simply synthesizing DNA and throwing it into bacteria, none of which even required compliance with the NIH guidelines.” In the world of post-Asilomar genetics, “being natural” had turned out to be a liability.”

Excerpt From: Siddhartha Mukherjee. “The Gene”.

and BTW sometimes it is an advantage a surname starting with A or B

“He had dug up a dog-eared handbook from the Asilomar meeting, made a list of important players working on gene-cloning techniques, and had started working down the list alphabetically. Berg came before Boyer—but Berg, who had no patience for opportunistic entrepreneurs making cold calls to his lab, turned Swanson down. Swanson swallowed his pride and kept going down the list. B . . . Boyer was next.”

Excerpt From: Siddhartha Mukherjee. “The Gene”.

“On October 26, 1982, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a patent to Genentech to use recombinant DNA to produce a protein such as insulin or somatostatin in a microbial organism. As one observer wrote: “effectively, the patent claimed, as an invention, [all] genetically modified microorganisms.” The Genentech patent would soon become one of the most lucrative, and most hotly disputed, patents in the history of technology.”

Excerpt From: Siddhartha Mukherjee. “The Gene”. Apple Books.


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