Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Sydney Brenner (born 1927 January 13) is a British biologist active in the United States. Born in Germiston, South Africa, he made seminal contributions to the emerging field of molecular biology in the 1960s, notably in the elucidation of the triplet code of protein translation through the Crick, Brenner et al. experiment of 1961, which discovered frameshift mutations. This insight provided early elucidation of the genetic code.
Brenner then turned his sights on establishing Caenorhabditis elegans as a model organism for the investigation of animal development including neural development. Brenner chose this 1 millimeter-long soil roundworm mainly because it is simple, is easy to grow in bulk populations, and turned out be quite convenient for genetic analysis. The title of his Nobel lecture on December 2002, "Nature's Gift to Science" (which can be downloaded from ), is an homage to this modest nematode, and he considered that having chosen the right organism turned out to be as important as having addressed the right problems to work on.
Brenner founded the Molecular Sciences Institute and is currently associated with the Salk Institute. Known for his penetrating scientific insight and acerbic wit, Brenner has for many years penned a regular column ("Loose Ends") in the journal Current Biology.
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