Website Search
ID 15259

Cloning the human insulin gene, Walter Gilbert

Description:
Interviewee: Walter Gilbert. The recombinant DNA moratorium meant Gilbert had to go to England's Porton Down facility to try and isolate human insulin. He only had one chance ... (DNAi Location: Manipulation > Production > Players > Walter Gilbert > It wasn't human insulin)
Transcript:
We were trying to identify a fragment of DNA corresponding to a human insulin gene, it's actually a DNA copy of an insulin RNA, and we have a human insulin of a tumor, human tumor that makes insulin, which we thought we could take the RNA from, make a copy, identify a piece that would actually be the human insulin sequence. We could identify that by interacting that piece with a fragment of the rat insulin gene, which we already knew and use that as a tag, because the two genes have very, very similar sequences. We went through all the procedure, we run the material on what's called gel electrophoresis, moving up to a jelly-like material between glass plates, and we found what we thought was the human insulin gene. When we got back home we discovered that what we had actually isolated was the same rat insulin gene we had started with, that the gel plates we had brought, the glass plates, were contaminated with rat insulin from earlier experiments done here that had, we had actually by these very, very sensitive techniques been able to re-isolate essentially contaminant, the contaminating material rather than the material we wanted to find.
Keywords:
human insulin gene,rat insulin,porton down,gene walter,dna copy,gel electrophoresis,walter gilbert,recombinant dna,sensitive techniques,dnai,glass plates,human tumor,interviewee,rna,moratorium,fragment,genes,sequences,manipulation,england
Downloads:
Creative Commons License This work by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Related content:

15256. Producing rat insulin using recombinant DNA, Walter Gilbert
Walter Gilbert talks about his group's early success with isolating the rat insulin gene and making recombinant rat insulin.
15258. Government restrictions on working with recombinant DNA, Walter Gilbert
In the late 1970s, there was a moratorium on recombinant DNA work. Gilbert had to go to England's Porton Down facility to try and isolate human insulin.
15088. Gilbert's approach to synthesizing insulin, David Goeddel
David Goeddel talks about how another group was trying to make insulin.
15927. Isolating DNA to make human insulin
Walter Gilbert's group tried to isolate the human insulin DNA sequence using the rat insulin DNA sequence.
16117. Close but no cigar, Walter Gilbert
Walter Gilbert talks about close but no cigar.
15255. Producing human insulin using recombinant DNA, Walter Gilbert
Walter Gilbert talks about the reasons for making insulin with recombinant DNA.
15257. Trying to produce insulin using recombinant DNA, Walter Gilbert
Walter Gilbert talks about his feelings regarding the insulin project and science in general.
15087. Genentech's approach to making insulin, David Goeddel
David Goeddel was one of the first scientists Herb Boyer hired for the insulin project. Here, David Goeddel talks about Genentech's general strategy for synthesizing insulin.
15505. Synthesizing human insulin using recombinant DNA, 3D animation with no audio
Synthesizing human insulin using recombinant DNA, 3D animation with no audio
16705. Animation 34: Genes can be moved between species.
Stanley Cohen and Herbert Boyer transform bacteria with a recombinant plasmid, and Doug Hanahan studies induced transformation.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
CSHL HomeAbout CSHLResearchEducationNews & FeaturesCampus & Public EventsCareersGiving