quote by Erwin Chargaff

Molecular biology is essentially the practice of biochemistry without a license.

— Erwin Chargaff

Reckoning Molecular quotations

Cheetah genes cooperate with cheetah genes but not with camel genes, and vice versa. This is not because cheetah genes, even in the most poetic sense, see any virtue in the preservation of the cheetah species. They are not working to save the cheetah from extinction like some molecular World Wildlife Fund.

Life is movement. Movement is change. Every time a sub molecular particle swings through time and space, something is changing. Change, therefore, is inevitable. It is the nature of life itself. The trick in life is not to try to avoid change, but to create change. Then it is the kind of change you choose.

There are living systems; there is no'living matter'.

By then, I was making the slow transition from classical biochemistry to molecular biology and becoming increasingly preoccupied with how genes act and how proteins are made.


There is no publication in the scientific literature - in prestigious journals, specialty journals, or books - that describes how molecular evolution of any real, complex biochemical system either did occur or even might have occurred.

In your letter you apply the word imponderable to a molecule.

Don't do that again. It may also be worth knowing that the aether cannot be molecular. If it were, it would be a gas, and a pint of it would have the same properties as regards heat, etc., as a pint of air, except that it would not be so heavy.

I was a close observer of the developments in molecular biology.

One can say, looking at the papers in this symposium, that the elucidation of the genetic code is indeed a great achievement. It is, in a sense, the key to molecular biology because it shows how the great polymer languages, the nucleic acid language and the protein language, are linked together.

Basically, the body does have a vast amount of inbuilt anti-ageing machinery;

it's just not 100% comprehensive, so it allows a small number of different types of molecular and cellular damage to happen and accumulate.


The language of God is not English or Latin; the language of God is cellular and molecular.

I think that the formation of [DNA's] structure by Watson and Crick may turn out to be the greatest developments in the field of molecular genetics in recent years.

Owing to the difficulty of dealing with substances of high molecular weight we are still a long way from having determined the chemical characteristics and the constitution of proteins, which are regarded as the principal con-stituents of living organisms.

Give us detailed, testable, mechanistic accounts for the origin of life, the origin of the genetic code, the origin of ubiquitous bio macromolecules and assemblages like the ribosome, and the origin of molecular machines like the bacterial flagellum, and intelligent design will die a quick and painless death.

Now we see evolutionary trends in a variety of areas ranging from atomic and molecular physics through fluid mechanics, chemistry and biology to large scale systems of relevance in environmental and economic sciences


The hierarchy of relations, from the molecular structure of carbon to the equilibrium of the species and ecological whole, will perhaps be the leading idea of the future.

The evidence for evolution pours in, not only from geology, paleontology, biogeography, and anatomy, but of course from molecular biology and every other branch of the life sciences.

Molecular genetics can show off some surprising relationships like, for example, the close relationship of whales to hippopotamuses, which I think nobody ever guessed until molecular data was looked at. The closest relatives of whales are hippopotamuses, even closer than any other cloven-hoofed animals.

The blooming of a flower is, in my mind, not a miracle.

It's something that we can understand on the basis of molecular biology these days.

Classical cooking and molecular gastronomy should remain separate.

..you can mix two styles and get fusion; any more and you just get confusion.


I believe that at the moment of death, that the soul is released in a molecular form, that actually goes into the - the fabric of the universe, the structure of hydrogen and nitrogen and oxygen because we're electrically - we're galvanic, we're electrochemical.

I can see no practical application of molecular biology to human affairs.

.. DNA is a tangled mass of linear molecules in which the informational content is quite inaccessible.

Chemistry dissolves the goddess in the alembic, Venus, the white queen, the universal matrix, Down to the molecular hexagons and carbon-chains.

The major credit I think Jim and I deserve is for selecting the right problem and sticking to it. It's true that by blundering about we stumbled on gold, but the fact remains that we were looking for gold.

These days vampires gravitated toward particle accelerators, projects to decode the genome, and molecular biology. Once they had flocked to alchemy, anatomy, and electricity. If it went bang, involved blood, or promised to unlock the secrets of the universe, there was sure to be a vampire around.


Molecular genetics, our latest wonder, has taught us to spell out the connectivity of the tree of life in such palpable detail that we may say in plain words, "This riddle of life has been solved."

However, it required some years before the scientific community in general accepted that flexibility and disorder are very relevant molecular properties also in other systems.

You do not die all at once. Some tissues live on for minutes, even hours, giving still their little cellular shrieks, molecular echoes of the agony of the whole corpus.

Heat energy of uniform temperature [is] the ultimate fate of all energy.

The power of sunlight and coal, electric power, water power, winds and tides do the work of the world, and in the end all unite to hasten the merry molecular dance.

Few scientists acquainted with the chemistry of biological systems at the molecular level can avoid being inspired.


Who we can be begins with our molecular blueprints - a series of alien codes penned in invisibly small strings of acids - well before we have anything to do with it. We are a product of our inaccessible, microscopic history.

Our own genomes carry the story of evolution, written in DNA, the language of molecular genetics, and the narrative is unmistakable.

Ideas are like matter, infinitely divisible.

It is not given to us to get down so to speak to their final atoms, but to their molecular groupings-the way is never ending and the progress infinitely delightful and profitable.

In fact a favourite problem of Tyndall is-Given the molecular forces in a mutton chop, deduce Hamlet or Faust therefrom. He is confident that the Physics of the Future will solve this easily.

Molecular collision dynamics has been a wonderful area of research for all practitioners. This is especially true for those who were following the footsteps of pioneers and leaders of the field twenty years ago.

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