Wednesday 20 November 2013

RIP Fred Sanger

Fred Sanger died today aged 95. A sad day for science but one where we can remember the phenomenal impact his work has had on us all. Of course being a genomics lab makes his work all the more important, but almost everything done in biology makes use of his advances in the form of sequence data.

We don't use Sanger sequencing as much as before, nearly all the biology I'm involved in uses next-generation sequencing. But I am sure Shankar Balasubramanian, David Klenerman, Johnathan Rothberg and George Church will all be raising their glasses to one of modern sciences greats.

The Cambridge News and The Telegraph both have very good obituaries.

Goodbye Fred. I wish I'd met him!

1 comment:

  1. It is really nice to see a tribute to Sanger in a blog devoted to new trends in sequencing. In the high-tech environment of today, we sometimes forget where things come from.

    I am a historian of biology based in the University of Edinburgh (UK) and have devoted a substantial part of my academic life to investigate Sanger's career. I interviewed him and went through his laboratory notebooks, in order to attempt to explain his shift from protein to nucleic acid sequencing and from degradation to copying sequencing strategies.

    I recently published a book on the history of sequencing and the first two chapters are dedicated to Sanger:

    Please, feel free to disseminate among colleagues or libraries. I've got discount flyers if anyone is interested and could send those to you if you write to

    Congrats on the blog!

    All best,
    Miguel Garcia-Sancho (PhD)
    Department of Science, Technology and Innovation Studies
    University of Edinburgh (UK)


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