American Phage Group

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English: The phage group (sometimes called the American Phage Group) was an informal network of biologists centered around Max Delbrück that contributed heavily to bacterial genetics and the origins of molecular biology in the mid-20th century.


Bacteriophage: a very simple model organism[edit]

Bacteriophage[edit]

Discovery of bacteriophages[edit]

Origins of the Phage Group[edit]

Influence of physical scientists in biology[edit]

Max Delbrück: a physicist-turned biologist[edit]

Salvador Luria[edit]

Started of the Phage Group[edit]

The phage group started around 1940, after Delbrück and Luria had met at a physics conference. Delbrück and Luria began a series of collaborative experiments on the patterns of infection for different strains of bacteria and bacteriophage.

Luria–Delbrück experiment (1943)[edit]

The Luria–Delbrück experiment (1943) (also called the Fluctuation Test) demonstrates that in bacteria, genetic mutations arise in the absence of selection, rather than being a response to selection.

Phage course at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (1945)[edit]

Apart from direct collaborations, the main legacy of the phage group resulted from the yearly summer phage course, starting in 1945, at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

Notable scientists associated with the Phage Group[edit]