Run for the Cure 2010

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Run for the Cure 2010
Cures for Cancer
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Lunch with James Watson today: “If I cure cancer, I should become a saint.”
Cures for Cancer
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“I started thinking like an adult from age 11. One thing my family tree had in common, we were all very ambitious.”

“Why do athletes get ALS? Exercise releases oxidants which cause neurodegeneration. Oxidants are also painkillers. This is why it hurts after you play tennis. Antioxidants increase your risk of cancer. Humans are one of only three mammals that don’t make Vitamin C. The cure for cancer might be vitamin C and vitamin K. Vitamin E is very bad.”

I asked him if he is more interested in with chemistry than genetics and the information systems of biology?

“It’s all chemistry. The structure of DNA was discovered by two people who did not know chemistry. At one point we were stuck, and a chemist, Jerry Donohue, who was a 100% American slob in blue jeans, pointed out that we had the hydrogen bonds in the wrong place. He corrected us, and we got the structure of DNA the next day. I suppose he should have shared the Nobel prize with us. You know, I never took a hard chemistry course, just the chemistry course for nurses. I was going to be a bird watcher. My Dad was an obsessive ornithologist.”

What do you think of the project by Revive & Restore to bring the passenger pigeon back from extinction?

After a brief pause and a subtle wince: “I don’t like pigeons. There’s something about the mourning dove that’s not appealing.”

On his friendship with Feynman:
“I was at Caltech from 53 to 55 and Feynman had just arrived. He did some experiments to compete with Crick and Brenner and he needed my help.”

Did Feynman have an intuition for genetics like he did for physics?

“No, he had no intuition for genetics”

“FDR and Lincoln had moral authority. Coolidge and Hoover did not. I am not so sure about Bill Clinton.”

“There are women who force you to cheat. Luckily, I am not married to one.”

“Jonas Salk died without moral authority. You have to show humility.”

“There’s an evolutionary imperative to have ideas.”

Cure Bears
Cures for Cancer
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