Jacques MONOD

Family tree of Jacques MONOD

Physician

FrenchBorn Jacques Lucien MONOD

French biologist who was awarded a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1965

Born on February 09, 1910 in Paris, France , France

Died on May 31, 1976 in Paris, France

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Monad was born in Paris to an American mother from Milwaukee, Sharlie Todd MacGregor, and a Huguenot father, Lucian Monad. He attended the collège at Cannes until he was eighteen. In October of 1928 he started his studies in biology at the Sorbonne.



Monod also made important contributions to the field of enzymology with his proposed theory of allostery in 1965 with Jeffries Wyman (1901-1995) and Jean-Pierre Changeux.. His doctoral work explored the growth of bacteria on mixtures of sugars and documented the sequential utilization of two or more sugars. He coined the term diauxie to denote the frequent observations of two distinct growth phases of bacteria grown on two sugars.

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The experimental system used by Jacob and Monod was a common bacterium, E. coli, but the basic regulatory concept (described in the Lac operon article) that was discovered by Jacob and Monod is fundamental to cellular regulation for all organisms. The key idea is that E. coli does not bother to waste energy making such enzymes if there is no need to metabolize lactose, such as when other sugars like glucose are available. The type of regulation is called negative gene regulation, as the operon is inactivated by a protein complex that is removed in the presence of lactose (regulatory induction).



He was also a proponent of the view that life on earth arose by freak chemical accident and was unlikely to be duplicated even in the vast universe. "Man at last knows he is alone in the unfeeling immensity of the universe, out of which he has emerged only by chance," he wrote in 1971. He used this bleak assessment as a springboard to argue for atheism and the absurdity and pointlessness of existence. Monod believed we are merely chemical extras in a majestic but impersonal cosmic drama—an irrelevant, unintended sideshow.



Monod was not only a biologist but also a fine musician and esteemed writer on the philosophy of science. He was a political activist and chief of staff of operations for the Forces Françaises de l'Interieur during World War II. In preparation for the Allied landings, he arranged parachute drops of weapons, railroad bombings, and mail interceptions.



Jacques Monod died in 1976 and was buried in the Cimetière du Grand Jas in Cannes on the French Riviera.



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Geographical origins

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