Journal of Genetics

, 75:19 | Cite as

Always an eccentric?: A brief biography of Motoo Kimura

  • Tomoko Y. Steen


Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Haldane Neutral Theory Genetic Society Compulsory Military Service 
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  1. 1.
    Motoo Kimura, interview on 28 July 1993. Translated by the author.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Naoyuki Takahata, interview on 9 December 1992.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Motoo Kimura, personal conversation. Translated by the author.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ohta developed her nearly neutral theory around 1973. Despite intense scientific disagreements between Kimura and Ohta from the late 1970s throughout the 1980s, both Ohta and Kimura reported that this disagreement never influenced their friendship and Kimura did not force Ohta to abandon her theory.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kimura reported to this author this conversation with a British journalist. Translated by the author.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    This section is based on the series of interviews with Kimura between 1 July and 28 July 1993.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Motoo Kimura, interview, 1 July 1993. Tranlated by the author.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Motoo Kimura, interview, 9 December 1992. Translated by the author. Kimura told me about this comment by a Japanese journalist during this interview.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    When Kimura read the preprint of the paper published by King and Jukes, he suggested that the authors change the provocative title ‘Non-Darwinian evolution’. Kimura told me that he did not want to provoke controversy over the neutral theory. I had also heard about this story from William Provine a year before I interviewed Kimura.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    The original Darwinian theory synthesized with Mendelian genetics since the early 1900s in the US is called the ‘synthetic theory’.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Motoo Kimura, interview on 3 July 1993.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    The original book was written by T. Dobzhansky:Genetics and the Origin of Species, New York: Columbia University Press, 1941.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Motoo Kimura, interview on 28 July 1993.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kimura later found out that Dr Tamura is actually a cousin of Ohta’s mother.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    This institute was later moved to Yokohama. Ohta also worked at this institute just before she came to the US for her Ph. D. work at North Carolina State University. The institute was a stepping stone for young cytogeneticists back then.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Sewall Wright,Genetics 16: 97–159 (1931).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Iden 6 (March 1952): cover page.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    ABCC gathered data on the biological effects of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and hired local physicians and provided medical treatment to victims of the atomic blasts.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    I shall not discuss this issue here since William B. Provine describes this period in detail in his article in this issue.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Emile Zuckerkandl and Linus Pauling, ‘Evolutionary divergence and convergence in proteins’ InEvolving Genes and Proteins, eds. V. Bryson and H. J. Vogel (New York: Academic Press, 1965), pp. 97–166.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    See J. B. S. Haldane, ‘The cost of natural selection’Journal of Genetics 55: 511–524 (1957)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Motoo Kimura, ‘Evolutionary rate at the molecular level’Nature 217: 624–626 (1968).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Motoo Kimura,Nature 217: 624–626 (1968).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    J. L. King and T. H. Jukes, ‘Non-Darwinian evolution’Science 164: 788–798 (1968).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Motoo Kimura, interview on 26 July 1993. Translated by the author. Kimura’s collaboration with his colleague Ohta was indeed characterized by mutual trust and respect.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    This photo was taken by Kimura’s younger brother, Dr Katsumi Kimura.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tomoko Y. Steen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA

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