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Carl Woese: from Biophysics to Evolutionary Microbiology


This article is a tribute to Carl R. Woese, a biophysicist turned evolutionary microbiologist who passed away on December 30, 2012. We focus on his life, achievements, the discovery of Archaea and contributions to the development of molecular phylogeny. Further, the authors share their views and the lessons learnt from Woese’s life with the microbiologists in India. We also emphasize the need for interdisciplinary collaboration and interaction for the progress and betterment of science.

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This work was supported by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT; Grant no. BT/PR/0054/NDB/52/94/2007), Government of India, under the project “Establishment of microbial culture collection”. We are grateful to our colleagues, especially Shreyas Kumbhare and Somak Chowdhury, for critically reading and editing the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Yogesh S. Shouche.

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Prakash, O., Jangid, K. & Shouche, Y.S. Carl Woese: from Biophysics to Evolutionary Microbiology. Indian J Microbiol 53, 247–252 (2013).

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  • Woese
  • Molecular phylogeny
  • Archaea
  • rRNA