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Who said: “Every body perseveres in its state of being at rest or of moving uniformly straight forward, except insofar as it is compelled to change its state by forces impressed.”
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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index A > William Thomas Astbury Quotes

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William Thomas Astbury
(25 Feb 1898 - 4 Jun 1961)

English physical biochemist.


Science Quotes by William Thomas Astbury (3 quotes)

Knowing what we know from X-ray and related studies of the fibrous proteins, how they are built from long polypeptide chains with linear patterns drawn to a grand scale, how these chains can contract and take up different configurations by intramolecular folding, how the chain- groups are penetrated by, and their sidechains react with, smaller co-operating molecules, and finally how they can combine so readily with nucleic acid molecules and still maintain the fibrous configuration, it is but natural to assume, as a first working hypothesis at least, that they form the long scroll on which is written the pattern of life. No other molecules satisfy so many requirements.
— William Thomas Astbury
William Thomas Astbury and Florence O. Bell. 'Some Recent Developments in the X-Ray Study of Proteins and Related Structures', Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology, 1938, 6, 1144.
Science quotes on:  |  Acid (83)  |  Combine (57)  |  Different (577)  |  First (1284)  |  Form (960)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Know (1519)  |  Knowing (137)  |  Life (1799)  |  Linear (13)  |  Long (789)  |  Maintain (105)  |  Molecule (174)  |  Natural (796)  |  Nucleic Acid (23)  |  Other (2236)  |  Pattern (110)  |  Protein (54)  |  Ray (114)  |  Requirement (63)  |  Scale (121)  |  Still (613)  |  Structure (346)  |  X-ray (37)

We are at the dawn of a new era, the era of “molecular biology” as I like to call it, and there is an urgency about the need for more intensive application of physics and chemistry, and specially of structure analysis, that is still not sufficiently appreciated.
— William Thomas Astbury
'On the Structure of Biological Fibres and the Problem of Muscle', Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, 1947, 134, 326.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (234)  |  Application (242)  |  Biology (216)  |  Call (769)  |  Chemistry (355)  |  Dawn (31)  |  Era (51)  |  Molecular Biology (27)  |  More (2559)  |  New (1217)  |  Physic (516)  |  Physics (533)  |  Still (613)  |  Structure (346)  |  Urgency (12)

[Molecular biology] is concerned particularly with the forms of biological molecules and with the evolution, exploitation and ramification of these forms in the ascent to higher and higher levels of organisation. Molecular biology is predominantly three-dimensional and structural—which does not mean, however, that it is merely a refinement of morphology. It must at the same time inquire into genesis and function.
— William Thomas Astbury
From Harvey lecture (1951). As cited by John Law in 'The Case of X-ray Protein Crystallography', collected in Gerard Lemaine (ed.), Perspectives on the Emergence of Scientific Disciplines, 1976, 141.
Science quotes on:  |  Biological (137)  |  Biology (216)  |  Concern (228)  |  Evolution (593)  |  Exploitation (14)  |  Form (960)  |  Function (229)  |  Genesis (24)  |  Inquire (23)  |  Mean (809)  |  Merely (316)  |  Molecular Biology (27)  |  Molecule (174)  |  Morphology (22)  |  Must (1526)  |  Ramification (7)  |  Refinement (17)  |  Structural (29)  |  Structure (346)  |  Three-Dimensional (11)  |  Time (1877)



Quotes by others about William Thomas Astbury (1)

Pauling was shocked by the freedom with which the X-ray crystallographers of the time, including particularly Astbury, played with the intimate chemical structure of their models. They seemed to think that if the atoms were arranged in the right order and about the right distance apart, that was all that mattered, that no further restrictions need to be put on them.
Quoted by John Law in 'The Case of X-ray Protein Crystallography', collected in Gerard Lemaine (ed.), Perspectives on the Emergence of Scientific Disciplines, 1976, 140.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4107)  |  Arrangement (91)  |  Atom (358)  |  Chemical (292)  |  Crystallographer (4)  |  Distance (163)  |  Freedom (129)  |  Intimate (15)  |  Matter (801)  |  Model (102)  |  Order (632)  |  Linus Pauling (60)  |  Play (111)  |  Ray (114)  |  Restriction (11)  |  Right (452)  |  Shock (37)  |  Structure (346)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thinking (415)  |  Time (1877)  |  X-ray (37)  |  X-ray Crystallography (12)


See also:
  • 25 Feb - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Astbury's birth.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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