Kary's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Poor, Lazy Overachievers

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Corona del Mar, CA

  • AIRED ON:

    Public Television: Season 7

  • ON DVD:

KARY MULLIS

Nobel Prize Winning Chemist

“I'm not any one thing-I'm me. I'm the sum total of all the things that I'm interested in, and I'm interested in a lot.”

INTERESTS:

Education Science

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Values Experience Individualism Beliefs & Faith Fulfillment Choices Opportunity Dedication Hard Work Passion Desire Transitions Hobbies & Pastimes Self-Reflection Character Education Goals

FOUNDATION:

Helping People

TAGS:

academics, advancing, being lost, bombs, career, chemistry, child interest, diseases, DNA, effort, helping people, learning, limitations, medicine, nobel prize, nuclear fusion, polymerase chain reaction, rockets, training, trapped

BIOGRAPHY:

  • When he was a boy, he experimented with rocket fuel, sent a frog "into space."
  • Says he's still that little kid, with a passion for chemistry and inventing.
  • Went to UC Berkeley for his undergraduate through doctoral studies, then worked in a peptide chemistry lab in San Francisco.
  • Heard a lecturer say that they'd "fooled" a bacteria into making peptides; realized if bacteria could do it, he didn't want to learn how to make peptides.
  • Turned his vision towards artificially constructing strands of DNA.
  • Invented the Polymerase Chain Reaction, which allowed a small strand of DNA to be copied over and over.
  • Was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for that process.
  • After his Nobel Prize, it took him a while to figure out what to work on next-taught him there are many paths to go down, you shouldn't limit yourself to just one.

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