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History of Medicine Bacterial Genetics: 1946-58 His inquisitiveness, facility for establishing connections between scientific disciplines, and grasp of institutional strategy led Joshua Lederberg to the forefront of successive advances in science: molecular genetics in the 1940s and 1950s; the search for extraterrestrial life in the 1950s and 1960s; computers and artificial intelligence in the 1960s and 1970s. His discoveries in genetics produced a deeper understanding not only of the biochemical mechanism of inheritance and mutation in microorganisms, but of the evolution of diseases, the causes of drug resistance, and the possibilities of genetic engineering and gene therapy.

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