Link to home

Virus Design, 1955-1962: Science Meets Art

November 2006 , Volume 96 , Number  11
Pages  1,287 - 1,291

Gregory J. Morgan

Department of Philosophy, Spring Hill College, Mobile, AL 36608

Go to article:
Accepted for publication 13 June 2006.

This paper traces the beginnings of structural virology in the mid-20th century, focusing especially on the synergy between models of virus structure and models within art, notably Buckminster Fuller's geodesic domes and Kenneth Snelson's tensegrity structures. As Donald Caspar and Aaron Klug sought to extend the Crick-Watson theory of spherical virus structure, they explored analogies between biology and architecture, eventually publishing the classic Caspar-Klug theory of virus structure in 1962.

Additional keywords: fivefold symmetry, Francis Crick, James Watson, John McHale, Kenneth Snelson, Michael Goldberg, poliovirus, Rosalind Franklin, self-assembly, Tomato bushy stunt virus , triangulation number, Turnip yellow mosaic virus .

© 2006 The American Phytopathological Society