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CONTENTS Volume 66 No 5 October/November 2019


ROYAL SOCIETY OF BIOLOGY 1 Naoroji Street, Islington, London WC1X 0GB Tel: 020 3925 3440;

EDITORIAL STAFF Editor Tom Ireland MRSB @Tom_J_Ireland Editorial assistant Emma Wrake AMRSB Chair of the Editorial Board Professor Alison Woollard FRSB Editorial Board Dr Anthony Flemming MRSB, Syngenta Professor Adam Hart FRSB, University of Gloucestershire Dr Sarah Maddocks CBiol MRSB, Cardiff Metropolitan University Professor Shaun D Pattinson FRSB, Durham University Dr James Poulter MRSB, University of Leeds Dr Cristiana P Velloso MRSB, King’s College London Membership enquiries Tel: 01233 504804 Subscription enquiries Tel: 020 3925 3464; The Biologist is produced on behalf of the Royal Society of Biology by Think Publishing Ltd, Capital House, 25 Chapel Street, London NW1 5DH; 020 3771 7200 Printed by Full Spectrum, Basildon Art director Matthew Ball Designer Felipe Perez Production editor Sian Campbell Sub editor Kirsty Fortune Group account director John Innes ISSN 0006-3347 Advertising in The Biologist represents an unparalleled opportunity to reach a large community of professional biologists. For advertising information contact; 020 3925 3464 Views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board or the Royal Society of Biology. © 2019 Royal Society of Biology (Registered charity no. 277981) The Society permits single copying of individual articles for private study or research, irrespective of where the copying is done. Multiple copying of individual articles for teaching purposes is also permitted without specific permission. For copying or reproduction for any other purpose, written permission must be sought from the Society. Exceptions to the above are those institutions and non-publishing organisations that have an agreement or licence with the UK Copyright Licensing Agency or the US Copyright Clearance Center. Access to the magazine is available online; please see the Society’s website for further details. This magazine is sent in biodegradable wrap that can be composted or placed with food waste.

Cover illustration by Sam Falconer



TWITTER @RoyalSocBio





UP FRONT 04 Society News RSB awards, Biology Week, and a year of anniversary activities

07 Policy and analysis Science policy news and highlights from 10 years of RSB policy work

FEATURES 10 Interview CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna on a discovery that changed the world

16 Branching out How archaea went from obscure to ubiquitous in just 40 years

20 Top ten Key figures in the RSB’s history discuss a decade of achievements

24 Lost and found The project searching for organisms on the edge of existence

28 Biology Week calendar Our guide to this year’s celebration of the biosciences

30 Primal communication Deciphering the gestures of chimps and other apes

34 Who was Maurice Hilleman? The relatively unsung creator of more than 40 vaccines

36 Travel grants How RSB funding has helped early career biologists in their work

REGULARS 40 Members RSB members tackling malaria, Alzheimer’s and teaching

44 Book reviews 48 Branches 52 Obituaries 53 Crossword

54 Museum piece The first animals, Oxford University Museum of Natural History



Vol 66 No 5 / The Biologist / 1

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