Obituary: Professor William Hayes
Monday 17 January 1994
WILLIAM HAYES will be remembered primarily for two outstanding achievements: first, his discovery of transferable virus-like genetic elements between bacteria, and secondly for his superb classic textbook: The Genetics of Bacteria and Their Viruses (1964), which is written in beautifully clear and readable English.
It was in the early Fifties that I got to know Bill Hayes and we were deeply influenced by what seemed to be complementary interests, involving (on his side) the genetics and (my own) the biochemistry of bacteria. It seemed inevitable that we should feel strongly that we might combine to teach and research in building what could be an approach to a complete molecular biology of micro-organisms.
It appeared obvious that our two groups of workers, one exploring the biochemistry of enzyme production in bacteria and Hayes's Medical Research Council Unit of Bacterial Genetics should be joined together, and this was helped immeasurably by his personal charm and generous forbearance. It only remained for Edinburgh University to seize the opportunity through the talented foresight of the then Vice-Chancellor, Sir Michael Swann, and so institute in 1968 the first teaching department of molecular biology in a British university.
Bill Hayes had been ill for some time before he finally had a coronary thrombosis, with the usual complications, which ended his life earlier this month.
He had been out of touch with science and his former colleagues, but was cared for with love by his wife, Nora, in a retirement home near Sydney, Australia, where he had moved following his departure from the Australian National University in Canberra, having left Edinburgh University in 1973.
International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
Feminist quotes to inspire you on the International Women's Day
Belle Knox: How the porn star student from Duke University became bigger than Justin Bieber
International Women's Day 2014: Mothers and daughters describe their hopes and dreams in touching photographs
Liam Neeson on death of wife Natasha Richardson: ‘When I hear the door opening, I still think I’m going to hear her’
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 4 Too upsetting? Academy members voted for Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave 'without watching it'
- 5 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it
Competitive: Nielsen: We are seeking an enthusiastic intern with a passionate ...
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Charter Selection: Charter Selection are currently ...
Plus benefits: Sherrards Solicitors LLP: Sherrards is an equal opportunities e...