He taught himself to read from newspapers but went on to win a Nobel Prize.
Sydney BrennerImage copyrightSPL
Image caption Brenner was part of the hothouse environment at Cambridge's Laboratory of Molecular Biology
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Sydney Brenner, one of the giants of 20th Century science, has died.

The South African of Lithuanian descent made many pioneering discoveries in the field of molecular and developmental biology, winning a Nobel Prize in 2002.

The Nobel recognised his work with the tiny roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans, which is now widely used by researchers as a model to test the fundamentals of how all living organisms work.

But Brenner also made big contributions to the understanding of DNA.

He worked routinely with the other greats in this area, such as Francis Crick, François Jacob, Linus Pauling and James Watson.