In news-100th birth anniversary of the biochemist and chemical biologist Har Gobind Khorana was observed on January 09, 2022.
About Har Gobind Khorana-
- He was an American biochemist born on January 9 1922 in Multan (present day Pakistan) of Pre-Independent India.
- He made significant contributions to the science of PCR tests, which we use today to look for SARS-CoV-2 infections.
- While on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, he shared the 1968 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with Marshall W. Nirenberg and Robert W. Holley for research that showed the order of nucleotides in nucleic acids, which carry the genetic code of the cell and control the cell’s synthesis of proteins.
- Khorana and Nirenberg were also awarded the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University in the same year.
- In the 1960s, Khorana confirmed Nirenberg’s findings that the way the four different types of nucleotides are arranged on the spiral “staircase” of the DNA molecule determines the chemical composition and function of a new cell.
- He also proved that the nucleotide code is always transmitted to the cell in groups of three, called codons.
- He also determined that some of the codons prompt the cell to start or stop the manufacture of proteins.
- In 1970, he and his research team were able to synthesize the first artificial copy of a yeast gene.
- His later research explored the molecular mechanisms underlying the cell signaling pathways of vision in vertebrates.
- He investigated mutations in rhodopsin, a light-sensitive protein found in the retina of the vertebrate eye and are associated with retinitis pigmentosa, which causes night blindness.
- He became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1966, and received the National Medal of Science in 1987.
- In 1971, he joined the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he remained until he retired in 2007.
- In 2007, the University of Wisconsin, India’s Department of Biotechnology and the Indo-US S&T Forum launched the Khorana Program.