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Nobel Prizes and Laureates

Nobel Prizes and Laureates

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1972
Christian Anfinsen, Stanford Moore, William H. Stein

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Christian Anfinsen - Facts

Christian B. Anfinsen

Christian B. Anfinsen

Born: 26 March 1916, Monessen, PA, USA

Died: 14 May 1995, Randallstown, MD, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

Prize motivation: "for his work on ribonuclease, especially concerning the connection between the amino acid sequence and the biologically active conformation"

Field: analytical biochemistry, biochemistry

Prize share: 1/2

Work

The genetic information of an organism is stored in DNA molecules which, via RNA molecules, are converted during the formation of proteins. Proteins consist of a long chain of amino acids that fold themselves in a special way. The chemical processes inside cells are controlled by a type of protein called enzymes. Christian Anfinsen studied the enzyme ribonuclease, which divides RNA into smaller components. In 1961, he proved that the sequence of amino acids, in itself, determines the way the chain folds itself and that no additional genetic information is required in this process.

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