Nobel Prizes and Laureates

Nobel Prizes and Laureates

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1978
Werner Arber, Daniel Nathans, Hamilton O. Smith

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Daniel Nathans - Facts

Daniel Nathans

Daniel Nathans

Born: 30 October 1928, Wilmington, DE, USA

Died: 16 November 1999, Baltimore, MD, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

Prize motivation: "for the discovery of restriction enzymes and their application to problems of molecular genetics"

Field: genetics, molecular biology

Prize share: 1/3


An organism's genome is stored in the form of long rows of building blocks, known as nucleotides, which form DNA molecules. Werner Arber discovered restriction enzymes, which cut DNA molecules at sites where a certain sequence of nucleotides occurs. Daniel Nathans applied this discovery within genetics. Among other applications, Daniel Nathans used different restriction enzymes on the DNA of the SV40 virus and studied its components, which allowed him to map the virus' genome.

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