The DNA-reader in our cells

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2006

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2006 to Roger D. Kornberg “for his studies of the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription”.

kornberg lab

Roger D. Kornberg
Professor at Stanford University
School of Medicine, USA. Born in 1947.

Roger Kornberg surrounded by some of his current co-workers shortly after the announcement of the award of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2006. In his hands he is holding the model of RNA polymerase that resulted from his work.

Before our bodies can make use of the information stored in the genes, the relevant parts of the DNA-molecule must first be copied. The copy – messenger RNA – is used as a blueprint in creating the proteins that in their turn construct the structure and functions of the body. The copying process is called transcription and is continually taking place in all living creatures. If transcription stops, organisms quickly die. Roger Kornberg’s major contribution is his success in creating a molecular image of the transcription process in full flow.


| Introduction: The DNA-reader in our cells | Yeast and human beings | Taking pictures of molecules | The future | Timeline | Further reading | Credits |

Nobel Poster from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, web adapted by Nobel Web

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