The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1910
Born: 16 September 1853, Rostock, Mecklenburg (now Germany)
Died: 5 July 1927, Heidelberg, Germany
Affiliation at the time of the award: University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
Prize motivation: "in recognition of the contributions to our knowledge of cell chemistry made through his work on proteins, including the nucleic substances."
Prize share: 1/1
The substances known as deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA) are found in nearly all cells in almost all organisms. Since its discovery in 1869, it was suspected that DNA had an important biological function. Long before it was confirmed that DNA was the bearer of organisms' genetic material, Albrecht Kossel began to investigate the chemical compositions and properties of nucleic acids. Between 1885 and 1901, Albrecht Kossel discovered that these acids were composed of five nitrogen bases: adenine, cytosine, guanine, thymine, and uracil.