George Wells Beadle
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1958
Born: 22 October 1903, Wahoo, NE, USA
Died: 9 June 1989, Pomona, CA, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, CA, USA
Prize motivation: "for their discovery that genes act by regulating definite chemical events."
Prize share: 1/4
Organisms' metabolism - the chemical processes within its cells - are regulated by substances called enzymes. George Beadle and Edward Tatum proved in 1941 that our genetic code, our genes, govern the formation of enzymes. They exposed a type of mold to x-rays, causing mutations, or changes in its genes. They later succeeded in proving that this led to definite changes in enzyme formation. The conclusion was that each enzyme corresponds to a particular gene.