George Beadle


George Wells Beadle

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

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.

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