Edward Tatum


Edward Lawrie Tatum

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Edward Lawrie Tatum
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1958

Born: 14 December 1909, Boulder, CO, USA

Died: 5 November 1975, New York, NY, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, New York, NY, 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. Edward Tatum and George Beadle 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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