Daniel Nathans

Facts

Daniel Nathans

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Daniel Nathans
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1978

Born: 30 October 1928, Wilmington, DE, USA

Died: 16 November 1999, Baltimore, MD, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

Prize motivation: “for the discovery of restriction enzymes and their application to problems of molecular genetics”

Prize share: 1/3

Work

An organism's genome is stored in the form of long rows of building blocks, known as nucleotides, which form DNA molecules. Werner Arber discovered restriction enzymes, which cut DNA molecules at sites where a certain sequence of nucleotides occurs. Daniel Nathans applied this discovery within genetics. Among other applications, Nathans used different restriction enzymes on the DNA of the SV40 virus and studied its components, which allowed him to map the virus' genome.

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