Dr. Hargobind Khorana was a biochemist who contributed significantly to understanding the genetic code. Born in 1922 in Raipur, Punjab, British India (now Pakistan), he received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Liverpool in 1948. Dr. Khorana later became a naturalized citizen of the United States and worked as a researcher and professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for over three decades.
Dr. Khorana was born into a modest family in the Indian state of Punjab. Despite financial constraints, his parents emphasized the value of education, and he excelled in his studies. He completed his undergraduate degree in India before receiving a scholarship to study at the University of Liverpool. There, he obtained his Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 1948.
After completing his Ph.D., Dr. Khorana conducted postdoctoral work at the University of Cambridge. He then accepted a position at the University of British Columbia, where he conducted research on nucleic acids and began to study the genetic code. In 1960, he moved to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he spent the majority of his career.
Dr. Khorana was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1968, along with Marshall Nirenberg and Robert Holley, for his work on interpreting the genetic code and synthesizing oligonucleotides. Following this recognition, he continued to conduct research on DNA and RNA, particularly in the area of synthetic biology.
Dr. Khorana's work on interpreting the genetic code was groundbreaking, and he is credited with discovering how nucleotides pair up to form the genetic code. He also developed techniques for synthesizing oligonucleotides, which allowed researchers to study and manipulate DNA in new ways. His contributions have expanded our understanding of gene expression and have paved the way for advancements in fields such as genetic engineering.
Dr. Khorana was married to Esther Elizabeth Sibler, with whom he had three children. Throughout his career, he received numerous honors and awards, including the National Medal of Science and the Japan Prize. He passed away in 2011, but his contributions to science and genetics continue to have a lasting impact.
Dr. Hargobind Khorana was a pioneer in the field of genetics and made significant contributions to our understanding of the genetic code. His work on synthesizing oligonucleotides and interpreting the code has paved the way for advancements in fields such as genetic engineering. His legacy continues to inspire scientists around the world.
Q. What did Dr. Khorana win the Nobel Prize for?
A. Dr. Khorana won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1968 for his work on interpreting the genetic code and synthesizing oligonucleotides.
Q. What is synthetic biology?
Synthetic biology is an interdisciplinary field of research that combines biology and engineering to design and create new biological systems or modify existing ones.
Q. How did Dr. Khorana contribute to genetic engineering?
A. Dr. Khorana's work on synthesizing oligonucleotides and interpreting the genetic code has paved the way for advancements in genetic engineering, as it allowed for the manipulation and study of DNA in new ways.
What other awards did Dr. Khorana receive?
A. Dr. Khorana received numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including the National Medal of Science and the Japan Prize.
Q. What is the legacy of Dr. Khorana?
A. Dr. Khorana's contributions to genetics and synthetic biology continue to inspire scientists around the world, and his work has paved the way for advancements in fields such as genetic engineering.
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