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Encyclopedia > Marshall Warren Nirenberg
Marshall Nirenberg
Marshall Nirenberg

Marshall Warren Nirenberg (born April 10, 1927) is a U.S. biochemist and geneticist. He shared a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1968 with Har Gobind Khorana and Robert W. Holley for describing the genetic code and how it operates in protein synthesis. Marshall Nirenberg, taken by the National Institutes of Health, ca. ... April 10 is the 100th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (101st in leap years). ... 1927 (MCMXXVII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... The United States of America — also referred to as the United States, the U.S.A., the U.S., America, the States, or (archaically) Columbia—is a federal republic of 50 states located primarily in central North America (with the exception of two states: Alaska and Hawaii). ... Biochemistry is the chemistry of life. ... Genetics (from the Greek genno γεννώ= give birth) is the science of genes, heredity, and the variation of organisms. ... List of Nobel Prize laureates in Physiology or Medicine from 1901 to the present day. ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1968 calendar). ... Har Gobind Khorana (born January 9, 1922) is a molecular biologist. ... Robert W. Holley, the structure of a tRNA is shown in the background Dr Robert W. Holley (January 28, 1922 - February 11, 1993) was an American biochemist, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1968 for describing the structure of alanine transfer RNA, linking DNA and...

Contents


Research

By 1959, experiments by Oswald Avery, Francis Crick, James D. Watson, and others had shown DNA to be the molecule of genetic information. It was not known, however, how DNA was replicated, how DNA directed the expression of protiens, or what role RNA had in these processes. Nirenberg teamed up with Heinrich J. Matthaei at the National Institutes of Health to answer these questions. They produced RNA comprised solely of uracil, a nucleotide that only occurs in RNA. They then added this synthetic poly-uracil RNA into a cell-free extract of Escherichia coli which contained the DNA, RNA, ribosomes and other cellular machinery for protein synthesis. They added DNase, which breaks apart the DNA, so that no additional proteins would be produced other than that from their synthetic RNA. They then added 1 radioactively labeled amino acid, the building blocks of proteins, and 19 unlabeled amino acids to the extract, varying the labeled amino acid in each sample. In the extract containing the radioactively labeled phenylalanine, the resulting protein was also radioactive. They realized that they had found the genetic code for phenylalanine: UUU (three uracil bases in a row) on RNA. This was the first step in deciphering the codons of the genetic code and the first demonstration of messenger RNA (see Nirenberg and Matthaei experiment). Oswald Avery in 1937 Oswald Theodore Avery (1877-1955) was a physician, medical researcher and early molecular biologist. ... Professor Francis Harry Compton Crick, OM FRS (8 June 1916 – 28 July 2004) was a British physicist, molecular biologist and neuroscientist, most noted for being one of the co-discoverers of the structure of the DNA molecule in 1953. ... James Dewey Watson (born April 6, 1928) is one of the discoverers of the structure of the DNA molecule. ... Space-filling model of a section of DNA molecule Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions specifying the biological development of all cellular forms of life (and most viruses). ... Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is a nucleic acid polymer consisting of covalently bound nucleotides. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the primary agency of the United States government responsible for medical research. ... Uracil is one of the four RNA nucleobases, replacing thymine as found in DNA. Just like thymine, uracil can form a base pair with adenine via two hydrogen bonds, but it lacks the methyl group present in thymine. ... A nucleotide is a chemical compound that consists of a heterocyclic base, a sugar, and one or more phosphate groups. ... E. coli redirects here. ... Figure 1: Ribosome structure indicating small subunit (A) and large subunit (B). ... A representation of the 3D structure of myoglobin, showing coloured alpha helices. ... In chemistry, an amino acid is any molecule that contains both amino and carboxylic acid functional groups. ... The alpha-amino acid Phenylalanine exists in two forms, the D- and L- forms, which are enantiomers (mirror-image molecules) of each other. ... RNA codons. ... The life cycle of an mRNA in a eukaryotic cell. ... The Nirenberg and Matthaei experiment was a scientific experiment performed in 1961 by Marshall W. Nirenberg and Heinrich J. Matthaei. ...


Nirenberg received great scientific attention for these experiments. Within a few years, his research team had performed similar experiments and found that three-base repeats of adenosine (AAA) produced the amino acid lysine, cytosine repeats (CCC) produced proline and guanine repeats (GGG) produced nothing at all. The next breakthrough came when Phillip Leder, a postdoctoral researcher in Nirenberg's lab, developed a method for determining the genetic code on pieces of tRNA (see Nirenberg and Leder experiment). This greatly sped up the assignment of three-base codons to amino acids so that 50 codons were identified in this way. Khorana's experiments confirmed these results and completed the genetic code translation. The chemical structure of adenosine Adenosine is a nucleoside comprised of adenine attached to a ribose (ribofuranose) moiety via a β-N9-glycosidic bond. ... Lysine is one of the 20 amino acids normally found in proteins. ... Cytosine is one of the 5 main nucleobases used in storing and transporting genetic information within a cell in the nucleic acids DNA and RNA. It is a pyrimidine derivative, with a heterocyclic aromatic ring and two substituents attached (an amine group at position 4 and a keto group at... L-Proline is one of the twenty proteinogenic units which are used in living organisms as the building blocks of proteins. ... Guanine is one of the five main nucleobases found in nucleic acids (, DNA and RNA). ... Transfer RNA (abbreviated tRNA) is a small RNA chain (74-93 nucleotides) that transfers a specific amino acid to a growing polypeptide chain at the ribosomal site of protein synthesis during translation. ... The Nirenberg and Leder experiment was a scientific experiment performed in 1964 by Marshall W. Nirenberg and Philip Leder. ...


Nirenberg's later research focused on neuroscience, neural development, and the homeobox genes. Neuroscience is a field of study that deals with the structure, function, development, genetics, biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology, and pathology of the nervous system, divided into the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord), and the peripheral nervous system, consisting of the myriad nerve pathways running throughout the body. ... A homeobox is a stretch of DNA sequence found in genes involved in the regulation of the development (morphogenesis) of animals, fungi and plants. ...


Biography

Nirenberg was born in New York City, the son of Harry and Minerva Nirenberg. He developed rheumatic fever as a boy, so the family moved to Orlando, Florida to take advantage of the subtropical climate. He developed an early interest in biology. In 1948 he received his B.S. degree, and in 1952, a master's degree in zoology from the University of Florida at Gainesville. His dissertation for the Master's thesis was an ecological and taxonomic study of caddis flies (Trichoptera). He received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1957. The Empire State Building (right) and the Chrysler Building (left) are easily recognized symbols of New York City to the world. ... Nickname: The City Beautiful Motto: Official website: http://www. ... Zoology (Greek zoon = animal and logos = word) is the biological discipline which involves the study of animals. ... University of Florida State University System of Florida FAMU FAU FGCU FIU FSU NCF UCF UF UNF USF UWF The University of Florida is a public university located in Gainesville, Florida. ... Biochemistry is the study of the chemistry of life, a bridge between biology and chemistry that studies how complex chemical reactions give rise to life. ... The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (UM or U of M) is a coeducational public research university in the U.S. state of Michigan. ...


He began his postdoctoral work at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1957 as a fellow of the American Cancer Society. In 1960 became a research biochemist at the NIH. In 1959 he began to study the steps that relate DNA, RNA and protein. Nirenberg's groundbreaking experiments advanced him to become the head of the Section of Biochemical Genetics in 1962. He was married in 1961 to Perola Zaltzman, a chemist from the University of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro. The American Cancer Society is a charitable organization dedicated to eliminating cancer. ...


Nirenberg was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1966 and the National Medal of Honor in 1968 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. He was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2001. National Medal of Science The National Medal of Science, also called the Presidential Medal of Science, is an honor given by the President of the United States to individuals in science and engineering who have made important contributions to the advancement of knowledge in the fields of behavioral and social... Lyndon Baines Johnson (August 27, 1908 – January 22, 1973), often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States (1963–1969). ... The American Philosophical Society, founded in 1743 by founding father Benjamin Franklin, continues to operate to this day. ...


References

  • Voet, Donald and Judith G. Voet. 1995. Biochemistry 2nd ed. John Wilely & Sons, New York.
  • U.S. National Library of Medicine. "Profiles in Science: The Marshall W. Nirenberg Papers." [1]

External links


 
 

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