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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
- About Us
15 December 1997 8:00 pm
Thirty years ago yesterday, biochemists Arthur Kornberg and Mehran Goulian announced the creation of an artificial copy of DNA that was biologically active and could infect cells. The achievement opened the door to further studies of the molecular basis of heredity and new strategies to treat cancer and genetic diseases.
After Watson and Crick's 1953 discovery of DNA's chemical structure, Kornberg set out to synthesize a giant DNA molecule. Four years later, his group discovered an enzyme called DNA polymerase, which catalyzes new DNA strands from nucleic acid building blocks. With the help of this enzyme, Kornberg and Severo Ochoa synthesized inactive DNA molecules, a feat that earned them the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 1959.
In 1966 Kornberg and Goulian discovered an enzyme called ligase that closes a DNA strand into a ring, a configuration that makes viral DNA infectious. The duo mixed in a test tube a viral DNA template, nucleic acids, DNA polymerase, and ligase. The resulting DNA molecule, representing the inner core of a virus, proved to be infectious.
[Source: Emily Mcmurray, Ed., Notable Twentieth Century Scientists (Gale Research Inc., ITP, 1995).]