Nobel Prize in Chemistry – 2006

Posted on October 4, 2006  Comments (3)

Roger Kornberg, Stanford University, has recieved the 2006 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his studies of the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription.

Forty-seven years ago, the then twelve-year-old Roger Kornberg came to Stockholm to see his father, Arthur Kornberg, receive the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1959) for his studies of how genetic information is transferred from one DNA-molecule to another. Kornberg senior had described how genetic information is transferred from a mother cell to its daughters. What Roger Kornberg himself has now done is to describe how the genetic information is copied from DNA into what is called messenger-RNA. The messenger-RNA carries the information out of the cell nucleus so that it can be used to construct the proteins.

The Nobel Prize organization provides more information (foolishly the Nobel site broke the link so I have removed it – when will people learn to do a decent job of running a web site?) on his work:

The DNA-helix includes parts called enhancers which bind to specific substances that are found in different tissues. In this manner transcription of certain genes is stimulated in certain tissues. In the liver ”“ for instance ”“ there is a specific signalling substance, which binds to a liver-enhancer in the DNA hence turning on the transcription of a gene close to the enhancer. In other parts of the body, this liver-specific gene will however never be switched on because the necessary signalling substance is lacking. Kornberg discovered that this regulation requires the presence of yet another molecular complex, transmitting the signals and thereby switching the transcription on or off. This “relay”-complex is called Mediator.

The great complexity of eukaryotic organisms is actually enabled by the fine interplay between
tissue-specific substances, enhancers in the DNA and Mediator.

3 Responses to “Nobel Prize in Chemistry – 2006”

  1. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
    October 8th, 2006 @ 8:53 am

    The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2006 goes to: Andrew Z. Fire and Craig C. Mello for their discovery of
    RNA interference ”“ gene silencing by double-stranded RNA.

  2. CuriousCat: 2007 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
    October 10th, 2007 @ 7:59 am

    “The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2007 is awarded for groundbreaking studies in surface chemistry. This science is important for the chemical industry and can help us to understand such varied processes as why iron rusts, how fuel cells function and how the catalysts in our cars work…”

  3. choudhary
    April 20th, 2008 @ 9:26 am

    All that his hard work he has done on the DNA research has brought great benefit to the fields involved in biotechnology and genetic engineering.

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