Daniel Nathans life and biography

Daniel Nathans picture, image, poster

Daniel Nathans biography

Date of birth : 1928-10-30
Date of death : 1999-11-16
Birthplace : Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Science and Technology
Last modified : 2011-12-17
Credited as : microbiologist, called the father of modern biotechnology, Nobel laureate

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Daniel Nathans (October 30, 1928 – November 16, 1999) was an American microbiologist.

Sometimes called the father of modern biotechnology, Daniel Nathans proved that Werner Arber's theoretical restriction enzymes exist, and then used these biological oddities to separate DNA into its component parts. Nathans was able to break SV40 DNA, a virus that causes cancer among monkeys, into eleven well-defined fragments, which allowed him to map the SV40 genes. This led to such breakthroughs as synthetic insulin and manufactured growth hormones, and allowed the eventual mapping of the human genome.

Nathans won the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology in 1978, sharing the honor with Arber and with Nathans' colleague at Johns Hopkins, Hamilton O. Smith.

Early in his career, Nathans worked at Rockefeller University in the laboratory of Nobel laureate Fritz Lipmann. After Nathans' death in 1999, the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine at Johns Hopkins was named in his honor, and for geneticist Victor A. McKusick.


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