Edward Tatum life and biography

Edward Tatum picture, image, poster

Edward Tatum biography

Date of birth : 1909-12-14
Date of death : 1975-11-05
Birthplace : Boulder, Colorado, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Science and Technology
Last modified : 2011-12-15
Credited as : Genetics, molecular genetics, Nobel laureate

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Edward Lawrie Tatum (December 14, 1909 – November 5, 1975) was an American geneticist. He shared half of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1958 with George Wells Beadle for showing that genes control individual steps in metabolism.

Edward Tatum helped create the field of molecular genetics with his landmark early work, demonstrating that specific genes control the structure of particular enzymes, by regulating specific chemical processes. "The underlying hypothesis", he wrote, "which in a number of cases has been supported by direct experimental evidence, is that each gene controls the production, function, and specificity of a particular enzyme". For corroborating this "one gene one protein" hypothesis with George Beadle, they were awarded the 1958 Nobel Prize, sharing the honor with Joshua Lederberg.

He was also an accomplished performer on the french horn. A lifelong cigarette smoker, Tatum was killed by emphysema. His father, pharmacologist Arthur Tatum, introduced picrotoxin as an antidote for barbiturate poisoning, and arsenoxide as the first effective pre-penicillin treatment for syphilis.

Tatum mentored many students who later became prominent geneticists. Aside from Joshua Lederberg, Tatum also mentored Esther M. Lederberg, née Esther M. Zimmer. Esther differed from her well -known husband in that she was considered a genius in the lab! Esther was the one who implemented replica plating. Esther discovered lambda bacteriophage, Fertility factor F, and with others, discovered transduction and specialized transduction.


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