Sydney Brenner life and biography

Sydney Brenner picture, image, poster

Sydney Brenner biography

Date of birth : 1927-01-13
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Germiston, Gauteng, South Africa
Nationality : South African
Category : Science and Technology
Last modified : 2011-08-16
Credited as : Biologist, Nobel Prize in Medicine,

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Sydney Brenner is a South African biologist and a 2002 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine laureate, shared with H. Robert Horvitz and John Sulston.

Sydney Brenner elucidated the complex symmetry and hundreds of submolecules that make up a virus. Later, exploring the genetics of C. elegans, a tiny worm, he showed that a specific set of genes trigger apoptosis (programmed cell death). For this work he was awarded the 2002 Nobel Prize in Medicine, sharing the honor with H. Robert Horvitz and John E. Sulston.

Later in his career, working with Francis Crick, Brenner discovered the "start" and "stop" signals in the genetic code, and laid out the modern theory of molecular biology -- that information flows from deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) to ribonucleic acid (RNA) to protein, but never flows in the opposite direction. Their theory still seems to hold true, with the exception of 'rogue proteins' called prions, discovered by Stanley B. Prusiner.

Author of books:

Loose Ends from Current Biology (1997)
Encylopedia of genetics (2001, with Jeffrey H. Miller)
Sydney Brenner: A Life in Science (2001, as told to Lewis Wolpert)

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