Maurice Wilkins( English biophysicist Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1962)
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Biography Maurice Wilkins
genus. December 15, 1916
English biophysicist Maurice Hugh Frederick Wilkins was born in Pongaroa (New Zealand). His mother, Evelyn (Vitteyker) Wilkins, emigrated from Ireland. Father, Edgar Henry Wilkins, the school doctor, very attracted to research work, but he had little time to study it. At the age of 6 years, Maurice was sent to Birmingham (England) for the school named after King Edward. In 1934, Mr.. He was enrolled in the College of St.. John (Cambridge) to study the physics. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in l938, Mr.. U. settled in the Department of Homeland Security and aircraft. On behalf of the Ministry, he performed research on radars at Birmingham University and in 1940. a doctorate of philosophy with a thesis on luminescence caused by the movement of electrons. This work is a contribution to the improvement of radar installations.
Subsequently I. was transferred to a group of British researchers who worked on the problem of separation of isotopes of uranium to create nuclear weapons. In 1944, Mr.. He was sent to the U.S. to participate in the development of the Manhattan Project. U. was seconded to the University of California at Berkeley. It was at this time, he read a book by Erwin Schrodinger 'What zhiznN Physical aspects of a living cell' ( 'What is LifeN The Physical Aspects of the Living Cell'), which was published shortly before. SchrцTdinger, a physicist by profession, suggested that with the help of quantum physics can understand biological development, and through it to understand life itself. Like many young scientists of his time, U. been heavily influenced by this idea and as a result, as he later recalled, 'interest in research in the field of biology'.
Opportunity to test themselves introduced after the war, in 1945, when D.T. Randall, one of its first professors at the University of Birmingham, I invited. the position of teacher of physics in the newly formed Research Division of Biophysics at the University of St Andrews (Scotland), which was transferred to King's College, University of London. U. joined the Council for Medical Research, and began the study of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), ensuring the reproduction of cells in living organisms.
Nucleic acids were discovered in 1860-ies. Swiss physician Johann Friedrich Miescher. During the first decades of XX century. biochemists have gradually discovered the chemical structure of nucleic acids and 40-ies.
. found that genes are composed of sections of DNA molecules, moreover, that the DNA directs the biosynthesis of enzymes and thus controls the biochemical processes in the cell.
. By that time, as I
. began work at King's College, it was known that nucleic acids exist in two forms: DNA and ribonucleic acid (RNA). DNA and RNA are built from monosaccharides Group pentoses (ribose or deoxyribose), phosphate, and four nitrogenous bases - adenine, thymine (instead of RNA contains uracil), guanine and cytosine. trying to find methods that would establish a complicated chemical structure of DNA molecule. First, to study the structure of DNA he used ultrasonic methods - UV microscopies. Later, studying the cellular material under a microscope, he saw 'thin and almost invisible thread of DNA ... located in a web of fibers'. Together with Rosalyn Franklin, a colleague at King's College, U. DNA samples subjected to X-ray diffraction analysis used to determine the chemical structure of molecules. The results showed that the DNA molecule has the shape of the double helix, resembling a spiral staircase.
Y. and Franklin shared their data with Francis Crick and James D. Watson, two researchers from the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge University, who attempted to determine the structure of DNA. In 1953, Mr.. These scientists have proposed a three-dimensional structure of the DNA molecule. According to their model, the double helix DNA molecule consists of two chains dezoksiribozofosfata (alternating units of monosaccharide and phosphate), connected pairs of nitrogenous bases inside the helix. Adenosine is paired with thymine, guanine - with cytosine, and the reasons are connected with each other by hydrogen bonds. Model Crick - Watson allowed scientists to explain the process of DNA replication itself. Two chains of DNA molecules are separated from each other in the field of hydrogen bonds similar undoing zippers. Then, against each of the initial half is synthesized a new molecule of DNA, with the base sequence serves as a code for the formation of new molecules of DNA.
. W., Crick and Watson shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1962
. 'for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and their significance for information transfer in living matter'. In a speech in the awarding AV. EngstrцTm of the Karolinska Institute said that 'the opening of three-dimensional molecular structure of deoxyribonucleic acid ... event of extraordinary importance, t. to. provides an opportunity to understand in great detail the molecular structure, which determines the general and individual characteristics of living matter '.
From 1955 to 1970. U. deputy director, and from 1970 to 1972. - Director of the Division of biophysical Center for Medical Research, King's College. Then he was appointed director of the department of neurobiology, where from 1974 to 1980. headed the Department of Cell Biophysics. In 1981. He was given the title of Distinguished Professor of the Royal College. In addition to studies of the molecular structure of nucleic acids, have. studied the structure of the membranes of nerve cells.
In 1959, Mr.. U. married to Patricia Chidzhey; they were born two sons and two daughters. An avid gardener, he is also fond of collecting sculptures.
In addition to the Nobel Prize, Y. received the Albert Lasker Award of the American Public Health Association (1960). He - a member of the Royal Society, honorary foreign member of the American Biochemical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1969. U. was president of the British Society for Social Responsibility in Science and a member of the Russell against chemical weapons.