WATSON, James( American molecular biologist, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1962)
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Biography WATSON, James
genus. April 6, 1928
American molecular biologist James Dewey Watson was born in Chicago (Illinois) in the family of James D. Watson, a businessman, and Jean (Mitchell) Watson, and was their only child. In Chicago, he received his primary and secondary education. It soon became apparent that James was an extraordinarily gifted child, and he was invited on the radio to participate in the program 'Quiz for children'. Only two years of high school, I. received in 1943. scholarship to study in the experimental four-year colleges at the University of Chicago, where he showed interest in the study of ornithology. Having BSc at the University of Chicago in 1947, he continued his education at Indiana University in Bloomington.
By this time. interested in genetics and began training in Indiana, under the leadership of a specialist in this field Herman J. Moller and bacteriologist Salvador Luria. U. wrote a dissertation on the influence of X-rays on the multiplication of bacteriophages (viruses that infect bacteria), and received in 1950, Mr.. Ph.D.. National Research Foundation grant allowed him to continue the study of phages in the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. There he spent studying the biochemical properties of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of bacteriophage. However, as he later recalled, experiments with phage were his brood, he wanted to learn more about the true structure of DNA molecules, which are so enthusiastically spoke of genetics.
. Nucleic acids were first discovered in the nucleus of human cells by the Swiss researcher Friedrich Miescher in 1869
. At the beginning of XX century. biologists and biochemists are able to examine the structure and basic properties of the cell. It was found that one of the nucleic acids, DNA, is an extremely large molecule consisting of structural units, called nucleotides, each of which contains a nitrogenous base.
By 1944, Mr.. American biologist Oswald Avery, working at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (now Rockefeller University), presented evidence that genes are composed of DNA, this hypothesis was confirmed in 1952. Alfred Hershey and Martha Chase. Although it was clear that DNA controls the basic biochemical processes in the cell, but neither the structure nor the function of the molecule were not known.
In the spring of 1951, during a stay at a symposium in Naples (Italy), U. met Maurice G.F. Wilkins, English explorer. Wilkins and Franklin Rosalyn, his colleague at the Royal College of Cambridge University, conducted X-ray analysis of DNA molecules and showed that they represent a double helix that resembles the spiral staircase. Their data have led. the idea to explore the chemical structure of nucleic acids. National Society for the Study of Infantile Paralysis has allocated a grant. In October 1951. he went to the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge University to study the spatial structure of proteins, together with John K. Kendrew. There he met Francis Crick, a physicist, interested in biology and wrote at that time a doctoral thesis.
Finding the similarity of their interests, have. and Crick in 1952. decided to try to determine the structure of DNA. They were aware that there are two types of nucleic acids - DNA and ribonucleic acid (RNA), each of which consists of pentose monosaccharide groups, phosphate, and four nitrogenous bases: adenine, thymine (in RNA - uracil), guanine and cytosine. During the next eight months I. Crick and summarized the results with already existing, making the message on the structure of DNA in February 1953. A month later, they created three-dimensional model of the DNA molecule, made of beads, pieces of cardboard and wire.
. According to the model Crick - Watson, DNA is a double helix consisting of two chains dezoksiribozofosfata connected base pairs analogous to the stairs
. Through the hydrogen bonds connecting the adenine with thymine, and guanine - cytosine with. With this model it was possible to trace the replication of the DNA molecule itself. By U. and Crick, the two parts of the DNA molecule are separated from each other in the field of hydrogen bonds, which is very similar to the undoing zippers. From each half of the former molecule is synthesized a new molecule of DNA. The sequence of bases functions as a matrix, or pattern for the formation of new molecules of DNA. Opening of the chemical structure of DNA was assessed throughout the world as one of the most significant biological discoveries of the century.
Following the publication of model description in the English magazine 'Neicho' ( 'Nature') in April 1953. tandem Crick and I. collapse. A year later, with a small U. appointed Senior Research Fellow Department of Biology, California Institute of Technology in Pasadena (California). In 1955, when he worked as an assistant professor of biology at Harvard University, Cambridge (Massachusetts), he met again with the cry with which he conducted joint research to 1956. In 1958, Mr.. U. was appointed associate professor and in 1961. - A full professor.
W., Crick and Wilkins received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1962. 'for his discoveries in the molecular structure of nucleic acids and for defining their role for information transfer in living matter'. In a speech presentation, AV. EngstrцTm of the Karolinska Institute described the DNA as 'polymer composed of several types of building blocks - a monosaccharide, phosphate and nitrogen bases'. 'Monosaccharide and phosphate - repetitive elements giant DNA molecule, - said further EngstrцTm, - in addition, it contains four types of nitrogenous bases. Discovery is the order of the spatial connection of these building blocks'. EngstrцTm added that the definition of the structure of DNA 'offers the most unexpected possibilities for the explanation of the mechanism of control and transfer of genetic information'.
Since 1968. U. - Director of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology at Cold Spring Harbor (Long Iceland). Resign his position at Harvard in 1976, he devoted himself to guide research in the laboratory at Cold Spring Harbor. A significant part of his work took neuroscience and the study of the role of viruses and DNA in cancer development.
In 1968. U. married Elizabeth Levy, previously worked as an assistant in the laboratory. They had two sons, the family lives in was built in the XIX century. house on campus. U. - Author of 'Molecular Biology of the gene' ( 'The Molecular Biology of Gene', 1965), one of the most famous and popular textbook on molecular biology.
Among numerous awards and honors have. - Albert Lasker Award merikanskogonatsionalnogo public health (1960), Medal of John D. Carty, National Academy of Sciences (1971) and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1977). He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Society of Biochemistry, American Association for Cancer Research, American Philosophical Society and the Danish Academy of Sciences and Arts, as well as a member of the board of students at Harvard University. He was awarded honorary degrees from universities of Chicago, Hofstra, Long Island, Brandeis, Harvard, New York, Rockefeller University and Albert Einstein College of Medicine.