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SMITH, Michael

( Chemist, Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1993)

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Biography SMITH, Michael
Smith, Michael (Smith, Michael) (1932-2000) (Canada). Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1993 (jointly with K. Mallisom).

Born April 26, 1932 on the south coast of England in Blackpool. Parents of Rowland and Mary Agnes Smith were poor and worked it - in the dining room for guests, and he - in the garden of his father in the village of Marton Moss Blackpool under. From the age of five Michael studied at the local school at the church for 6 years, then, thanks to scholarships, he studied at a local private school, Arnold, cheekbones, chemistry teacher that Sidney Lowe has stimulated interest in the chemistry.

In 1950, with financial support of the Education Committee of Blackpool Smith went to Manchester University and graduated in 1953. In 1956 received his doctorate. His head was an organic chemist HB Henbest, and the work was carried out in cyclohexane diols.

The summer of 1956 Smith learned that the Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine (1968) Har Gobind Quran (p. 1922) from Vancouver, Canada has a job to work on the synthesis of biologically important organophosphates. Smith wrote to him and was invited to the Koran as a trainee.

He arrived in Vancouver in September 1956. He was tasked with developing an effective method of synthesis of nucleoside-5-phosphate. This study led to the expansion of the reactions carbodiimides with acids, including esters of phosphoric acid, as well as a general method for preparing nucleoside-3 ,5-tsiklofosfatov, the biological significance of which was discovered later. Studied in the course of the class of protective groups is now used in modern automated synthesis of DNA and RNA fragments.

In 1960 Smith joined the Research Institute of enzymes in the University of Wisconsin, where he worked on the synthesis of Oligoribonucleotides, the most acute at the time the chemical problem in the field of nucleic acids.

In early 1961 Smith joined the Research Laboratory in Vancouver, pisciculture. Here, he has published many articles on the crab, shellfish, salmon and other marine life, but could continue to work and on the chemistry of nucleic acids, through a grant from the National Institutes of Health. He created a new method of synthesis of nucleoside-3 ,5-tsiklofosfatov. Smith became a Canadian citizen in 1964.

The situation in the laboratory was not conducive to academic research. Laboratory housed in the University of British Columbia and in 1966, Smith became a professor of biochemistry at the medical faculty of the University, where he remained. The exceptions were the years of internship at the Rockefeller University, Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge and at Yale University.

The first developed a method of directed mutagenesis in the early 1970's and several years perfecting his. In 1978, Smith and his staff have achieved the first successes in the directed mutagenesis of the DNA molecules of bacteriophage, . and in 1982 they were able to produce large quantities of the enzyme, . which, through his method replaces any selected amino acids in the amino acid sequence of the enzyme,

The method has become a new way to study the function of proteins. Amino acid sequence of the protein and, consequently, its function can be modified, if caused by a mutation in the nucleotide sequence of the gene. Then the structure and function of the modified protein can be compared with the properties of unmodified natural polypeptide. Before the method of Smith's technique biochemical experiments to establish the genetic mutation was inaccurate and often accidental instrument, and the experiment itself - time consuming. Smith corrected the situation by creating a method of directed mutagenesis, which consists in a specific mutagenesis at the desired location of the gene. This enabled the experimenters to determine the role and place of each amino acid in protein structure and function.

Directed mutagenesis has become a powerful tool for genetic engineering. In addition to its value for basic research directed mutagenesis has found many applications in medicine, agriculture, industry. For example, it can be used to create variant protein was more stable or more active, or more useful than its predecessor, the natural.

In 1981 he was invited to the scientific co-founders of a new biotechnology company 'Zimos'. One of the first contracts the company had been concluded with the Danish pharmaceutical company 'New', which asked to develop the technology of the production process of human insulin in yeast culture. As a result of joint efforts method was developed. Later he became the founder of the biotechnology firms' Zimogenetiks Inc.. ".

In 1986, created a biotech lab at the University of British Columbia, while a supervisor in one of the companies on genetic engineering, which was founded in 1990

. In 1991 - Director of the Biomedical Research Institute, . located on the territory of British Columbia, . but the administrative difficulties, . problems associated with changing the status of the institute and its financing (it is in this period, became a private university), . Smith led a year get rid of this post,

In 1993, Smith, along with Mallisom received the Nobel Prize "for fundamental contributions to the establishment of directed mutagenesis, based on the oligonucleotide, and for his development for the study of proteins'. In 1995, in an interview to predict changes in biological science. With the completion of the draft human genome becomes available to the general nucleotide sequence of DNA for all genes. These genes make up the code for each of the 100 000 species of proteins, the body needed, but we understand some things just are not more than about 5 000 of them. Decoding information on the relationship of the nucleotide sequences of the genome with the remainder of the amino acid sequences will be a difficult task.

He liked to work at the bench, sailing and skiing.

Died Oct. 4, 2000.

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