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BERG Paul

( Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1980)

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Biography BERG Paul
BERG, PAUL (Berg, Paul) (p. 1926) (USA). Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1980 (jointly with W. Gilbert and Frederick Sanger).
Born June 30, 1926 in New York, Brooklyn. One of three sons of Harry and Sarah Berg Berg. After graduating in 1943, Abraham Lincoln High School, he entered the Pennsylvania State College to study biochemistry, but he had to interrupt their studies because of the service in the naval forces of the United States in 1944-1946.

In 1946 he returned to Pennsylvania State College and graduated with honors in 1948, receiving a bachelor's degree in biochemistry. After college Berg worked at the University of Western Reserve (now the University of Case-Western Reserve) in Cleveland (Ohio), where in 1952 he was awarded a doctoral degree. In 1952-1953-x as a one-year scholarship conducted research at the Institute tsitofiziologii in Copenhagen, . in the next year to pursue further studies in this direction, together with Arthur Kornberg (Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine, . 1959) at Washington University in St. Louis,
.

In 1955 he became an assistant professor of microbiology at the University of Washington, in 1959 - an associate professor at Stanford University, and c 1969 - Professor.

At Stanford, Berg became interested in the role of transport ribonucleic acids (tRNA). Having isolated in pure form various tRNA and enzymes, he clarified the role of tRNA in protein synthesis.

Continuing this line of research, took a sabbatical for research at the Salk Institute, where he worked with Renato Dulbecco (Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, 1975).

Back in 1968 at Stanford University, Berg to the study of this polio virus-40 (SV40). These studies led him eventually to the creation of rekombinatntnyh DNA.

In 1972, Berg by chemical interaction for the first time managed to combine the two DNA viruses, having a molecular hybrid. DNA molecules containing material taken from more than one type of organism, known as recombinant DNA molecules. Despite the fact that recombinant DNA molecule found in living organisms, Berg believed that it is better to study in the laboratory.

In 1970, Berg began his first experiment to obtain a recombinant DNA molecule, taking to the virus 40 (SV40), causing the appearance of tumors in monkeys, and the well-studied bacterial virus lambda of Escherichia coli (bacteriophage X). He added to these specific enzymes in normal non-interacting organisms and their severed DNA molecules in such places that they might be recombining.

Their connection is accomplished with the help of complementary interactions between politimidilovoy and polidezoksiadenilovoy acids attached to the ends of DNA, followed by enzymatic cross-linking.

Berg's technique was useful because it gave the possibility to attach different genes to the virus, using it as a vehicle to penetrate into the cell. The prerequisites for the creation of gene libraries. In addition, the genes transferred in an unusual environment, begin to act differently, which creates conditions for studying the mechanism of their regulation. In the 1980 process of selection of genes and transform them into different circuits was automated.

Found discovery provoked intense debate. Many scientists feared that the artificial viruses can generate new cancer-causing bacteria, and therefore Berg broke his experiments with recombinant DNA molecules.

In 1974, with the active participation of Berg, concern about the potential dangers of these studies was imposed one-year moratorium. The following year he was chairman of the international conference, outlining the general line of such studies. However, when scientists realized that the technology for the study of recombinant DNA molecules is not as dangerous as initially thought, they ceased to strictly follow the previously worked out rules. The developed technology has allowed not only to operate the genes to create new pharmaceuticals, such as interferon and growth hormones, but also the first time so deeply penetrate into the molecular biology of higher organisms. This technology has become one of the important techniques of genetic engineering.

In 1980, Berg was awarded half the Nobel Prize "for fundamental studies of biochemistry of nucleic acids, particularly recombinant DNA '. The other half was divided equally W. Gilbert and Frederick Sanger. In his Nobel lecture Berg noted that the 'breakthrough achieved by the study of recombinant DNA molecules has provided a new effective approach to solving the issues that troubled mankind for centuries'.

After receiving the Nobel Prize Berg continued to conduct research at Stanford University, perfecting his method of molecular analysis of genes in higher animals. Since 1970, he - Professor of Biochemistry at Stanford University Medical Center.


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