Nirenberg, Marshall Warren

Nirenberg, Marshall Warren
born April 10, 1927, New York, N.Y., U.S.

U.S. biochemist.

He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He demonstrated that each possible triplet (codon) of the four different kinds of nitrogen-containing bases found in DNA and (in some viruses) in RNA (with three exceptions) ultimately causes the incorporation of a specific amino acid into a cell protein. His research earned him a Nobel Prize in 1968, which he shared with Robert William Holley and Har Gobind Khorana, whose work, like Nirenberg's, helped show how genetic instructions in the cell nucleus control the composition of proteins.

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▪ American biochemist
born April 10, 1927, New York, N.Y., U.S.
 American biochemist and corecipient, with Robert William Holley (Holley, Robert William) and Har Gobind Khorana (Khorana, Har Gobind), of the 1968 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. He was cited for his role in deciphering the genetic code. He demonstrated that, with the exception of “nonsense codons,” each possible triplet (called a codon) of four different kinds of nitrogen-containing bases found in deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and, in some viruses, in ribonucleic acid (RNA) ultimately causes the incorporation of a specific amino acid into a cell protein. Nirenberg's work and that of Holley and Khorana helped to show how genetic instructions in the cell nucleus control the composition of proteins.

      Nirenberg earned his B.S. (1948) in zoology and chemistry and his M.S. (1952) in zoology at the University of Florida. He received his Ph.D. in biological chemistry from the University of Michigan in 1957 and that year joined the staff of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Md. His research earned him the National Medal of Science in 1965, and the following year he was elevated to director of biochemical genetics at the NIH, a position he held for the remainder of his career. In 1968 Nirenberg and Khorana were recognized with an Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award and the Louisa Gross Horowitz Prize for Biology or Biochemistry.

      In the late 1960s Nirenberg's research shifted from genetics to neurobiology. He began investigating neuroblastomas—tumours involving masses of neurons, known as ganglia—and eventually developed a neuroblastoma model that served as the basis for a broad range of neurobiological research. In the 1970s Nirenberg used his model as a platform for explorations into morphine's effects on the nervous system and neural synapse formation in chicken retinas. During this time scientists discovered that under the influence of certain factors normal genes could be “switched on,” becoming overactive in the form of oncogenes (cancer-causing genes). This finding, which demonstrated that gene activity could change and that these changes could affect cell growth, stimulated Nirenberg's interest. His research had begun to focus on nervous system growth and development, but how these processes were controlled was unknown. Nirenberg reasoned that to further understand the development of the nervous system, it was necessary to understand the genes that had the greatest influence on neurological development in the embryo. By the late 1980s a set of genes, known as homeobox genes (discovered in 1983), had become central to his studies. His experiments concerning homeobox genes and the assembly of the nervous system in Drosophila (fruit fly) were crucial to the advancement of the field of neurobiology. Much of Nirenberg's work on nervous system development in Drosophila proved relevant to studies on the development of the nervous system in humans.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • NIRENBERG, MARSHALL WARREN — (1927– ), U.S. biochemist and Nobel Prize winner. Nirenberg was born in New York City and educated in Orlando, Florida. He received his B.Sc. (1948) and M.Sc. (1952) in zoology from the University of Florida at Gainesville and earned his Ph.D. in …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Nirenberg,Marshall Warren — Nir·en·berg (nîrʹĭn bûrg ), Marshall Warren. Born 1927. American biochemist. He shared a 1968 Nobel Prize for the study of genetic codes. * * * …   Universalium

  • Nirenberg , Marshall Warren — (1927–) American biochemist Nirenberg, who was born in New York City, graduated from the University of Florida in 1948 and gained his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Michigan in 1957. He then joined the National Institutes of Health in …   Scientists

  • Nirenberg, Marshall Warren — (n. 10 abr. 1927, Nueva York, N.Y., EE.UU.). Bioquímico estadounidense. Obtuvo un Ph.D. en la Universidad de Michigan. Demostró que cada tripleta posible (codón) de las cuatro clases de bases nitrogenadas presentes en el ADN y (en algunos virus)… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Nirenberg, Marshall Warren — (b. 1927)    US biochemist and Nobel laureate, 1968. Working in the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, Nirenberg and his co researchers threw new light on the ‘genetic code’ involving the interaction between nucleic acid (DNA)… …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

  • Marshall Warren Nirenberg — Born April 10, 1927 New York C …   Wikipedia

  • Marshall Warren Nirenberg — Marshall Nirenberg. Marshall Warren Nirenberg (10 de abril de 1927 15 de enero de 2010[1] ) fue un bioquímico y genetista estadounidense. Compartió el Premio Nobel …   Wikipedia Español

  • Marshall Warren Nirenberg — (10 avril 1927 15 janvier 2010) est un biochimiste américain. Il a reçu le Prix Nobel de physiologie ou médecine en 1968 avec Robert W. Holley et …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Marshall Warren Nirenberg — (um 1962) Marshall Warren Nirenberg und Heinrich Matthaei 1 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Medizinnobelpreis 1968: Robert William Holley — Har Gobind Khorana — Marshall Warren Nirenberg —   Die drei amerikanischen Wissenschaftler erhielten den Nobelpreis für »ihre Interpretation des genetischen Codes und dessen Funktion bei der Proteinsynthese«.    Biografien   Robert William Holley, * Urbana (Illinois) 28. 1. 1922, ✝ Los Gatos… …   Universal-Lexikon

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