Paul Berg

Paul Berg (* June 30, 1926 in Brooklyn, New York City ) is an American biochemist and molecular biologist who was awarded the 1980 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on the nucleic acid biochemistry and especially for the insights into the hybrid DNA. Together with him, Walter Gilbert and Frederick Sanger were excellent.


Paul Berg was born in 1926 in New York and studied at the Pennsylvania State University until 1948. His doctorate in 1952 at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. In 1959 he followed the vocation of a professorship in biochemistry at Stanford University in California.


Like his colleagues Sanger and Gilbert and Paul Berg dealt primarily with biomedical research in nucleic acids. However, these two dedicated primarily to determine the base sequences of nucleic acids, while the research Paul Berg focused on the hybrid DNA. 1972 Paul Berg found a way with which he could cut the deoxyribonucleic acid ( DNA) with the help of enzymes in parts. These restriction enzymes discovered and explored by Werner Arber, Daniel Nathans and Hamilton Smith Othanel (Nobel Prize for Medicine 1978), yielded fragments of DNA that could be put together with the help of other enzymes again. In this way, Paul Berg was the first scientist who could assemble the DNA sequences of different organisms to hybrid DNA molecules.

In 1978 Paul Berg, the construction of a hybrid DNA, in which he was able to bring a gene of the rabbit in a viral DNA and transferred this functional in a primate cell. Thus, the genetic manipulation he was the first achieved by the fusion of genes from different organisms. Despite his personal achievements and progress in the hybridization Paul Berg warned of the risks of this technology and was mainly responsible for a 1975 international moratorium decreed the gene surgery, which sub-band for several years, research on certain particularly sensitive and virulent experiments voluntary resignation.

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