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Google Doodle Celebrates Scientist Har Gobind Khorana, Who Helped Better Understand DNA

10 January 2018

Google is marking what would have been Har Gobind Khorana's 96th birthday with a doodle to celebrate the Nobel Prize winner's accomplishments in the field of biochemistry.

"Dr. Khorana made a second scientific breakthrough when he constructed the first synthetic gene", writes Google on its Google Doodle blog.

Popular search engine Google also designed its homepage on Tuesday dedicated to the scientist on his birth anniversary. The tiny engineered organism was a massive leap forward, helping launch the biotechnology sector and blazing a trail for scientists looking to manipulate life at its most fundamental levels, including recent work on editing genomes using the CRISPR/Cas9 system. His family was the only literate one in the village, which had a mere 100 people.

Google honors scientist Har Gobind Khorana with new Doodle

Bangalore-based illustrator Rohan Dahotre shared the 1968 Nobel Prize in Physiology or medicine with two colleagues named Robert Holley and Marshall Nirenberg who presented Khorana in the doodle. In 1952, Khorana started his research on DNA at the University of British Columbia. The three scientists cracked the code that is DNA as they learned about the inner functions of the nucleotides - discovering that the order of nucleotides determines which amino acids are built.

-Married to Swiss Esther Elizabeth Sibler, Khorana's biography praised Sibler for bringing a "consistent sense of purpose.at a time when, [Har] Khorana felt out of place everywhere and at home nowhere". Khorana also became an expert on the chemical synthesis of proteins and nucleic acids. Three years later, he continued on to Switzerland for a postdoctoral year at ETH Zurich, a university known for its contributions to chemistry, physics, and mathematics. His death was announced by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was a professor emeritus.

Khorana lived in India until 1945 and then moved to England to study for a Ph.D degree at the University of Liverpool, after which he received a Fellowship award from the Indian government. He is survived by his children Julia and Davel.

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Google Doodle Celebrates Scientist Har Gobind Khorana, Who Helped Better Understand DNA