US molecular biologist. In 1972, using gene-splicing techniques developed
by others, Berg spliced and combined into a single hybrid the DNA from
an animal tumour virus (SV40) and the DNA from a bacterial virus. For
his work on recombinant DNA, he shared the 1980 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.
After graduating from Pennsylvania State College in 1948 and taking
a doctorate from Western Reserve University in 1952, Berg pursued further
studies at the Institute of Cytophysiology in Copenhagen and at Washington
University in St. Louis, where he remained as assistant professor of
microbiology until 1959. In 1956 Berg identified an RNA molecule (later
known as a transfer RNA) that is specific to the amino acid methionine.
He then perfected a method for making bacteria accept genes from other
bacteria. This genetic engineering can be extremely useful for creating
strains of bacteria to manufacture specific substances, such as interferon.
But there are also dangers: a new, highly virulent pathogenic microorganism
might accidentally be created, for example. Berg has therefore advocated
restrictions on genetic engineering research.
Main Page | About Us | All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. Timeline of Nobel Prize Winners is not affiliated with The Nobel Foundation. External sites are not endorsed or supported by http://www.nobel-winners.com/ Copyright © 2003 All Rights Reserved.