World’s Super Scientists – Hargobind Khorana

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Producer of artificial genes in the laboratory – Hargobind Khorana
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Dr. Hargobind Khorana was born on January 2, 1922 at Raipur in Punjab (now in Pakistan).

In 1945, Scientist Hargobind Khorana went to Manchester University and obtained Ph.D. The irony of fate was that, three years later when he returned to India, he could not get a job. Dejected and disgusted, he went back to England.

Scientist Hargobind Khorana’s research in England yielded fruitful results. In 1959, he succeeded in isolating a substance called ‘coenzyme A’, which is an essential product in body metabolism.

Nine years later, at the age of 46, he was awarded Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for his research.

Dr. Khorana contributed nearly 300 papers on research in genetics.

On his visit to India in 1969,  Scientist Hargobind Khorana was awarded Padma Bhushan. Honorary degree of D.Sc, was conferred on him by The Punjab University Chandigarh.

Khorana settled in U.S.A, a heart-rending instance of ‘brain drain’ to the mother country.

In 1970 Scientist Hargobind Khorana worked as Alfred Sloan Professor of Biology and Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His work on ‘genetic code’ was acclaimed world -wide.

Scientist Hargobind Khorana synthesized ‘artificial gene’ – thus paved the way for ‘recombinant DNA technology’. He and his team of 24 scientists took more than 9 years to produce one gene 207 of Escherichia coli, a bacterium that lives in the gut (intestines) of humans and animals; they built it up piece by piece in the laboratory, i.e. in vitro.

In August 1976, this man-made gene was “inserted” into Escherichia coli, and it began to function like its natural gene / counterpart.

The Government of India honoured him with Padma Bhushan. His researches in dreadful diseases like cancer will benefit humankind.

A gene is a biologic unit of genetic material and inheritance. Each gene influences one particular characteristic and as particular nucleic acid sequence within a Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) molecule that occupies a locus on a chromosome in the nucleus of a cell. Each cell contains thousands of genes.

“Hereditary factors” are termed “genes”. Genes are store-houses of genetic information; they are comparable to microchips in a computer.

The gene is composed of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in all living organisms; in few viruses ribonucleic acid (RNA) is the genetic material.

“Stop” and “Start” signals could be given to monitor gene function. The cascade of “genetic information retrieval”  is thoroughly balanced in life, with some enzymes to “proof read” and “repair” the wrong signals. When the balancing acts fail, genetically inherited diseases occur.

Gene manipulation and gene transfer methods come under ‘transgenic technology’.

Transplantation of organs from other species is known as xenografting; however, problems like ‘rejection’ in the efforts to attempt pig-human organ transplantation are afoot in the minds of researchers. Transgenic technology has great potential in many fields in biology.

Early symptoms which suggest cancer acrostic CAUTION

C : Change in bowel or bladder (urinary) habits A : A sore throat that doesn’t heal

U : Unusual bleeding or discharge from anywhere in the body

T : Thickening / hardening of lump in breast or elsewhere I  : Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing; diarrhoea O : Obvious change in size / colour in wart or mole N : Nagging cough, hoarseness or breathlessness.
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acrostic – cancer

curable if detected early.

awesome if ignored.

nihilistic attitude not desirable.

could be diagnosed and cured when.

early detection reveals it.

rascally in its evolution / behaviour.

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