ASBMB Nobel Prize Winners

1980 - Paul Berg

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Berg

Paul Berg (1926- present) was awarded half the 1980 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his development of recombinant-DNA techniques, in which an artificial DNA sequence is created by combining other DNA sequences. Berg developed methods for splitting DNA at particular sites and attaching segments of it to viral DNA, also called plasmid, which were then injected in bacterial or animal cells. This resulted in the synthesis of proteins that were not normally found in these bacterial or animal cells. One of the earliest practical results of recombinant technology was the development of a strain of bacteria containing the gene that produces the mammalian hormone insulin.