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Medical News & Perspectives
November 8, 2006

Fundamental Genetic Findings Net Nobels

JAMA. 2006;296(18):2189-2190. doi:10.1001/jama.296.18.2189

The 2006 Nobel prizes in chemistry and in physiology or medicine recognize 3 scientists who revealed fundamental information about the roles and mechanisms of RNA in eukaryotic cells.

Molecular biologists Andrew Z. Fire, PhD, of the Stanford University School of Medicine, and Craig C. Mello, PhD, of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, were selected by the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute to share the Nobel prize in physiology or medicine for their discovery of RNA interference, a mechanism that allows the targeted silencing of genes. The Nobel prize in chemistry was awarded to Roger Kornberg, PhD, professor at Stanford University and son of a Nobel laureate, for his work producing exquisitely detailed pictures of the gene transcription process, which is how information from DNA is transferred to messenger RNA.