Google Doodle celebrates 96th birth anniversary of Nobel Laureate Har Gobind Khorana

Rohan Dahotre  Google

The artwork, created by Bangalore-based artist Rohan Dahotre, depicts Dr. Khorana (who passed away in 2011) in a black and white sketch alongside another cartoon of him in a laboratory.

It was here that he "helped to decipher how RNA encodes for the synthesis of protein", which is what ultimately won him the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1968 along with Marshall Nirenberg and Robert Holley.

Hailed for constructing the first synthetic gene, Nobel Prize victor Har Gobind Khorana would have been 96 on Tuesday, January 9 - that's the date of birth shown in his documents, although the exact date remains uncertain.

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Fewer than five years later, Khorana made a second scientific breakthrough when he constructed the first synthetic gene. Through scholarships, Khorana eventually earned his doctorate in organic chemistry at the age of 26 - and then began his global academic career, conducting research in Canada, England, and Switzerland before settling in the United States. Khorana is best known for his work cracking the genetic code.

Tuesday would have been Khorana's 96th birthday. In 1952, Khorana started his research on DNA at the University of British Columbia. These amino acids form proteins, which carry out essential cell functions, according to the bio.

Dr. Khorana then spent time at the Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule in Zurich with Professor Vladimir Prelog, returned to India for a brief period and then back to England where his interest in proteins and nucleic acids came to fruition in Cambridge. He became a US citizen in 1966, just two years before his Nobel. In 1970, Har was named Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Biology and Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Khorana and Esther have three children together: Julia, Emily, and Dave. He died in 2016 at the age of 80.

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