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07 Mar 2019

Nobel Prizes - the central dogma and the genetic code

Add to my calendar 07/03/2019 11:55 am Australia/Melbourne Nobel Prizes - the central dogma and the genetic code Auditorium DD/MM/YYYY

07 Mar 2019
12.00 - 1.00pm


The discovery of specific base-pairing and the double-helix structure of DNA revolutionized biology. It was the starting point of molecular biology, but it took time to fully understand the relations of DNA to RNA and their role in protein synthesis. In 1962 the demonstration of the structure of DNA was recognized by a Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. Six year later the same prize was given for the discovery of the genetic code. The latter prize also recognized the demonstration of the structure of transfer RNA. The other two forms of RNA involved in protein synthesis, the messenger RNA was highlighted by the 1965 Nobel Prize, whereas ribosomal RNA was in focus in connection with some later prizes. The possibilities to read and write the “books of life” has revolutionized biology and continuous to transform it. The moving frontiers of molecular biology all the way towards insights into the origin of life in the RNA world will be discussed against the background of Nobel Prizes awarded into the present time.

Professor Erling Norrby

Professor Erling Norrby has an MD and PhD from the Karolinska Institute, the School of Medicine, Stockholm. He was the professor of virology and chairman at the Institute for 25 years. During that time he also served as Dean of the Faculty of Medicine for 6 years and was deeply involved in the work on Nobel prizes in physiology or medicine for 20 years. After leaving the Institute he became Permanent Secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for six years. During this time he had overriding responsibility for the Nobel Prizes in Physics and Chemistry and was a member of the Board of the Nobel Foundation. Presently he is at the Center for the History of Sciences at the Academy and in 2010 he published the book Nobel Prizes and Life Sciences, in 2013 by a second book Nobel Prizes and Nature’s Surprises and in 2016 a third book entitled Nobel Prizes and Notable Discoveries. In addition he is currently Vice-Chairman of the Board of the J. Craig Venter Institute. He also has one of the leading functions at the Royal Swedish Court as Lord Chamberlain in Waiting.