And, indeed, Arber, in his own laboratory in Switzerland, characterized this system that modifies its own DNA. Revel, with help from Luria, Georgopoulos, and others, found that the T2 phage takes this system one step farther by using a bacterial enzyme to attach sugars to modified cytosines. Genetics vs. For much of his career, Luria applied his keen insight to phages — viruses that invade and kill bacteria. Discovery of endonucleases or DNA “cutting” enzymes was done by Stewart Linn and Werner Arber. The clones can also be manipulated and mutated in vitroto alter the expression and function of the protein. Meanwhile, on the West Coast, two scientists— Stanley Cohen at Stanford University and Herbert Boyer at the University of California at San Francisco— saw the publication of Nathans’s, Arber’s, and Smith’s works and wanted to follow it up. His career … Scientists have used restriction enzymes to make proteins glow like jellyfish, to study the structure of DNA, and to make bacteria produce insulin. Meselson has investigated DNA repair in cells and how cells recognize and destroy foreign DNA, and, with Werner Arber, was responsible for the discovery of restriction enzymes. Luria went about his career, still carrying this mystery with him. “If you wanted to know something on a daily basis, you went to Helen Revel,” recalls Costa Georgopoulos, a professor at the University of Utah who earned his PhD in Luria’s lab in the 1960s. Immediately after its preparation, the phage stock was carefully purified from the radioactive medium and then used for a one-cycle growth in a nonmodifying host in nonradioactive medium. It adds some chemical groups, and they’re no longer recognized by the restriction enzyme, so it doesn’t chop its own DNA. He earned a medical degree in Torino, Italy, but decided he preferred performing research over practicing medicine. Arber and two of his colleagues, Daniel Nathans and Hamilton O. Smith, eventually won their own Nobel prize for their work on restriction enzymes. At the time, most research into viruses focused on the phages that Luria studied, but Baltimore wanted to break new ground by studying viruses that infect animals. The third aspect of his hypothesis was that successful virus strains must mutate so they’re no longer recognizable. Each of them was highly specific for a certain site that happened to be on a virus. Arber: Yeah, and my experiment was done in 1960. Early in the 2oth century, it was recognized that a protein will fold in the same way it does inside the cell as if you put the protein in water. But many important discoveries, from penicillin to medical X-rays, are inspired by a messy fluke rather than carefully reasoned logic, and Human’s discovery was no different. He and two collaborators won the Nobel Prize after realizing that pre-existing genetic mutations in bacteria can protect them from deadly phages. Bacterial viruses are also called bacteriophages. First, Luria’s former research associate, Guiseppe Bertani, showed that phages other than T2 also behave differently in different types of bacteria. 2 Much of his research was directly related to evolution, and for this reason his conclusions in this area are of considerable interest. First, host bacteria, Arber proposed, make an enzyme that recognizes a specific DNA sequence on viral DNA—catalyzing the chopping-up of the invading DNA. His interest in science was stimulated by his reading of Paul De Kruif’s Microbe Hunters (1926) and Sinclair Lewis’s Arrowsmith (1925). Scientists had just begun to elucidate the link between genetics, viruses, and cancer in the early 1970s, but Baltimore says that Luria was often the first person to jump on new applications for the techniques and thinking underlying molecular biology. The discovery of restriction enzymes is credited to Swiss scientist Werner Arber in the 1960′s. Werner Arber was born in Switzerland in 1929 and graduated from one of the world’s great universities, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, in Zurich. Luria was renowned for his ability to predict which direction biology would move, so the Institute wanted him to fill this role. Several basic techniques were used in this experiment in order to reach the objective. Although it could be said that Gregor Mendel was the first genetic engineer, the most commonly accepted names in genetic engineering are Herbert Boyer and Stanley Cohen in 1972. And also for the first time, even a Nobel laureate – the world-famous Swiss microbiologist Werner Arber – is taking up the cudgels for this controversial discovery. This came at the tuition of Werner Arber (Image 1), who received the Nobel Prize together with Smith and the late Dan Nathans. It’s a spontaneous process. 1976 Prenatal genetic diagnosis with the help of DNA, was discovered. Fortunately, Human’s boss was a jovial scientist named Salvador Luria, who appreciated that life’s quirks often yield the most valuable results — so much so that he wrote a 1955 Scientific American article in which he praised Human’s approach. Human and Luria concluded that something about the mutant E. coli changed the T2, and limited the kinds of bacteria in which it could grow. Werner Arber grew up in a Protestant family who lived in Granichen, a village in the German-speaking part of Switzerland half way between Bern and Zurich. Werner Arber (2015) Insight into the Laws of Nature for Biological Evolution Abstract Both evolutionary biology and genetics have their roots 150 years ago in work with phenotypic variants of plants and animals. From the lecture series: Understanding Genetics — DNA, Genes, and Their Real-World Applications. 1973. One day, in the midst of an experiment, Human realized she’d run out of the strain of E. coli she usually used, and this is where the experiment got a little untidy. As a graduate student at the University of Geneva in the 1950s, he studied with a physics professor, and he watched this physics professor get converted from doing pure physics to doing biophysics, being interested in genetics. This has mainly become possible by introducing new research strategies including the experimental exploration of biologically active molecules and their interactions, in using among 1926) grew up in Brooklyn, New York, in the 1930s. Werner Arber, (born June 3, 1929, Gränichen, Switz. T2 always killed the first batch of mutant E. coli, but when he tested whether a new batch of the same type of bacteria would catch the virus from the dead bacteria, the new batch didn’t succumb to the virus. They isolated chromosomes from both of these, put them in a test tube, and just as they had planned in the restaurant, they cut the chromosomes open with restriction enzymes and glued the two chromosomes together using this third enzyme. “Luria’s genius was understanding where biology was going,” says Baltimore. Simultaneously, Matt Meselson and Bob Yuan also isolated a restriction enzyme from Escherichia coli K ( 10 ). This came at the tuition of Werner Arber (Image 1), who received the Nobel Prize together with Smith and the late Dan Nathans. Learn more about the physical and chemical environment of the gene. Arber was specifically interested in the fact that certain viruses were restricted to certain host cells. In 1962, he and his graduate student, Daisy Dussoix, found that bacteria seemed to evade infection by viruses by chopping up the invading virus DNA into fragments. But Luria’s life was also extraordinary. https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/werner-arber-7428.php Indeed, Luria’s life was far from being a tidy package. There’s an enzyme. They had to prove that these chromosomes had been glued together, and so they took some naive bacteria that didn’t have any bacterial resistance to antibiotics, and they put this new chromosome in with them. Since Human’s fortuitously messy experiment, a lineage of phage researchers that originated in Luria’s lab had learned a lot about how bacteria and phages interact. The cell is dead, and hundreds of virus particles are released. And, indeed, these viruses had mutations in their DNA that altered the DNA base sequence so that it no longer had the site that the restriction enzyme recognized, and so it didn’t cut anymore. Berg (b. The restriction enzyme story starts in the late 1940s, when Luria was a professor at Indiana University. A decade after these initial reports, Werner Arber and Daisy Dussoix, using phage lambda as experimental system, showed that it was the phage DNA that carried the host-range imprint . 9). email@example.com. In his career Arber was a professor at several universities, including the University of Southern California and the University of Basel. They had created genetically functional recombinant DNA, the recombination of the two different genomes. Both his parents and grandparents were farmers and as a boy he worked in the fields. It was a revolutionary discovery. 77 Massachusetts Ave, 68-132 | Cambridge, MA 02139 | 617–253–4701, © 2019 MIT Department of Biology | Credits, Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology, Biology Undergraduate Student Association, Interdisciplinary and Joint Degree Programs, Bernard S. and Sophie G. Gould MIT Summer Research Program in Biology (BSG-MSRP-Bio). In his career Arber was a professor at several universities, including the University of Southern California and the University of Basel. These scientists had taken two chromosomes, cut them open, put them back together, and showed that they were functional in a cell. 1973. But the untidy experiment Luria referred to in his Scientific American article related to a lesser-known aspect of his lab’s phage work: restriction enzymes, which cut DNA at specific places. She didn’t advertise her skill as a scientist; she just got to work. This is a transcript from the video series Understanding Genetics: DNA, Genes, and Their Real-World Applications. David Baltimore, professor at the California Institute of Technology, was one of Luria’s early mentees at MIT. 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