NEW DELHI: Search engine Google on Tuesday celebrated the 96th birth anniversary of Indian-American biochemist Har Gobind Khorana.
Khorana was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1968 for unravelling the nucleotide sequence of RNA and deciphering the genetic code. He was then with the University of Wisconsin (UW).
Khorana came to Madison in 1960 to serve as co-director of the UW Institute for Enzyme Research and a member of the department of biochemistry.
He shared the award with Marshall W Nirenberg and Robert W Holley.
In 1970, shortly after he left Madison to join the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Khorana and colleagues announced that they had synthesised two genes crucial to protein-building work.
In 1976, they completed the synthesis of the first fully functional manmade gene in a living cell. The technique they pioneered laid the groundwork for subsequent research on how the structure of a gene influences its function.
In an autobiographical note written upon winning the Nobel Prize, Khorana wrote: 'Although poor, my father was dedicated to educating his children and we were practically the only literate family in the village inhabited by about 100 people.'
He was born on January 9, 1922 in Raipur in Punjab, now part of Pakistan.
The pioneering Indian American biochemist died of natural causes in Concord, Massachusetts on November 9, 2011.
Khorana is known as a scientist who revolutionised biochemistry with his pioneering work in DNA chemistry.
It was at Wisconsin that Khorana along with his colleagues worked out the mechanisms of RNA codes for the synthesis of proteins, which won him the Nobel Prize.
He is survived by his daughter, Julia, and son, Dave.