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Fred Sanger Dies

Fred Sanger, the biochemist and two-time winner of the Nobel Prize, has died, the Associated Press reports. He was 95.

Sanger received his first Nobel in chemistry in 1958 for his work on the structure of insulin, and then, as Cambridge News notes, he turned his attention to DNA. His team's development of a sequencer led to his second Nobel Prize and the beginning of the genomic era.

"When we started working on DNA I don't believe we were thinking about sequencing the entire human genome — perhaps in our wildest dreams but certainly not within the next 30 years," Sanger wrote in Nature Medicine in 2001 after the announcement of the draft sequence of the human genome, as the Nature News blog points out.

"Fred can fairly be called the father of the genomic era: his work laid the foundations of humanity's ability to read and understand the genetic code, which has revolutionized biology and is today contributing to transformative improvements in healthcare," Jeremy Farrar, the director of the Wellcome Trust, which named an institute after Sanger, says in a statement.