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People in the News: Frederick Sanger, Lawrence Brody

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Frederick Sanger, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1958 for determining the structure of insulin, and again in 1980 for his work on sequencing DNA, has died at age 95. He was a biochemist at the Medical Research Council's Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge until his retirement in 1983. His group was the first to produce a whole genome sequence — 5,000 letters long of the virus phiX174 — and they also sequenced the first bit of human genetic material, the 16,000-letter sequence of DNA in a mitochondrion, the batteries inside biological cells.

His sequencing technique — dideoxy or Sanger sequencing — is still in use today. The Wellcome Trust named the Sanger Centre after him.


The National Human Genome Research Institute has appointed Lawrence Brody as director of the newly established Division of Genomics and Society. He is currently chief of the Genome Technology branch within NHGRI's intramural research program and CSO of the trans-NIH Center for Inherited Disease Research. He holds a BS from Pennsylvania State University and a PhD from Johns Hopkins University.

The Scan

Panel Votes for COVID-19 Pill

A US Food and Drug Administration panel has voted to support the emergency use authorization of an antiviral pill for COVID-19 from Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, CNN says.

But Not Harm

New Scientist reports that UK bioethicists say that though gene editing may improve food production, it should not harm livestock welfare.

Effectiveness Drop Anticipated

Moderna's Stéphane Bancel predicts that that current SARS-CoV-2 vaccines may be less effective against the Omicron variant, the Financial Times reports.

Cell Studies of Human Chromatin Accessibility, SARS-CoV-2 Variants, Cell Signaling Networks

In Cell this week: chromatin accessibility maps of adult human tissues, modeling to track SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, and more.