Beadle, George Wells

born Oct. 22, 1903, Wahoo, Neb., U.S.
died June 9, 1989, Pomona, Calif.

U.S. geneticist.

He earned his Ph.D. from Cornell University. While studying Drosophila, he realized that genes must influence heredity chemically and designed a complex technique to determine the nature of those effects, showing that something as apparently simple as eye colour results from a long series of chemical reactions, which are affected by genes. With Edward L. Tatum, he found that the total environment of a bread mold could be varied so that researchers could locate and identify mutations relatively easily, concluding that each gene determines the structure of a specific enzyme, which in turn allows a single chemical reaction to proceed. For the "one gene, one enzyme" concept, they shared a 1958 Nobel Prize with Joshua Lederberg. Beadle later served as president of the University of Chicago (1960–68).

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▪ American geneticist
born Oct. 22, 1903, Wahoo, Neb., U.S.
died June 9, 1989, Pomona, Calif.
 American geneticist who helped found biochemical genetics when he showed that genes affect heredity by determining enzyme structure. He shared the 1958 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with Edward Tatum (Tatum, Edward L.) and Joshua Lederberg (Lederberg, Joshua).

      After earning his doctorate in genetics from Cornell University (1931), Beadle went to the laboratory of Thomas Hunt Morgan at the California Institute of Technology, where he did work on the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Beadle soon realized that genes (gene) must influence heredity chemically.

      In 1935, with Boris Ephrussi at the Institut de Biologie Physico-Chimique in Paris, he designed a complex technique to determine the nature of these chemical effects in Drosophila. Their results indicated that something as apparently simple as eye colour is the product of a long series of chemical reactions and that genes somehow affect these reactions.

      After a year at Harvard University, Beadle pursued gene action in detail at Stanford University in 1937. Working there with Tatum, he found that the total environment of a red bread mold, Neurospora, could be varied in such a way that the researchers could locate and identify genetic changes, or mutants, with comparative ease. They exposed the mold to X rays and studied the altered nutritional requirements of the mutants thus produced. These experiments enabled them to conclude that each gene determined the structure of a specific enzyme that, in turn, allowed a single chemical reaction to proceed. This “one gene–one enzyme” concept won Beadle and Tatum (with Lederberg) the Nobel Prize in 1958.

      In addition, the use of genetics to study the biochemistry of microorganisms, outlined in the landmark paper “Genetic Control of Biochemical Reactions in Neurospora” (1941), by Beadle and Tatum, opened up a new field of research with far-reaching implications. Their methods immediately revolutionized the manufacture of penicillin and provided insights into many biochemical processes.

      In 1946 Beadle became professor and chairman of the biology division at the California Institute of Technology and served there until 1960, when he was invited to succeed R. Wendel Harrison as chancellor of the University of Chicago; the title of president was reassigned to the position a year later. He retired from the university to direct (1968–70) the American Medical Association's Institute for Biomedical Research.

      His major works include An Introduction to Genetics (1939; with A.H. Sturtevant), Genetics and Modern Biology (1963), and The Language of Life (1966; with Muriel M. Beadle).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Beadle,George Wells — Bea·dle (bēdʹl), George Wells. 1903 1989. American biologist. He shared a 1958 Nobel Prize for discovering how genes transmit hereditary characteristics. * * * …   Universalium

  • Beadle , George Wells — (1903–1989) American geneticist Beadle was born in Wahoo, Nebraska, and graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1926; he gained his PhD from Cornell University in 1931. He then spent two years doing research in genetics under T.H. Morgan at… …   Scientists

  • Beadle, George Wells — ► (1903 89) Bioquímico estadounidense. Fue premio Nobel de Medicina y Fisiología en 1958, compartido con E. L. Tatum y J. Lederberg, por sus estudios sobre genética bacteriana. * * * (22 oct. 1903, Wahoo, Neb., EE.UU.–9 jun. 1989, Pomona, Cal.).… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • George Wells Beadle — Infobox Scientist name = George Wells Beadle image width = caption = birth date = October 22, 1903 birth place = Wahoo, Nebraska, USA death date = death date and age|1989|06|09|1903|10|22 death place = Chicago, Illinois, USA field = Genetics alma …   Wikipedia

  • George Wells Beadle — Archivo:George W. Beadle.jpg George Wells Beadle George Wells Beadle (1903 1989) nace en 1903 en Nebraska, Estados Unidos. Estudió Ciencias en la Universidad de Nebraska, obtiene el doctorado en la Universidad Cornell, Nueva York, en 1931,… …   Wikipedia Español

  • George Wells Beadle — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Beadle. George Wells Beadle, né le 22 octobre 1903 à Wahoo dans le Nebraska aux États Unis, mort le 9 juin 1989 (à 85 ans), était un scientifique américain, spécialiste en génétique. Né de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • George Wells Beadle — (* 22. Oktober 1903 in Wahoo, Nebraska; † 9. Juni 1989 in Pomona, Kalifornien) war ein US amerikanischer Biologe, der sich vorrangig mit Genetik beschäftigte. Er erhielt 1950 den Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research und 1958 gemeinsam… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • George Wells — may refer to: * George Albert Wells (born 1926), Emeritus Professor of German at Birkbeck, University of London * George H. Wells (1833–1905), American lawyer * George Wells (cricketer) (1830–1891), English cricketer * George Wells (politician) …   Wikipedia

  • George Wells Beadle — nace en 1903 en Nebraska, Estados Unidos. Estudió Ciencias en la Universidad de Nebraska, obtiene el doctorado en la Universidad de Cornell, Nueva York, en 1931, inmediatamente después comienza a trabajar en el Instituto de Tecnología de… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • George Wells Beadle — noun United States biologist who discovered how hereditary characteristics are transmitted by genes (1903 1989) • Syn: ↑Beadle, ↑George Beadle • Instance Hypernyms: ↑biologist, ↑life scientist …   Useful english dictionary

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