Nathans, Daniel

born Oct. 30, 1928, Wilmington, Del., U.S.
died Nov. 16, 1999, Baltimore, Md.

U.S. microbiologist.

He received a medical degree from Washington University. Working principally at Johns Hopkins University, he used the restriction enzyme isolated from a bacterium by Hamilton O. Smith to investigate the structure of the DNA of a monkey virus (SV40), the simplest virus known to produce cancer. His construction of a genetic map of the virus was the first application of restriction enzymes to the problem of identifying the molecular basis of cancer. He shared a 1978 Nobel Prize with Smith and Werner Arber.

* * *

▪ 2000

      American microbiologist (b. Oct. 30, 1928, Wilmington, Del.—d. Nov. 16, 1999, Baltimore, Md.), conducted research that led to the use of restriction enzymes in the dismantling of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) into fragments, a technique that permitted unprecedented scrutiny of genetic information. In 1978 Nathans shared a Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with Hamilton O. Smith of the U.S. and Werner Arber of Switzerland for this groundbreaking work, which has been credited with spurring the creation of the biotechnology industry and making possible the Human Genome Project. Nathans studied at the University of Delaware and earned his medical degree (1954) from Washington University, St. Louis, Mo. He chose a career in research and worked at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., and Rockefeller University, New York, N.Y., before joining (1962) the faculty at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, where he taught for 37 years. In 1969, while at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel studying viruses that cause tumours in animals, Nathans learned that Smith, his colleague at Johns Hopkins, had discovered a restriction enzyme that could effectively slice the DNA of bacteria at specific, predictable points. He used this method to study the DNA of simian virus 40, a simple cancer-causing virus, and isolated a gene in the virus that specifies the production of a protein that causes tumours. His findings later led to advanced research on cancer, hereditary diseases, and genetic engineering. Nathans was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1993.

* * *

▪ American biologist
born Oct. 30, 1928, Wilmington, Del., U.S.
died Nov. 16, 1999, Baltimore, Md.

      American microbiologist who was corecipient, with Hamilton Othanel Smith (Smith, Hamilton Othanel) of the United States and Werner Arber (Arber, Werner) of Switzerland, of the 1978 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. The three scientists were cited for their discovery and application of restriction enzymes (restriction enzyme) that break the giant molecules of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) into fragments, making possible the study of the genetic information they contain. The process constitutes one of the basic tools of genetic research.

      The son of Russian immigrants, Nathans attended the University of Delaware and Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, where he earned a medical degree in 1954. He became a professor of microbiology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1962 and director of its department of microbiology in 1972; he also briefly served as the school's interim president (1995–96).

      In his prizewinning research, Nathans used the restriction enzyme isolated by Smith from the bacterium Haemophilus influenzae to investigate the structure of the DNA of the simian virus 40 (SV40), the simplest virus known to produce cancerous tumours. This achievement, the construction of a genetic map of a virus, heralded the first application of restriction enzymes to the problem of identifying the molecular basis of cancer. His work also played an important role in the development of prenatal tests for such genetic diseases as cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia. In 1993 Nathans was awarded the National Medal of Science.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Nathans, Daniel — Nathans , Daniel …   Scientists

  • NATHANS, DANIEL — (1928–1999), U.S. Nobel laureate in medicine (1978). Nathans was born in Wilmington, Delaware, of Orthodox Jewish immigrants from Latvia and graduated in chemistry from the University of Delaware (1950) and in medicine from Washington University …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Nathans , Daniel — (1928–) American molecular biologist Born in Wilmington, Delaware, Nathans was educated at the University of Delaware and at Washington University, St. Louis, where he obtained his MD in 1954. After first working at the Presbyterian Hospital and… …   Scientists

  • Nathans,Daniel — Na·thans (nāʹthənz), Daniel. 1928 1999. American microbiologist. He shared a 1978 Nobel Prize for the discovery of restriction enzymes and their application to molecular genetics. * * * …   Universalium

  • Nathans, Daniel — ► (n. 1928) Médico estadounidense. Fue premio Nobel de Medicina y Fisiología en 1978, compartido con W. Arber y H. Smith. * * * (30 oct. 1928, Wilmington, Del., EE.UU.–16 nov. 1999, Baltimore, Md.). Microbiólogo estadounidense. Se tituló de… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Nathans — Daniel …   Scientists

  • Nathans — Nathans, Daniel …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Daniel Nathans — Born October 30, 1928(1928 10 30) Wilmington, Delaware Died November 16, 1999(1999 11 16 …   Wikipedia

  • Nathans — Daniel Nathans (* 30. Oktober 1928 in Wilmington, Delaware; † 16. November 1999 in Baltimore, Maryland) war ein US amerikanischer Mikrobiologe und Biochemiker. Er studierte an der Washington University in St. Louis Medizin und beendete dort das… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Nathans — may refer to: Nathan s Famous, a restaurant chain People with the family name Nathans Daniel Nathans, an American microbiologist This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title. If an …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.