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Posted By : ANGEL SHAILESH KACHHADIA, Class 6, Vidyarthi Vigyan Manthan

Har Gobind Khorana was born in Raipur, a small village in Punjab territory of United India on 9th January 1922. His father shri Ganpat Rai  was doing job of Patwari. He understood the importance of education and provide full encouragement to all of his children to study. His family was the only literate in the village. So, during childhood, he sit on steps of the post office for transcripting letters to illiterate villagers. They were used to wake up very early in the morning and start working, so his home was marked as first blowing chimney in the village. He had completed his primary schooling in Raipur in open class under the trees.

He attended D.A.V. High School in Multan, & obtained an B. Sc. Degree in 1943 and M. Sc. Degree in 1945 from Punjab University. He was awarded by the Government of India Fellowship programmes to go to England for a Ph. D. degree at the University of Liverpool.

During 1947, India get freedom. So his family shifted to New Delhi. New government granted further one year’s scholarship for post doctoral work, which he did at Switzerland’s Federal Institute of Technology. There he meet Esther Sibler who became good friend and courage him.

He return to New Delhi in 1949 and search for proper work or job. He couldn’t get his level of work, so he went to England. There he obtained a fellowship to work with A.R.Todd. He stayed in Cambridge and worked in both proteins and nucleic acids.

In 1952, he got merried with Sibler and joined as H.O.D. in organic chemistry department of British Colombia Research Counncil at Vancouver, Canada. He was offered  the opportunity to form his own research group on whatever topic he wished. His group became very successful in developing methods for synthesizing phosphate ester derivatives of nucleic acids.In 1959 he and John G. Moffatt announced the synthesis of acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl CoA), So this discovery led to Khorana's international recognition within the scientific community and he received many job offers as a result.

 IN 1960,He accepted the position of codirector of the Institute for Enzyme Research at the University of Wisconsin, USA. In 1961, Marshall W. Nirenberg, and Heinrich J. Matthaei announced that they had created a synthetic mRNA, which, when inserted into E. coli bacteria. . In order to understand gene expression, Khorana turned to DNA synthesis and sequencing. Recognizing the importance of the class of ribonucleotides known as transfer RNAs (tRNAs), For this work Khorana, along with Nirenberg and biochemist Robert w. Holly, was awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology in 1968.

 In 1970 Khorana announced the creation of the first artificial DNA gene of yeast. At the same time, he and most of his research team moved to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Since going to MIT, Khorana has reported major advances concerning how rhodopsin, the photo receptor in the human eye functions. In the 1980’s, he synthesized the gene for rhodospin, a protein involved in vision.

During his long and distinguished career, Khorana has been the author or co-author of over 500 scientific publications.

They have three children: Julia Elizabeth, Emily Anne, and Dave Roy. Khorana died of natural causes on 9 November 2011 in Concord, Massachusetts, at hte age of  89 years. A widower since 2001, he was survived by his children. His brother Nandlal Khorana is living in delhi. 


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