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Frederick Sanger, who won two Nobel Prizes for his work on DNA and protein sequencing, died yesterday, according to a spokesperson at the Laboratory for Molecular Biology at the University of Cambridge, UK. He was 95.


The chemist won the 1958 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for developing a method to determine the complete amino acid sequence of insulin.

Twenty-two years later, the Nobel Committee awarded him the 1980 prize in Chemistry for discovering a way to determine the ordered sequence of DNA molecules.

An adaptation of this method — known as Sanger sequencing — was used to sequence the human genome. He is only scientist to have won two Chemistry Nobels.

Just two other scientists have been awarded two Nobel Prizes in the sciences: Marie Curie (Physics in 1903 and Chemistry in 1911) and John Bardeen (Physics in 1956 and 1972).

After the announcement of a draft human genome sequence in 2001, Sanger penned an essay for Nature Medicine on the history of DNA sequencing.

“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.

His archived lab notes were recently made available by the Wellcome Collection.

Source:The Scientific American