Why did Google dedicate a doodle to Har Gobind Khorana
January 9, Google surprised the world with a doodle of Har Gobind Khorana, an important man for science and whose advances were key to many of today’s scientific feats.
The beginnings of Har Gobind Khorana
Khorana was born in 1922 in a small town called Raipur, in India. The city, which was then British property, is now part of Pakistan. Khorana was born as the youngest of 5 siblings in a literate family, an exceptional context in the village. When he was old enough, his father taught him to read and write.
Through academic scholarships, Har Gobind Khorana finished his studies and achieved a degree in organic chemistry in 1948. At that time, with only 26 years, he began to study in several countries, such as England, Switzerland, Canada, and the United States, where He obtained citizenship in 1966.
Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1968
In 1968, when he carried out advanced research with his colleagues at the University of Wisconsin, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in recognition of his great contribution to genetics.
Khorana and his companions discovered, in a nutshell, that the order of DNA nucleotides determines which amino acids are constructed. They were, in other words, the first to decode the DNA code.
Creation of the first artificial gene in 1972
4 years later, Khorana was recognized again by the scientific community by building the first artificial or synthetic gene, a historical fact for genetics. As if that wasn’t enough, 4 years later, it made the artificial gene work inside a bacterial cell.
If it weren’t thanks to these Khorana discoveries, today’s amazing feats, such as the novel genetic edition, would not be possible. In that sense, Khorana has a lot of merits. The genetic edition is probably one of the most promising therapies known, and it all started with it.
The last years of Khorana
Until 2007, Khorana was a professor of biology and chemistry at the famous MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), where he ended up retiring. Finally, in 2011, at 89 years old, Khorana died due to natural causes.
On January 9, 2018, Google’s intention to recognize Khorana, 96 years after its birth, is very valuable. “Happy birthday, Dr. Khorana!” Says Google at the end of his doodle description. And we also add to that desire.