Har Gobind Khorana, Nobel-prize winning biochemist, remembered on 96th birth anniversary with Google Doodle

Google Doodle is celebrating the 96th birth anniversary of renowned Indian-American biochemist, Har Gobind Khorana, who won a Nobel prize in the field of genetics.

Har Gobind Khurana. Image: Wikipedia

Har Gobind Khurana. Image: Wikipedia

Khorana won the Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1968 for his work on discovering that the order of nucleotides in our DNA determine which amino acids are built. These amino acids, in turn, form the proteins which are responsible for the essential cell functions. Khorana shared this Nobel award with two other biochemists from the University of Wisconsin, namely Marshall W Nirenberg and Robert W Holle.

Khorana was born on 9 January 1922 in Raipur in Punjab, which is now in Pakistan. He was the youngest of five children. He started showing a flair for science at a very young age and this was nurtured by his father, who helped him and his siblings read and write. He lived in India until 1945.

According to Google, scholarships helped propel the budding scientist through his scholastic journey, obtaining his doctorate in organic chemistry in 1948.

Khorana studied for a PhD at the University of Liverpool, then spent some time at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule in Zurich. Post that, he spent some time in India before returning to Cambridge to continue his research on proteins and nucleic acids. He conducted his research at universities in England, Switzerland and Canada. Eventually, at the University of Wisconsin along with two other biochemists, Khorana's work won him the Nobel prize.

Har Gobind Khorana doodle

Har Gobind Khorana doodle

But that wasn't the end of it. Khorana is also credited with another scientific breakthrough when he constructed the first synthetic gene. He was also awarded the National Medal of Science during his lifetime.

Khorana passed away on 9 November 2011.

Bangalore-based illustrator Rohan Dahotre drew today’s Doodle, which celebrates Khorana’s pioneering work in understanding our DNA. The Doodle's reach is across India, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, North America and parts of South America and Europe as well.

You can see the various drafts of the Doodles on the archive page.

Updated Date: Jan 09, 2018 12:16 PM