George Wells Beadle


George Wells Beadle

Infobox_Scientist
name = George Wells Beadle


image_width =
caption =
birth_date = October 22, 1903
birth_place = Wahoo, Nebraska, USA
death_date = death date and age|1989|06|09|1903|10|22
death_place = Chicago, Illinois, USA
field = Genetics
alma_mater = University of Nebraska, Cornell University
work_institution = California Institute of Technology
University of Chicago
Harvard University
Stanford University
doctoral_advisor = Franklin D. Keim
doctoral_students =
known_for = Gene regulation of biochemical events within cells
prizes = Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
religion = Christian
footnotes =

George Wells Beadle (October 22, 1903 – June 9, 1989) was an American scientist in the field of genetics, and Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine Nobel laureate who with Edward Lawrie Tatum discovered the role of genes in regulating biochemical events within cells.

Beadle and Tatum's key experiments involved exposing the bread mold "Neurospora crassa" to x-rays, causing mutations. In a series of experiments, they showed that these mutations caused changes in specific enzymes involved in metabolic pathways. These experiments led them to propose a direct link between genes and enzymatic reactions, known as the "one gene, one enzyme" hypothesis.

Biography

Beadle was born in Wahoo, Nebraska. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in agronomy from the University of Nebraska's College of Agriculture in 1926 where he was a member of FarmHouse fraternity. At the recommendation of his advisor, Franklin D. Keim, he then entered graduate school in agronomy at Cornell University, intending to study ecology. He soon switched his focus to genetics and cytology, pursuing research on maize (corn) genetics under Rollins Adams Emerson—including some collaboration with Barbara McClintock. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell in 1931. [Berg and Singer, "George Beadle: An Uncommon Farmer", chapters 1-4]

For post-doctoral work, Beadle joined Thomas Hunt Morgan's "fly lab" at the California Institute of Technology, where he worked with Alfred Sturtevant and others on "Drosophila" genetics. There, working with Boris Ephrussi, he helped develop a technique for transplanting foreign cells in fly larvae (creating a third eye in flies' abdomens); this technique was used to demonstrate that some mutations affecting eye color involved genes that controlled specific metabolic steps in the production of eye pigment. In an effort to precisely characterize the reactions and substances involved, he recruited biochemist Edward Tatum to work on the pigment problem as well. They eventually isolated and identified the pigment precursor found in the "vermilion" mutant, but did so shortly after an independent German group. Over the course of his "Drosophila" work, Beadle was a professor at Harvard University, then Stanford University. [Berg and Singer, "George Beadle: An Uncommon Farmer", chapters 5-9]

With Tatum, Beadle switched his focus to a model organism more suited to biochemical genetics: "Neurospora". By constructing mutant strains that required specific nutritional elements (amino acids or vitamins), they established that individual gene mutations were responsible for individual steps in the metabolism and synthesis of vital nutrients. This led, in 1941, to propose the "one gene-one enzyme hypothesis," the idea that a gene specifies a single enzyme, rather than a complex set of characteristics (as was generally assumed). [Berg and Singer, "George Beadle: An Uncommon Farmer", chapters 9-11]

In 1946, with the support of Linus Pauling, Beadle was recruited to head the newly reorganized biology division of Caltech; the department was one of the prototypes of what would become known as "molecular biology". During the early Cold War, Beadle was outspoken in his defense of colleagues under investigation for suspected Communist ties, and also worked on defining and publicizing the potential dangers of nuclear weapons-related radiation. In 1958, Beadle and Tatum were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for their work on biochemical genetics. Beadle went on to serve as president of the University of Chicago from 1961-1968, helping—through fund-raising and recruitment—to re-establish its reputation as a top research university. He published a book, "The Language of Life", in 1966. [Berg and Singer, "George Beadle: An Uncommon Farmer", chapters 12-17]

Following his retirement as university president, Beadle returned to research, now on the evolutionary relationship between corn and teosinte. He continued research until the late 1970s, when Alzheimer's disease made continued intellectual work impossible. George Beadle died in 1989; his second wife Muriel Barnett Beadle died in 1994. He had one son, David (b. 1931), with his first wife Marion Hill Beadle. [Berg and Singer, "George Beadle: An Uncommon Farmer", chapters 18-19]

References

External links

*Paul Berg and Maxine Singer. "George Beadle: An Uncommon Farmer. The Emergence of Genetics in the 20th Century". Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory Press, 2003. ISBN 0-87969-688-5
*"Nobel Lectures, Physiology or Medicine 1942-1962", Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1964

Persondata
NAME= Beadle, George Wells
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=
SHORT DESCRIPTION= genetics scientist
DATE OF BIRTH= October 22, 1903
PLACE OF BIRTH= Wahoo, Nebraska, USA
DATE OF DEATH= 1989-06-09
PLACE OF DEATH= Chicago, Illinois, USA


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • George Wells Beadle — (* 22. Oktober 1903 in Wahoo, Nebraska; † 9. Juni 1989 in Pomona, Kalifornien) war ein US amerikanischer Biologe, der sich vorrangig mit Genetik beschäftigte. Er erhielt 1950 den Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research und 1958 gemeinsam… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • George Wells Beadle — nace en 1903 en Nebraska, Estados Unidos. Estudió Ciencias en la Universidad de Nebraska, obtiene el doctorado en la Universidad de Cornell, Nueva York, en 1931, inmediatamente después comienza a trabajar en el Instituto de Tecnología de… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • George Wells Beadle — Archivo:George W. Beadle.jpg George Wells Beadle George Wells Beadle (1903 1989) nace en 1903 en Nebraska, Estados Unidos. Estudió Ciencias en la Universidad de Nebraska, obtiene el doctorado en la Universidad Cornell, Nueva York, en 1931,… …   Wikipedia Español

  • George Wells Beadle — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Beadle. George Wells Beadle, né le 22 octobre 1903 à Wahoo dans le Nebraska aux États Unis, mort le 9 juin 1989 (à 85 ans), était un scientifique américain, spécialiste en génétique. Né de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • George Wells Beadle — noun United States biologist who discovered how hereditary characteristics are transmitted by genes (1903 1989) • Syn: ↑Beadle, ↑George Beadle • Instance Hypernyms: ↑biologist, ↑life scientist …   Useful english dictionary

  • Medizinnobelpreis 1958: George Wells Beadle — Joshua Lederberg — Edward Lawrie Tatum —   Der Nobelpreis ging an die drei amerikanischen Wissenschaftler für die Erforschung der Regulation chemischer Vorgänge durch die Gene und die Genetik von Bakterien.    Biografien   George Wells Beadle, * Wahoo (Nebraska) 22. 10. 1903,✝ Pomona… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • George W. Beadle — George Wells Beadle (* 22. Oktober 1903 in Wahoo, Nebraska; † 9. Juni 1989 in Pomona, Kalifornien) war ein US amerikanischer Biologe, der sich vorrangig mit Genetik beschäftigte. Er erhielt gemeinsam mit Edward Lawrie Tatum im Jahr …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • George W. Beadle — George Wells Beadle George Wells Beadle. George Wells Beadle, né le 22 octobre 1903 à Wahoo dans le Nebraska aux États Unis, mort le 9 juin 1989, était un scientifique américain, spécialiste en génétique. Né de parents …   Wikipédia en Français

  • George Wells — may refer to: * George Albert Wells (born 1926), Emeritus Professor of German at Birkbeck, University of London * George H. Wells (1833–1905), American lawyer * George Wells (cricketer) (1830–1891), English cricketer * George Wells (politician) …   Wikipedia

  • Beadle,George Wells — Bea·dle (bēdʹl), George Wells. 1903 1989. American biologist. He shared a 1958 Nobel Prize for discovering how genes transmit hereditary characteristics. * * * …   Universalium


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