Science: The Making of a Gene

Like the sages of his native India, Organic Chemist and Nobel Laureate* Har Gobind Khorana is an extremely patient man. Nine years ago, he began working on the chemical synthesis of a single gene—the basic unit of heredity. By 1970 he had constructed a yeast-cell gene identical to the original—except for one thing: it lacked the vital "start" and "stop" signals to make it function in a living cell. Last week members of Khorana's team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology disclosed that his goal had finally been achieved. At an American Chemical...

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