Medicine: Those Amazing Chemical Scissors

Three win Nobel Prize for work with versatile enzymes

Because the basic blueprint of human life is encoded in hundreds of thousands of genes contained in unwieldy strands of DNA in each living cell, researchers have had a hard time deciphering it. But in recent years they have been greatly aided in their work by a group of remarkable tools: enzymes that act as chemical scissors, cutting strips of DNA into precise and manageable fragments.

The discovery of these so-called restriction enzymes promises to help un ravel the mysteries of cell development, hereditary disease and...

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