Nobel Prize For Physiology Or Medicine Essay

Nobel Prize For Physiology Or Medicine Essay

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Alfred Day Hershey grew up to become a winner of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1969 for his world changing genetic discovery. In 1952, at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York with his research assistant, Martha Chase, through an experiment, discovered that phage DNA enters the bacterial cell and then directs the cell to produce more bacteriophages. This experiment proved that DNA (deoxyribose nucleic acid) is the genetic material of bacteriophages as well as other organisms, opposed to the prior belief that protein was the genetic material of organisms. This discovery had set the groundwork for modern genetic study, which led to pharmaceutical development and possibilities of genetic enhancements.
The study of genetics can be traced back to as far as Gregor Mendel’s pea plant experiments in which he discovered three laws: The Law of Segregation, The Law of Independent Assortment, and The Law of Dominance. His results were published in 1865 but was not acknowledged until much later. “It wasn 't until 1900, after the rediscovery of his Laws, that his experimental results were understood.” (Concept 1 Children Resemble Their Parents). Many other discoveries had been made from the time of the rediscovery of Mendel’s Laws up until Alfred Day Hershey’s discovery of DNA as genetic material. One discovery that was crucial to the discovery made by Hershey years later was the discovery made of bacteriophages made by Frederick Twort in 1915 and Felix d’Herelle in 1917. “Immediately after their discovery, the thought of using phages to fight bacterial infections was already apparent.” (Phages). Without the discovery and theories of bacteriophages, Hershey never would not have been able to make his discovery in 1952. “Alfr...

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...n has been expressed regarding its inherent biological and social hazards.” (Genetic Engineering). It may be a long time until scientist completely understand GMOs, but speculations point towards negative results.
The discovery of DNA being genetic material, made by Alfred Day Hershey in 1952, has since been influential in a number of ways. It had set the groundwork of modern day genetics by influencing other major discoveries. It had also made its way to influencing pharmaceuticals and the medical field by using information found in those discoveries to come up with methods for creating medicine and cures. The effect of Hershey’s discovery is still impacting our lives today by giving us the possibility of genetic modification through genetic engineering. Hershey’s encounter with this discovery not only impacted the United States of America, but impacted the world.

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