The Nobel Prize is science’s highest honor. Each year there are only a few Nobel prizes awarded. These go to scientists whose discoveries “have conferredthe greatest benefit on mankind.
” Below is a list of the Nobel-worthy discoveries to which E. coli has contributed and the year that they received the prize.
- 2015: The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2015 was awarded jointly to Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar “for mechanistic studies of DNA repair”. Escherichia coli was extensively used in this research.
- 2008: Green fluorescent protein, a tag scientists use to track cell components
- 1999: Signal sequences on proteins, one way that cells organize themselves
- 1997: ATP generation, how cells make ATP, the energy molecule that powers life
- 1989: RNA as an enzyme, additional roles for RNA discovered
- 1980: Recombinant DNA, the creation of the first genetically engineered DNA
- 1978: Restriction enzymes, cellular “scissors” that allow scientists to cut DNA
- 1969: Virus replication, how viruses reproduce inside cells
- 1968: The genetic code, the language in which our DNA is written
- 1965: Gene regulation, how genes are turned on or off
- 1959: DNA replication, how life copies its genetic code
- 1958: Bacterial sex, and other ways bacteria can share genes with one another