Jacob Francois
Country France
Category Medicine
Year 1965

Jacob Francois, 1920 - 2013, Year won 1965, A pioneer of the molecular biology..

Francois Jacob was born in Nancy, France, in 1920 in a family of merchant. His medical studies in the Paris University came to an end in 1940 with the invasion of France by the Germans; Jacob joined the “Free French” and served as a medical officer. His hands were severely wounded; so he understood he will never realized his dream to become a surgeon.

In 1947, he received his medical degree at the Sorbonne and devoted his doctoral research to the genetics of bacteria. He started working at the Pasteur Institute and in 1960 he was nominated director of the Genetics Research Department.

In 1965, Francois Jacob was awarded, together with Lwoff and Monod, the Nobel prize of physiology and medicine “for their discoveries concerning genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis”.

Jacob and Monod discovered the messenger-RNA molecule which transmit the information encoded in the DNA loaded in the cell nucleus – from the nucleus to the cell cytoplasm. There, with the help, among others, of two RNA, a new protein molecule is manufactured which fits exactly the code initially inscribed on the DNA.

Furthermore, Jacob and Monod differentiated two types of genes: the structural genes which are bearing all characters and information of a cell; and the regulatory genes which influence the rate of expression of each one of the structural genes. The regulatory genes can be influenced by internal stimuli of various sorts and, also occasionally, by external factors such as heat, radiation, and so on. Thus can explain diverse phenomenon such as burst of certain cancerous tumors and the sudden outbreak of viral diseases such as Herpes and Aids.

 

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