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Google honours Indian-American scientist Har Gobind Khorana with doodle on 96th birth anniversary

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The Nobel Prize-winner is known for constructing the first synthetic gene and helping to understand the genetic makeup of cells.

Dr. Har Gobind Khorana is most-famous for his Nobel Prize-winning research on how the genetic code of a cell, or the order of nucleotides in nucleic acids, control the cell’s synthesis of proteins.

He was born on January 9, 1922 in a village named Raipur, Punjab which is now part of Pakistan. He lived in India until 1945 when he was awarded a Government of India Fellowship, which allowed him to travel to the UK and study for a Ph.D at the University of Liverpool.

Dr. Khorana then spent time at the Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule in Zurich with Professor Vladimir Prelog, returned to India for a brief period and then back to England where his interest in proteins and nucleic acids came to fruition in Cambridge.

Dr. Khorana is also renowned for constructing the first synthetic gene and received a multitude of awards during his lifetime, including the National Medal of Science

The Google on Tuesday celebrated the 96th birth anniversary of Indian-American biochemist Har Gobind Khorana with a Doodle. The Nobel Prize-winner is known for constructing the first synthetic gene. The Google Doodle honours him in 13 countries with an illustration of him and his work on deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA.

Khorana won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1968 along with Marshall W Nirenberg and Robert W Holley for their research that helped crack the genetic makeup of cells. He also won the National Medal of Science in the United States in 1966 and the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from the University of Columbia in 1968.

He was a professor at the University of British Columbia from 1952 to 1960, where he began his work on DNA research. Khorana was an alumnus of University of Punjab, University of Liverpool and University of Cambridge.

Dr. Khorana is also credited for the construction of the first artificial gene in 1972. Four years later, he announced that he was able to function an artificial gene within a bacterial cell. He passed away in 2011 in Massachusetts at the age of 89.

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