“The code lies at the basis of life…

…and understanding it was a turning point in the history of biology.”

Marshall Niremberg, who solved the puzzle when he was 34, has died at 82:

Dr. Nirenberg amazed biologists when he and his colleague, the German scientist Johann Heinrich Matthaei, announced their identification of the first codon. He pulled another surprise when he beat out better-known scientists in the ensuing race to identify the other 63 codons in the genetic code. He received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine shortly afterward, in 1968. (Two other scientists shared the prize with him.)

Read the obit. Science is full of surprises, and not the orderly process it is often made out to be. My favorite line about Dr. Niremberg:

“He had an idea every two or three minutes,” Dr. Leder said.

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