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Fred Sanger, discoverer of insulin sequence, dies

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Cookie Monster, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. Cookie Monster

    Cookie Monster Approved members

    Jan 5, 2009
    Fred Sanger, one of only four people to have won two Nobel Prizes, died on Tuesday. While not a huge name in diabetes circles, his early work is key to the modern treatment of every Type 1.

    His first Nobel Prize was awarded in 1958 for devising a method for working out the sequence of amino acids that make up proteins. This had huge implications in all aspects of human health but of interest to diabetics is the protein he chose to study. Starting work in the 1940s he needed a protein that was readily available in a purified form. Thanks to Banting and colleagues over 20 years earlier, insulin fitted the bill.

    Armed with the sequence of insulin and with later developments in recombinant technologies, scientists were able to develop insulin analogues for which we are all grateful today.

    Sanger is more famous for his second Nobel, awarded for developing a method for sequencing DNA. Sanger sequencing quickly became a mainstay of genetic research, was used to sequence the first human genome, and is still widely used in laboratories today, over 30 years later. Any of you who have had genetic testing done, for diabetes or anything else, have Fred Sanger to thank.

    One of the truly great scientists.

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