Roberts , Richard

Roberts , Richard
(1943–) British molecular biologist
Born in Derby, Roberts was educated at the University of Sheffield where he gained his PhD in 1968. He moved soon after to America and, after spending a year at Harvard, he moved to the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York, in 1971. He is currently serving as research director at New England Biolabs, Beverly, Massachusetts.
By the late 1970s it had become clear that the cells of some organisms seemed to have far too much DNA. Prokaryotic cells, i.e., cells without a nucleus, such as the bacteria Escherichia coli, have a single chromosome consisting of about 3 million DNA bases. A protein of about 300 amino acids will require 900 base pairs. Consequently a prokaryotic cell should be able to produce about 3000 proteins, a figure in reasonable agreement with experience. Eukaryotic cells, however, i.e., cells with a nucleus, as in mammals, have a genome of 3–4 billion base pairs, capable of producing some 3 million proteins, a number far in excess of the 150,000 or so proteins found in mammals. The disparity was solved in 1977 when Roberts, working with adenoviruses, stumbled upon the phenomenon of split genes. While all the DNA of prokaryotic cells was transcribed into messenger RNA (mRNA), which was then used as a template upon which amino acids could be assembled into proteins, something quite different seemed to be happening in the nuclei of eukaryotic cells. Only a part of the DNA, sometimes as little as 10%, was actually transcribed into mRNA. DNA appeared to be composed of several stretches, termed ‘introns’, serving no known purpose, but which separated the active DNA sequences, soon to be called ‘exons’. In the process of transcription the introns were neatly excised and the exons consequently spliced together to form the mature mRNA responsible for the production of protein.
The work of Roberts was independently confirmed by Phillip Sharp, with whom he shared the 1993 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine.

Scientists. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Roberts, Richard J. — ▪ British molecular biologist in full  Richard John Roberts   born Sept. 6, 1943, Derby, Eng.       molecular biologist, the winner, with Phillip A. Sharp (Sharp, Phillip A.), of the 1993 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his independent …   Universalium

  • Roberts, Richard — born April 22, 1789, Carreghova, Montgomeryshire, Wales died March 16, 1864, Manchester, Eng. British inventor. He was an uneducated Welsh quarryman before he took a position with Henry Maudslay and then established his own machine tool factory.… …   Universalium

  • Roberts, Richard — (22 abr. 1789, Carreghova, Montgomeryshire, Gales–16 mar. 1864, Manchester, Inglaterra). Inventor británico. Fue un cantero galés inculto, quien después de emplearse con Henry Maudslay, estableció su propia fábrica de máquinas herramientas. Fue… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Roberts,Richard John — Roberts, Richard John. Born 1943. British born chemist. He shared a 1993 Nobel Prize in medicine for discovering that some genes are not continuous but instead contain sequences, known as introns, that do not function as codes for the formation… …   Universalium

  • Roberts — Richard …   Scientists

  • Richard J. Roberts — Richard Roberts Richard Roberts Richard Roberts en 2007 Naissance 6 septembre 1943 Derby (Roya …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Richard J. Roberts — Richard John Roberts Richard John Roberts (* 6. September 1943 in Derby, Derbyshire) ist ein britisch amerikanischer Biochemiker und Molekularbiologe. 1993 erhielt er zusammen mit Phillip Allen Sharp den Nobelpreis für …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Richard Roberts — en 2007 Naissance 6 septembre 1943 Derby (Royaume Uni) Nationalité …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Richard John Roberts — (* 6. September 1943 in Derby, Derbyshire) ist ein britisch amerikanischer Biochemiker und Molekularbiologe. 1993 erhielt er zusammen mit Phillip A. Sharp den Nobelpreis für Physiologie oder Medizi …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Richard J. Roberts — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Richard J. Roberts Richard J. Roberts nació en Derby, Inglaterra, en 1943. Estudió inicialmente Química, posteriormente se traslada a Estados Unidos, donde desarrolla …   Wikipedia Español

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.