Phillip A. Sharp explains the seminal experiments he performed in the late 1970s that demonstrated the splicing of introns from newly transcribed RNA in human cells. Since those experiments, we’ve learned that RNA transcripts from one gene can be spliced in different ways to produce different proteins. Considering this level of diversity in gene expression, Sharp asks the question “What defines a gene?” Is it the DNA sequence that gets transcribed or is it the entire functional unit (i.e., DNA, mRNAs, and proteins) resulting from that sequence?
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|Recorded: 2014Transcript (.txt)(.xls)|
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About the Speaker
Phillip A. Sharp is Institute Professor at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology. He is a veteran geneticist and molecular biologist most known for his work discovering RNA splicing in human cells. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Richard J. Roberts for this discovery. Before taking a position at MIT in 1974, he studied plasmids at the California Institute of Technology and then gene expression at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory as a post-doctoral fellow. In addition to the Nobel Prize, Sharp has received numerous awards for his research and impactful contributions to molecular biology and genetics, including the National Medal of Science in 2006. Sharp is a member of the National Academy of Science and is a Foreign Member of the Royal Society of London.
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