George Wells Beadle Biography
Birthday: October 22, 1903 (Libra)
Born In: Wahoo, Nebraska, United States
George Wells Beadle was an American geneticist who won the 1958 Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering the role of genes in regulating biochemical events within cells. Born in Nebraska, United States, his father was a well-to-do farmer and it was expected that he would follow his footstep once he finishes his schooling. However, urged by his science teacher he first joined College of Agriculture under the University of Nebraska for his bachelor’s degree and then went on to earn his M.S. and PhD degree from the University of Cornell. Afterwards he received fellowship and did his postdoctoral from Caltech. However, his major work, for which he received the Nobel Prize, was done at the University of Stanford. Here he worked with Edward Tatum on Neurospora crassa. They found that the structure of a specific enzyme was determined by a specific gene and that each enzyme allowed a single chemical reaction to proceed. The concept is known as ‘one gene-one enzyme hypothesis’. Later, he shifted back to Caltech and as Chairman of its Biology Division he turned it into a center of excellence. He continued his research even after he retired and proved that genetically there is little difference between Teosinte and maize. However, owing to Alzheimer’s disease his last days were spent divorced from reality.