American biochemist and molecular biologist who, with Sidney Altman,
was awarded the 1989 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for their discoveries
concerning RNA (ribonucleic acid).
Cech and Altman received a Nobel Prize for their independent discoveries
that RNA, traditionally considered to be only a passive messenger of
genetic information, can also take on an enzymatic role in which it
catalyzes, or facilitates, intracellular chemical reactions essential
to life. Before their discoveries, enzymatic activity had been attributed
exclusively to proteins. Cech was the first person to show that an RNA
molecule could catalyze a chemical reaction, and he published his findings
in 1982. Altman, whose earlier research had pointed strongly to such
a conclusion, conclusively demonstrated such enzymatic activity by an
RNA molecule in 1983.
Main Page | About Us | All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. Timeline of Nobel Prize Winners is not affiliated with The Nobel Foundation. External sites are not endorsed or supported by http://www.nobel-winners.com/ Copyright © 2003 All Rights Reserved.