During the late 1950s and early '60s Arber and several others extended
the work of an earlier Nobel laureate, Salvador Luria, who had observed
that bacteriophages (viruses that infect bacteria) not only induce hereditary
mutations in their bacterial hosts but at the same time undergo hereditary
mutations themselves. Arber's research was concentrated on the action
of protective enzymes present in the bacteria, which modify the DNA
of the infecting virus--e.g., the restriction enzyme, so-called for
its ability to restrict the growth of the bacteriophage by cutting the
molecule of its DNA to pieces.
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