Temin Martin Howard
Country United States
Category Medicine
Year 1975

Temin Martin Howard, 1934 - 1994, Year won 1975, made a landmark breakthrough in cancer research.

Howard Temin was born in Philadelphia in 1934. At the age of 25, he received a Ph.D. at the California Institute of Technology. He taught and conducted research, and in 1969, became a professor of oncology at the University of Wisconsin.

In 1975, in conjunction with David Baltimore and Renato Dulbecco, Howard Temin was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for “their discoveries concerning the interaction between tumor viruses and the genetic material of the cell.”

The greatest discovery of the three scientists was their explanation of the mechanism that changes a normal cell into a cancerous one when infected by a tumor virus. They showed that the virus encodes its genetic information into the genome of the normal cell and exploits the cell to replicate viral molecules. This strategy is particularly effective because it does not destroy the host cell. Quite to the contrary, the cell is prompted to multiply and simultaneously produce additional viruses.

Temin and Baltimore proved that viruses are capable of creating DNA from an RNA template. This discovery ran counter to the prevailing dogma among scientists at that time.


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