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Google Doodle Celebrates 96th Birthday Of Har Gobind Khorana, A Nobel Prize-Winning Biochemist

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Google is honoring Nobel Prize-winning biochemist Har Gobind Khorana with a Google Doodle.

This comes on the day of the Indian-American scientist's 96th birthday.

Google Doodle: Jan. 9, 2018

Khorana is best known for creating the first synthetic gene and his work in DNA research.

He won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1968, along with two fellow scientists Robert W. Holley and Marshall W. Nirenberg, for "their interpretation of the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis."

Khorana was born on Jan. 9, 1922, where he was the youngest of five siblings. His father taught them how important it was to learn by teaching them how to read and write, an uncommon thing for villagers in Raipur, India, back then.

An award from the Government of India Fellowship allowed him to go to England to study and earn a PhD in organic chemistry in 1948 at the University of Liverpool. He eventually went to more universities in England, Switzerland, and Canada for research, and it was at the University of Wisconsin where he and his colleagues made the breakthrough that won them the Nobel Prize.

The three of them found out that the order of nucleotides in our DNA is the factor that determines the body's way of building amino acids. The amino acids in question would form proteins afterward, handling essential cell functions.

He would then continue to construct the first synthetic gene, several years later after receiving his accolade.

"Today's Doodle celebrates Har Gobind Khorana, an Indian-American biochemist whose passion for science started under a tree in the small village of Raipur, India, and grew into Nobel Prize-winning research on nucleotides and genes," Google says.

The artwork of Khorana was produced by Bangalore-based illustrator Rohan Dahotre, whose early drafts of the Doodle was shared by Google as well.

Based on the early outlines below, the artist tinkered with a lot of scientific-themed backdrops before ending up with Khorana conducting research, which seems to have taken cues from the third image.

Other Google Doodles

Google Doodles have always highlighted important figures in history, holidays, and big events.

That said, some Doodles worth mentioning include the 2016 Halloween Doodle that doubles as an interactive game and features a magic cat from the Magic Cat Academy and ghosts, as well as the 2017 Valentine's Day Doodle that not only lets users have a lot of fun but also raises awareness of the endangered pangolins.

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