Geneticist And Biochemist
Using the mold on bread as his focus of experimentation, Edward L. Tatum was able to track the genetic inheritance patterns of the mold known as Neurospora. While working as a research associate at Stanford University, Tatum and his partner, geneticist George W. Beadle, followed the earlier work of Gregor Mendel and Hermann J. Muller seeking, as he said, "a clear understanding of the molecular level of how genes determine the characteristics of living organisms." During World War II, his work on molds helped him develop a way to improve the production of penicillin, which was in great demand to treat the wounded. Tatum would to on to become a professor of botany at Yale. In 1958, he shared the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine with Beadle "for their discovery that genes act by regulating definite chemical events." Tatum was born on this date in 1909 and died in 1975.
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