Frederick Sanger, was born on August 13, 1918 at Rendcombe, Gloucestershire, England. Sanger was educated at Bryanston School and then got his Bachelor of Arts in Natural Sciences at St John's College, Cambridge. He originally intended to study medicine, but became interested in biochemistry as some of the leading biochemists in the world were at Cambridge at the time which lead him to receive his Ph. D. degree in 1943 from the University of Cambridge. He was then offered biochemistry department of Cambridge headed up by A. C. Chibnall. Later in 1951, he joined the staff of the Medical Research Council and became one of the heads of the Council's molecular biology laboratory at Cambridge in 1961. Sanger then later retired, from the Medical Research Council in 1983. Later in Sanger's life he married Margaret Joan Howe and she bared him two sons, Robin and Peter Sanger, and one daughter, Sally Joan Sanger. Sanger spent 10 years elucidating the structure of the bovine insulin molecule, and by 1955 he had determined the exact order of all that molecule's amino acids. In doing so, he proved that proteins have specific structures. He began by degrading insulin into short fragments by mixing the trypsin enzyme (which splits protein) with an insulin solution. He then applied a spot of the mixture to a sheet of filter paper. He passed a solvent through the filter paper in one direction, and passed an electric current through the paper in the opposite direction. Depending on their solubility and electric charge, the different fragments of insulin moved to different positions on the paper, creating a distinct pattern. Sanger called these patterns "fingerprints". Like human fingerprints, these patterns were characteristic for each protein, simple and reproducible. He reassembled the short fragments into longer sequences to deduce the complete structure of insulin. Sanger concluded that the protein insulin had a precise amino acid sequence. It was this... [continues]
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