At the age of only 25, John Gurdon (born 1933) of the University of Oxford helped to lay the foundations for modern-day research on cloning.
For many years biologists had thought that once a cell was mature this could not be reversed. However, Gurdon showed that this was not always the case.
He replaced the nucleus of a frog egg, the part where DNA resides, with a nucleus taken from a tadpole stomach cell. In some cases the egg cell then developed into an adult frog and in this way he produced the first animal cloned from a mature cell. By doing this, he showed that DNA from the mature cell still had all the information needed to develop into all cells in the frog.
Gurdon published his findings in 1962, capturing the imagination of the scientific community. In 2012 he won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for this discovery, which changed our view of development, and created new opportunities to study diseases and develop methods for diagnosis and therapy.
- South East
- University of Oxford
- Key Individuals
- John Gurdon,