Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

Now in our 9th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Born on this Day - 100th Anniversary Units of Being

Today is the 100th anniversary of the birth of Fred Sanger who revolutionised the field of molecular biology and genetics

13 August 2018

Units of Being

Proteins and DNA live in symbiosis – in a cell, one can’t survive without the other. The work-horses of the cell, proteins are transporters, catalysts and signal carriers, their functions underpinned by DNA carrying an intricate code that dictates the sequence of amino acids in each protein. A hormone named insulin was the first protein to have its amino acid sequence uncovered, the product of over ten years of patient work by Frederick Sanger – born on this day in 1918 – who used ‘Sanger’s reagent’ to break up the long amino acid chains of the protein and meticulously sequence each fragment. Awarded his first Nobel Prize in 1958 for this work on protein structure, Sanger’s second Nobel Prize was awarded in 1980 for work on the other building block of life – DNA, where, by inventing the ‘Sanger method’ of reading the genetic code, Sanger revolutionised the field of genetics for years to come.

Read more here about Fred Sanger at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

Written by Ellie McLaughlin

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at with translations by the University of Valencia.