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Curr Biol. 2015 Jun 29;25(13):R526-32. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2015.05.032.

Who discovered messenger RNA?

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Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, M13 9PT, UK. Electronic address:


The announcement of the discovery of messenger RNA (mRNA) and the cracking of the genetic code took place within weeks of each other in a climax of scientific excitement during the summer of 1961. Although mRNA is of decisive importance to our understanding of gene function, no Nobel Prize was awarded for its discovery. The large number of people involved, the complex nature of the results, and the tortuous path that was taken over half a century ago, all show that simple claims of priority may not reflect how science works.

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