Monday, November 05, 2007

Leslie Orgel, Biochemist Who Studied Origins of Life, 80

Dr. Orgel, along with Francis Crick and Carl Woese are responsible for the "RNA World" theory -- an idea that the world biome was RNA-based before it was DNA-based.
clipped from
Leslie E. Orgel, a biochemist whose studies of early life on primitive Earth helped lead to the formation of a now widely accepted theory about the development of DNA, died Oct. 27 in San Diego. He was 80.

Dr. Orgel had also advanced a novel idea about life’s possible arrival from outer space.

The cause was pancreatic cancer, said a spokesman for the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, where Dr. Orgel had been on the faculty since 1964.

Dr. Orgel and others began to pose seminal questions about DNA’s biochemical origins in the 1960s, as the molecular structure o DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, was being unraveled and its role as a storehouse of genetic instructions was becoming more widely understood.

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