Sir John Bertrand Gurdon (JBG), on the other hand, is a British development biologist, the one who studies the process by which organisms grow and develop.
JBG is best known for his pioneering research on somatic-cell nuclear transplantation (“SCNT”), which in genetics and developmental biology, is a laboratory technique for creating a clone embryo with a donor nucleus; and cloning, also in biology, is the process of producing similar populations of genetically identical individuals that occurs in nature when organisms such as bacteria, insects or plants reproduce asexually.
In 2009, Gurdon was awarded the Lasker Award, which is awarded annually since 1946 to living persons who have made major contributions to medical science or who have performed public service on behalf of medicine. And this year, won a Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, administered by the Nobel Foundation, awarded once a year for outstanding discoveries in the fields of life sciences and medicine, with Yamanaka.
In 1958, Gurdon, then at the University of Oxford, a university located in Oxford, England, successfully cloned a frog using intact nuclei, which in biology, are membrane-enclosed organelle found in eukaryotic cells, from the somatic cells of a “Xenopus” tadpole, a genus of highly aquatic frogs native Sub-Saharan Africa. This was an important extension of work of Briggs and King in 1952 on transplanting nuclei from embryonic blastula cells, a hollow sphere of cells formed during an early stage of embryonic development in animals.
Gurdon’s experiments captured the attention of the scientific community and the tools and techniques he developed for nuclear transfer are still used today. The term clone (from the ancient Greek word which means “twig”) had already been in use since the beginning of the 20th century in reference to the plants. In 1963, the British biologist J. B. S. Haldane, known as Jack (but uses the former name for printed works), a British-born geneticist and evolutionary biologist generally credited with a central role in the development of neo-Darwinian thinking (popularized by Richard Dawkins’ 1976 work titled “The Selfish Gene”), in describing Gurdon’s results, became one of the first to use the word “clone” in reference to animals.
Gurdon’s recent research has focused on analyzing intercellular signalling factors involved in cell differentiation, which in developmental biology, is the process by which a less specialized cell becomes a more specialized cell type, and on elucidating the mechanism involved in reprogramming the nucleus in transplantation experiments, including demethylation, a biochemical process that is important for normal development in higher organisms, of the transplanted DNA.