Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Un Record a Severo Ochoa: importància de la seva obra i llegat científic

José Luis Paternain Suberviola, Maria Cabré Bargalló, Antoni Romeu Figuerola


Severo Ochoa is the best known Spanish biochemist and the one whose
influence in the development of the science of the country in the last years is beyond
doubt. Two characteristics in his biography must be pointed out: his long professional
life and his fecund scientific production in amount, quality and diversity. The main
contributions of Ochoa to the development of the biochemistry and molecular biology
were: the studies that took to identify enzymes responsible for the reactions,
mechanisms and regulation of part of the intermediary metabolism (pyruvate oxidation,
carbon fixation, the enzymes of the citric acid cycle); the discovery of polynucleotide
phosphorylase and the synthesis in vitro of RNA; the studies to resolve the
genetic code; and the studies on the mechanisms and the regulation of the protein
synthesis in prokaryotics and eukaryotics. The merit of his works was recognized
with the Nobel Prize of Physiology or Medicine in 1959 jointly with Arthur Kornberg,
by their discoveries in the mechanisms of the biological synthesis of the nucleic

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