Friday, May 20, 2011

Born This Day: Edward B. Lewis

Lewis (May 20, 1918 - July 21, 2004) was an American developmental geneticist who was awarded the 1995 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for discovering the functions that control early embryonic development with co-winners Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard and Eric F. Wieschaus. They identified and classified 15 key genes that determine the body plan and formation of body segments of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster.

FF © Marvel Comics
Lewis studied the next step, the homeotic genes that govern the development of a larval segment into a specific body segment. Lewis found a co-linearity in time and space between the order of the genes in the bithorax complex and their effect regions in the segments. From Today In Science History