Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 2006


Published in Great Plains Research 16:1 (Spring 2006). Copyright © 2006 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Used by permission.


George W. Beadle-1958 Nobel Prize winner, giant of the order Isaac Newton had in mind when he wrote of standing on the shoulders of scientific predecessors- provided the first compelling evidence that the units of inheritance we call genes perform their function in sustaining life by encoding information to produce myriad biochemical catalysts called enzymes. The story of Beadle's life and his development of the "one gene-one enzyme" hypothesis is elegantly laid out by Paul Berg and Maxine Singer in this scholarly and engrossing biography. Through the authors' nimble guidance, we discover an "uncommon farmer" indeed, one whose talent and tenacity provided exceptional service to science, education, and his country.