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Manfred Eigen (born May 9, 1927, Bochum) is a German biophysicist and a former director of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, now an honorary doctor of Technical University of Munich.
In 1967, he was awarded, along with Ronald George Wreyford Norrish and George Porter, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. They were distinguished for their studies of extremely fast chemical reactions induced in response to very short pulses of energy.
In addition, his name is linked with the theory of the chemical hypercycle, the cyclic linkage of reaction cycles as an explanation for the self organization of prebiotic systems, which he described with Peter Schuster in 1979. Prof. Eigen is a member of the Board of Sponsors of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
See also: Quasispecies model
In the case of HIV, the quasispecies results from the highly error-prone viral reverse transcriptase. Drs. Larry Loeb and Jim Mullins of the University of Washington and John Essigmann of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Koronis’ scientific founders, hypothesized that by presenting HIV with an error-inducing nucleoside triphosphate substrate, the viral genome mutation rate could be pushed beyond the allowable range of diversity thus extinguishing the population (Proceedings National Academy of Sciences. USA (1999) 96:1492-1497). This was demonstrated in cell culture using a nucleoside analog that normally base pairs with guanine but also frequently base pairs with adenine. This non-complementary base-pairing increased G to A and A to G mutations and ultimately, over the course of several viral replication cycles, resulted in viral ablation. This new approach to antiviral drug therapy, called Viral Decay Acceleration™, is being applied to several human viral pathogens including HIV and HCV by Koronis Pharmaceuticals.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Manfred_Eigen". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|