Mains Daily Question
Feb. 28, 2024

Q.2 Har Gobind Khorana's contribution to the deciphering of the genetic code has revolutionised the field of molecular biology. Discuss the scientific contributions of Har Gobind Khorana and its significance in advancing our understanding of genetics. (10M, 150W)

Model Answer

Approach to the answer:

Understanding and structuring the answer:

The question is asking about the contributions of Har Gobind Khurana in the areas of genetics and its significance, so based on the demand, the question can be segmented into two parts-1) Contribution of Har Gobind Khurana in the field of genetics and 2) Significance of Har Gobind Khurana’s contribution


In introduction, the candidate should write about the genetic science and its importance in association with Har Gobind Khurana.

We can also introduce the question, by briefing about the current events and development in the fields of genetics. 


We can write about the current development in genetics following the contributions of Har Gobind Khurana’s.

In the second part of the answer, we can write about the significance of his contributions, what are the new developments have been done in the field of genetics.


Conclude the answer with supporting the arguments given by you in the answers.

We can conclude the answer by a current development in genetic science.


Answer: Har Gobind Khorana was an Indian-American biochemist who was born in the year 1922. He co-shared the 1968 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with Marshall W. Nirenberg and Robert W. Holley for his work demonstrating the order of nucleotides in nucleic acids, which handle the genetic code of the cell and regulate the cell’s synthesis of proteins. The year 2022 marked the 100th birth year of Nobel Prize winning chemist Har Gobind Khorana. 

Contribution of Har Gobind Khurana in the field of genetics:

  • Development of Genetics Code: He discovered how a DNA’s genetic code determines the synthesis of protein that impacts cell functioning.
  • Deciphering of RNA Codes: He made important contributions to this field by building different RNA chains with the help of enzymes and helped others to decipher a variety of mechanisms regarding RNA codes.
  • Synthesis of synthetic genes: In 1972, he became the first person in the world to fully synthesise a working gene outside of a living creature after years of research.
  • DNA Sequencing: He used polymerase and ligase enzymes to link pieces of DNA together, this was achieved even before the development of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

Significance of Har Govind Khurana’s contribution in genetic science:

  • Genome editing with CRISPR/Cas9: His contribution in genetics led to the advancement in genome editing including the development of CRISPR/Cas9.
  • Advancement in modern medical Science: He also made significant contributions to the science of PCR tests, which was widely used to detect SARS-CoV-2 infection.
  • Development of Vaccines during Covid-19: Polymerase Enzyme was also used for developing Covid-19 vaccines.
  • Determining the human based disease: The artificial genes developed by Khurana, are being used in cloning and in labs for sequencing, engineering new plants and animals, and are integral to the expanding use of DNA analysis to understand gene-based human disease as well as human evolution.

Thus, Har Gobind Khorana made important contributions to this field by building different RNA chains with the help of enzymes. Using these enzymes, he was able to produce proteins. In his honour, Hargobind Khurana Scholarship Scheme was launched by the Punjab Government in 2013.

Subjects : Current Affairs
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