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SACRAMENTO (TIP): Har Gobind Khorana was an Indian American biochemist. His research led to greater understanding of the makeup of human DNA. In 1968, he received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Khorana would have been 96 years old on Tuesday, January 9.

Google honored his life and work on its homepage with a Google Doodle.

The image could be seen by Google users in 13 countries, including the United StatesIndia, Argentina, Chile and Japan.

Khorana was born on January 9, 1922, in a small Indian village called Raipur. The area is now part of Pakistan. As Google reports, Khorana’s father helped his children learn to read and write. This was not common in poor, rural places like Raipur.

Khorana received scholarships to attend Punjab University where he earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. The Indian government later gave Khorana a scholarship for him to do his doctoral studies in chemistry at the University of Liverpool in England.

Khorana went on to do research at universities around the world, including Canada and the United States. In 1968, he and two other researchers at the University of Wisconsin – Madison earned the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

“Together,” Google explains, “they discovered that the order of nucleotides in our DNA determines which amino acids are built. These amino acids form proteins, which carry out essential cell function.”

In 1972, Khorana made another important scientific breakthrough when he built the first-ever synthetic gene.

Bangalore-based artist and designer Rohan Dahotre created the Google Doodle.