Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Monday's Molecule #120: Winners

UPDATE: The image depicts the genome of a human papillomavirus. The Nobel Laureate is Harald zur Hausen.

This week's winners are Dima Klenchin of the University of Wisconsin and Adam Santoro of the University of Toronto. They were the first of many who got the right answer. This surprises me 'cause I thought it would be harder. I didn't realize how easy it was to get the molecule by searching for "E6" or "E7."

This is a cartoon showing the genes present in a particular DNA molecule. Your task is to identify the kind of DNA molecule being depicted.

There is one Nobel Laureate who is most closely identified with this particular type of molecule. You have to identify the Nobel Laureate and what the prize was for.

The first person to identify the molecule and the Nobel Laureate wins a free lunch at the Faculty Club. Previous winners are ineligible for one month from the time they first won the prize.

There are six ineligible candidates for this week's reward: Shumona De of Dalhousie University, Maria Altshuler of the University of Toronto, Mike Fraser of Toronto, Alex Ling of the University of Toronto, Laura Gerth of the University of Notre Dame, and Stefan Tarnawsky of the University of Toronto.

The Canadians continue their total dominance of the rest of the world. That's as it should be.

I still have one extra free lunch donated by a previous winner to a deserving undergraduate so I'm going to continue to award an additional free lunch to the first undergraduate student who can accept it. Please indicate in your email message whether you are an undergraduate and whether you can make it for lunch.


Nobel Laureates
Send your guess to Sandwalk (sandwalk (at) bioinfo.med.utoronto.ca) and I'll pick the first email message that correctly identifies the molecule and names the Nobel Laureate(s). Note that I'm not going to repeat Nobel Prizes so you might want to check the list of previous Sandwalk postings by clicking on the link in the theme box.

Correct responses will be posted tomorrow.

Comments will be blocked for 24 hours. Comments are now open.


  1. I didn't try to ID the molecule, but I was pretty sure it was a viral genome. Closely spaced ORFs, "E" and "L" nomenclature (early & late), size, presence of eukaryotic transcription control elements, were all clues. The size is also right to be a plasmid vector, but the features shown (and not shown, e.g. antibiotic resistance, cloning sites), make that unlikely.

  2. Yep, the map was screaming "virus". From there, the correct answer was a couple clicks away in Google.

  3. Larry,
    You'll love this article: