Nobel laureate Dr. Arthur Kornberg, 89, a pioneering biochemist in the fields of DNA and human genetics, has died of respiratory failure, the New York Times reports. Kornberg shared the award in 1959 for his research into how DNA works, and that research is the foundation for many of today's cancer drugs, notes the San Francisco Chronicle.
Kornberg entered the City College of New York at 15. A passionate scientist, he worked in his Stanford University lab until days before his death, focusing on an enzyme he hoped could contribute to infection-fighting drugs. He complained bitterly that few scientists were willing to be trailblazers, preferring to work “in a clannish way.” His son Roger won the Nobel for chemistry in 2006.