Leslie Orgel dies

Multifaceted biochemist was best known as proponent of 'RNA world' theory

Jonathan Scheff
Oct 31, 2007
Leslie Orgel, 80, the biochemist best known as one of the founding fathers of the 'RNA world' hypothesis for primitive life on Earth, died on October 27 from pancreatic cancer. In addition to his research into the origin of life, Orgel worked on a diverse range of subjects such as ligand field theory, cancer research and space exploration with NASA."He was always a scientist to the last minute," said M. Reza Ghadiri, a chemist at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, who coauthored several papers with Orgel. "Until two weeks ago, he was working on a manuscript. And I have a couple papers still to be published with Leslie. For me, he was a great mentor as well as a collaborator."Born in London in 1927, Leslie Eleazer Orgel earned his doctorate in chemistry from the University of Oxford in 1951 and eventually landed in the theoretical...