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Nobel Prize Winner Discovered By Long Lost Sister

By KJ Mullins     Jun 7, 2008 in World
Mario Capecchi, Nobel Prize winner for medicine has been reunited with his sister who thought he had died during World War II. Capecchi's sister Marlene Bonelli was separated from her big brother when he was just a toddler.
The two were the children of Lucy Ramberg, a left-leaning American artist who spent most of the war in prison.
When Bonelli saw her brother's name in the media after his Nobel Prize win this past year she contacted the Austrian media. Newspaper Dolomiten sent University of Utah geneticist Capecchi pictures of his long lost sister Bonelli.
Looking at the pictures, it was obviously my sister," Capecchi said, noting her resemblance to their mother.
The pair met at a hotel on May 23 where they shared photos and spoke with the aid of an interpreter.
"She doesn't speak English and I don't speak German, and neither of us speaks Italian, although I can get away with it in a restaurant," Capecchi said.
Capecchi was born in 1937. When he was just a toddler his mother gave birth to Marlene. When their mother was sent to prison Marlene was sent to a family in Austria. She grew up thinking her mother and brother has died during the war.
Capecchi meanwhile had been reunited with his mother at the end of the war when he was nine. They moved to the United States.
Capecchi's academic career started at an early age. He won the Nobel Prize this past fall on his work with genes. His gene manipulation techniques in mice has advanced the understanding of killer diseases.
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