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article imageTwo leading scientists pass away in the same week

By Tim Sandle     May 16, 2015 in Science
The world of science has lost two leading figures within the same week. These were cytoskeleton specialist Alan Hall and molecular biologist Alexander Rich.
The Scientist has reported that two eminent scientists have recently passed away. First, is Alan Hall, who was the Cell Biology program chair at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Hall has died at the age of 62. According to Kerry Grens, Hall was a big name in cytoskeleton research. Most prominently, Hall is credited with discovering how Rho GTPases function in the assembly of cell structures.
Grens highlight that Hall published two outstanding science papers, both of which featured in the journal Cell. One paper outlines the function of Rho GTPases. This is in connecting actin stress fibers together with what are termed "focal adhesions." This paper has been cited more than 4,000 times according to academic paper compiler Google Scholar. The second paper, discusses the complementary role of the related protein, Rac in cellular development. Hall was in addition to these important works, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Cell Biology.
Commenting on Hall's work, Craig Thompson, president of Memorial Sloan Kettering, and Joan Massagué, director of the Sloan Kettering Institute, told the website The Scientist: "This work has contributed greatly to our understanding of how tumor cells become metastatic and spread throughout the body."
With the second death, Grens reports that Alexander Rich, who was the discoverer of Z-DNA, the RNA-DNA double helix, and the structure of collagen, has died at age 90. Over his career, Rich studied the structural configurations of DNA and RNA. In one of the biologist's notable achievements, The New York Times recalls, Rich deployed X-ray crystallography to show DNA and RNA can link together.
More about Scientists, cell biology, Alan Hall, Alexander Rich, molecular biology
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