Nobel laureate spots Turkish banknote error

Turkish five lira note, featuring DNA helix Image copyright Hurriyet
Image caption Turkish five lira note, featuring DNA helix

Nobel laureate Aziz Sancar says the depiction of the DNA helix on Turkey's five-lira banknote is wrong.Professor Sancar was visiting schools in Istanbul to talk about his work when he pointed out the mistake, the Haber 24 news site reports. He said the banknote "shows a left-handed Z-DNA helix winding from left to right, when it should be the other way round". The five-lira note, first issued in 2009, also shows atomic symbols, the solar system, and a portrait of historian of science Adnan Sayili.

When it comes to DNA, the US-based scientist knows what he's talking about. The research he and two colleagues carried out on how cells in the body repair DNA is helping to target cells that cause cancer, and won them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry last year. Aziz Sancar was born into a poor family in Turkey, but went on to graduate in medicine in Istanbul before moving to the United States.

He told his audience that he has always attributed his success to the education reforms of the founder of modern Turkey, Kemal Ataturk, and last week donated his Nobel Medal to the Ataturk Mausoleum in Ankara as a gesture of gratitude, the NTV channel reports. Professor Sancar added that he contacted the Central Bank about the error five years ago, but the helix still winds the wrong way.

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