The discovery and characterization of the catalytic RNA subunit of the enzyme ribonuclease P of Escherichia coli is described.

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Author notes

“Nobel lecture given on December 8, 1989, by Professor Sidney Altman, and published in LES PRIX NOBEL 1989, printed in Sweden by Norstedts Tryckeri, Stockholm, Sweden, 1990, republished here with the permission of the Nobel Foundation, the copyright holder”.