George E. Fox

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George E. Fox
George E. Fox at the Kluge Center.jpg
Fox at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress in 2016
Born (1945-12-17) December 17, 1945 (age 74)
Alma materSyracuse University
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Houston

George Edward Fox (born December 17, 1945) is a researcher at the University of Houston. In the 1970s, Fox and Carl Woese classified Archaea as a separate domain of life within the three-domain system. Fox and Woese also introduced the idea of a progenote as a primordial entity in the evolution of life. While with Woese, he pioneered use of comparative analysis in prediction of RNA secondary structure. Using comparative analysis, he also recognized the limitations that RNA sequences could provide when identifying closely related species. His research centers around understanding the early evolution of life. Fox contends that one of the earliest components of the genetic machinery to appear in a form bearing resemblance to its modern equivalent was the ribosome. His research is actively involved in the search for biosignatures on Mars.

Fox received his B.A. degree in 1967, and completed his Ph.D. degree in 1974; both in chemical engineering at Syracuse University. From 1973 till 1977, he was a research associate with Carl Woese at the University of Illinois. He became an assistant professor of Biochemical & Biophysical Sciences at the University of Houston in 1977; he became a full professor there in 1986.

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  1. Woese C, Magrum L, Fox G (1978). "Archaebacteria.". J Mol Evol 11 (3): 245-51. doi:10.1007/BF01734485 PMID 691075.
  2. Woese C, Fox G (1977). "Phylogenetic structure of the prokaryotic domain: the primary kingdoms.". Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 74 (11): 5088-90. doi:10.1073/pnas.74.11.5088 PMID 270744.
  3. Fox G, Woese C (1975). "5S rRNA Secondary Structure." Nature 256 : 505‑507.
  4. Fox G, Wisotzkey J, Jurtshuk P (1992) "How close is close:16S rRNA sequence identity may not be sufficient to guarantee species identity." Int J Syst Bacteriol 42: 166-160.