Monday, June 16, 2008

Today In History; Barbara McClintock, American Scientist

1902: Hartford, Connecticut was the birthplace of American scientist, Barbara McClintock, born on this day in 1902. McClintock is considered one of the most important figures in the history of genetics. McClintock's scientific career was launched during a time when women were encouraged to pursue more traditional roles such as wife, mother, homemaker, which is what makes her achievements even more notable. Her work on cytogenetics led her to theorize that genes move around, on and between chromosomes. This was contradictory with what scientists knew at the time about genetics. As techniques improved in the late 70's, scientists confirmed McClintock's theories on genes. In 1983, McClintock became the first American woman to win an unshared Nobel Prize in Physiology.

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