Barbara McClintock

June 16th

Born June 16, 1902; died September 3, 1992 at the age of 90.

An American scientist considered one of the most important figures in the history of genetics. In the 1940s and 1950s, McClintock’s work on the cytogenetics of maize led her to the theory that genes are transposable — they can move — on and between chromosomes. The idea that genes could move did not seem to match what was known about genes at the time, but improved molecular techniques from the late 1970s and early 1980s allowed other scientists to confirm its discovery.

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