By J. Heather Cullen
Offers the existence and profession of the geneticist who in 1983 was once presented the Nobel Prize for her research of maize cells.
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Additional resources for Barbara McClintock: Geneticist (Women in Science)
This group greatly enjoyed discussing how chromosomes and genes worked and welcomed input from any new graduate student. One of McClintock’s first research collaborators was 51 52 BARBARA MCCLINTOCK another woman, Harriet Creighton, who arrived at Cornell in the summer of 1929. Creighton had just graduated from Wellesley College, a women’s college near Boston, Massachusetts. Many women earned undergraduate degrees in botany from Wellesley, and many went on to graduate studies at Cornell and the University of Wisconsin.
McClintock continued her investigation into the nature of ring chromosomes. It quickly became obvious to her that the broken ends of chromosomes were incredibly reactive—that they seemed desperate to link to other pieces. Once they were broken, the chromosomal fragments quickly joined any broken chromosomal end nearby, even the other end of their own broken chromosome, in which case they would form a ring. The chromosome from which the ring was formed then quickly “healed” itself, closing off all possibility of further interaction with the ring, even if the ring were capable of it.
These toxic elements are called teratogens. A miscarriage during pregnancy may be nature’s way of ensuring that a baby whose mutations are too extensive for its survival is not born. Choosing a Career: 1927–1941 ways. Life would try to express its variations through these chance changes in chromosomes. Because chromosomes were expressed in pairs, many of these abnormal chromosomes would never be expressed; but every once in a while, the viability of an offspring would depend on the new chromosomes.
Barbara McClintock: Geneticist (Women in Science) by J. Heather Cullen