Barbara McClintock

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McClintock, Barbara,

1902–92, American geneticist. She discovered that certain genetic material, "transposable elements" or "jumping genes" (now called transposons), shifted its location in the chromosomes from generation to generation. At first ignored, her research was later recognized as a major contribution to DNA research. In 1983 she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
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McClintock, Barbara

(1902–92) geneticist; born in Hartford, Conn. She joined Cornell (1927–36), then served the National Research Council (1931–33) and the Guggenheim Foundation (1933–34). She joined the University of Missouri (1935–41), then became a staff member of the Carnegie Institution's laboratory in Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y. (1942–67), where she remained after her retirement. A solitary person, she devoted her life to the genetics of maize. Her discoveries in the 1940s and 1950s, that genes can control the behavior of other genes and can transpose themselves ("jump") on the chromosome, were belatedly recognized in her 1983 award of the Nobel Prize in physiology.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.