Newtonian Innovator

Barbara McClintock (1902–1992) - Barbara McClintock

Barbara McClintock (1902–1992): Barbara McClintock was an American geneticist and cytogeneticist who is best known for her discovery of transposons, or “jumping genes” – a radical find in the field of genetics. Born in the early 20th century, McClintock’s work predominantly focused on maize and through her studies she demonstrated that genes are responsible for turning physical characteristics on and off. One of her discovery was that of transposons, segments of DNA that can move around to different positions in the genome of a single cell. This changed the understanding of genetics, proving that genomes are not static but dynamic and adaptable entities. McClintock was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1983 and remains the only woman to receive an unshared Nobel Prize in that category.