Famous Americans

Famous Connecticutans ... Famous American Women ... Famous American Scientists

Barbara McClintock


Summary ... Video ... Color Page ... Pictures ... Netlinks ... Timeline ... Biography ... Projects

Barbara McClintock was born in Hartford, Connecticut but the family soon moved to rural Brooklyn. Barbara enjoyed science in high school and wanted to study science in college, but her mother was opposed because it would make her unlikely to be married. Barbara's father, a doctor, intervened and Barbara enrolled in Cornell University in 1919.

Barbara McClintock studied biology, especially botany, and specialized in the study of genetics. She developed cytogenetic studies in Maize. She wanted to understand the parts of the chromosones on genes and how they worked in the development of new cells and in mutations to produce new traits.

Barbara McClintock was the first to describe the "crossover" effect in meiosis (cell reproduction) , which is the way new strains of corn are developed. Later she began to study the effect of radiation on corn chromosomes and how it affected mutations in resulting generations of corn.

In 1957, Barbara McClintock began to study the development of maize in South America where there were the greatest number of varieties of corn. Her research aided in the understanding of chromosomes, genes, and genetic mutations in corn, and the effects of radiation on seed.

In 1983 she was named the Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine for her work in discovering "jumping genes" . She was the most distinguished authority on cytogenetics.

Netlinks for Barbara McClintock

Wikipedia: Barbara McClintock, The Geneticist

Biography of Barbara McClintock

Nobel Prize: Autobiography of Barbara McClintock

Citizendium: Barbara McClintock

The National Academies: Barbara McClintock

Profiles in Science: Barbara McClintock Papers

Barbara McClintock's Jumping Genes

National Women's Hall of Fame Barbara McClintock

Page created November 17, 2008. Anne Pemberton. Updated Mon, Feb 6, 2012. AP.