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Some important Scientist Profiles in genetics investigation


Johannes Friedrich Miescher



Johannes Miescher was the first scientist to identify the molecule we call DNA. Johanness, a Swiss chemist, made this discovery in the 1860s. He had set out to learn about white blood cells, carrying out experiments to better understand their makeup. He noticed that when adding a certain acid to a group of white blood cells, a substance was separated from the solution. The substance then dissolved when an alkali was added, and Miescher realized it had unexpected properties that were different from other proteins. He named the substance nuclein, believing it had originated in the cell’s nucleus. He had just unknowingly discovered our molecular basis of life, DNA. Miescher was convinced that the “nuclein” was important, and came incredibly close to discovering its true role, but he lacked the communication and promotional skills to share what he’d found with the scientific community. As a result, it was decades before his discovery was noted and appreciated. Johannes was born in 1844, in the town of Basel, Switzerland. He studied medicine at Basel and worked for an organic chemist before getting his MD in 1868. Among his other discoveries was the alkaline substance protamine, the identification of nucleic acids, and the demonstration of how carbon dioxide concentrations in the blood regulate breathing.


Albrecht Kossel Albrecht



Kossel was a German biochemist who made discoveries in understanding the basic blocks of nuclein. In 1881, he identified nuclein as a nucleic acid and provided its current chemical name, DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). He recieved a Nobel Peace Prize for this discovery. He was able to isolate and name the five organic compounds that are present in nucleic acid. These compounds were later determined to be nucleobases, key in the formation of DNA and RNA. Kossel was born in Rostock, Germany, and showed interest in chemistry and botany from a young age. He attended the University of Strassburg to study medicine and got his medical license in 1877. Kossel furthered the work of Friedrich Miescher, who had originally isolated nucleid, and discovered it contained both a protein and non-protein component.

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