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Barbara McClintock: Nobel Prize Geneticist

A Spotlight Biography eBook by Edith Hope Fine

I loved exploring the life of this genius with genes.

Barbara Mc  Clintockby Edith Hope Fine

In 1927, a time when few women became scientists, Barbara McClintock earned a Ph.D. in botany, exploring the mysteries of heredity. She worked in the fields, growing her own corn crops, keeping raccoons away. In studying the traits of corn kernels, she made startling discoveries. Few others understood her in-depth research, but McClintock found joy in her work and did not seek the spotlight.

Her experiments with maize—Indian corn—lay the foundation for modern genetics. Almost four decades after her most famous discovery, "jumping genes," came a great honor: Eighty-one-year-old Barbara McClintock became the first woman ever to receive an unshared Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.

As a child, Barbara McClintock wasn’t interested in dolls or tea parties. She loved playing sports and being out in natural world—often spotting things others missed. In high school science drew her and she earned a Ph.D. in botany at Cornell University.

For years McClintock did her corn experiments on her own. Then came her amazing discovery that genes can change their positions on the chromosomes of cells—a brilliant finding and a huge first in the field of genetics. Read more about Barbara McClintock, a scientist who harnessed her dreams and her intellect to challenge the world's understanding of heredity.

Check out this Barbara McClintock stamp from the American Scientist series.
For Barbara McClintock: Nobel Prize Geneticist, author Edith Hope Fine interviewed colleagues and friends of McClintock's to paint a fascinating portrait of a woman who harnessed her dreams and her intellect to challenge the world's understanding of heredity.

Now a Spotlight Biography eBook.


This book is what every good biography should be. . . . Throughout the narrative, McClintock's lively personality and dedication to her work shine through. . . . Readers come away from this biography impressed by this remarkable woman's humility as well as her genius.
-School Library Journal

Order this revised and updated Spotlight Biography ebook (for 5th grade and up) here.

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