Science: Jumping Genes

Honors to the Corn Lady

She is something of a scientific anachronism, and not because of her 79 years. Unlike most scientists at the famed biology laboratory in the small Long Island, N.Y., town of Cold Spring Harbor, she does not splice, cut or reshuffle the genes of viruses and bacteria. Rather, for the past four decades, Geneticist Barbara McClintock has been carefully breeding and crossbreeding corn, trying to cull from it some kernels of truth about the secrets of genetic diversity, just as the Austrian monk Gregor Mendel did in his famous pea...

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