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Greatest Contributors

Biology’s Greatest Contributors 102

Biology from 1862-1929


Louis Pasteur: Pasteur was a French Chemist who is widely known now as the father of “pasteurization.” However, Pasteur is also known in the world of biology for his work confirming the cell theory of disease through his extensive work in microbiology. He is also credited as being one of the founders of bacteriology, alongside co-founders Ferdinand Cohn and Robert Koch.


Gregor Mendel: Mendel was a priest and scientist particularly concerned with the study of genetics. Most specifically inheritance of recessive and dominant traits. Mendel studied inheritance genetics in pea plants and established laws based on his findings. These laws were named after Mendel. However, Mendel’s work was denied during his lifetime and not rediscovered until Hugo de Vries and Carl Correns in the 20th century. Both men prompted interest in the subject, and Mendel’s work was finally recognized and given the research it deserved. Genetic work is still being done for which we can thank Mendel.


Walter Sutton: Sutton was an American biologist who gained prestige as the scientist who published The Chromosome in Heredity in 1903 which stated that Mendel’s law of inheritance could be applied to cellular chromosomes. Conducting exeperiments with grasshopper chromosomes, Sutton proved this theory along with a German biologist who studied independently of Sutton, but reached the same conclusion. That scientist was Theodor Boveri.

Walter Sutton:

Theodor Boveri: Working independently of Walter Sutton, Boveri reached the same theory of chromosomal inheritance in his work with sea urchins. His worked showed that the order of chromosomes determined the development of an embryo. However, before that, in 1888, Boveri discovered the Centrome and is also famous for this addition to science.


Niels Bohr: In 1913 Bohr published his model for atomic structure which placed protons and neutrons within the nucleus and with electrons orbiting around them in many different orbits. He later received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1922. Bohr introduced the principle of “complementarity,” a principle stating that items could have several properties. Bohr also went on to work on the Manhattan project in New Mexico, USA. Bohr was a sort of consultant who wanted to take part in the project in an attempt to keep an eye on the nuclear arms race. The element Bohrium is named after Neils Bohr in honor of his life and work with atoms and physics.


Phoebus Levene: Levene was a biochemist who analyzed DNA. Not only did he find that DNA contained adenine, guanine, thymine, cytosine, deoxyribose, and a particular phosphate group. This came in 1929 after his discoveries of Ribose in 1909. With the DNA analysis he also noted that DNA was made up of strings of “nucleotides” (a name he coined for the phosphate-sugar based units).

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