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Friedrich Miescher and the discovery of DNA

Friedrich Miescher and the discovery of DNA,10.1016/j.ydbio.2004.11.028,Developmental Biology,Ralf Dahm

Friedrich Miescher and the discovery of DNA   (Citations: 9)
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Over the past 60 years, DNA has risen from being an obscure molecule with presumed accessory or structural functions inside the nucleus to the icon of modern bioscience. The story of DNA often seems to begin in 1944 with Avery, MacLeod, and McCarty showing that DNA is the hereditary material. Within 10 years of their experiments, Watson and Crick deciphered its structure and yet another decade on the genetic code was cracked. However, the DNA story has already begun in 1869, with the young Swiss physician Friedrich Miescher. Having just completed his education as a physician, Miescher moved to Tübingen to work in the laboratory of biochemist Hoppe-Seyler, his aim being to elucidate the building blocks of life. Choosing leucocytes as his source material, he first investigated the proteins in these cells. However, during these experiments, he noticed a substance with unexpected properties that did not match those of proteins. Miescher had obtained the first crude purification of DNA. He further examined the properties and composition of this enigmatic substance and showed that it fundamentally differed from proteins. Due to its occurrence in the cells' nuclei, he termed the novel substance “nuclein”—a term still preserved in today's name deoxyribonucleic acid.
Journal: Developmental Biology - DEVELOP BIOL , vol. 278, no. 2, pp. 274-288, 2005
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    • ... The innovative protocols he developed allowed him to investigate the chemical composition of an isolated organelle...

    Ralf Dahm. From discovering to understanding

    • ...Miescher (Fig. 1), a recent graduate of Basel University’s Medical School had moved to Tübingen in the spring of 1868 to be trained as a scientist (Dahm 2005)...
    • ...He was allocated only a small space in a shared laboratory and had very little technical support (Dahm 2004, 2005; His 1897e; Wolf 2003b)...
    • ...From the mid-1870s, Miescher increasingly began investigating topics not related to his work on nuclein (reviewed in Dahm 2004, 2005; Portugal and Cohen 1977)...
    • ...Over the years, also Miescher’s responsibilities outside of his research interests progressively grew (Dahm 2004, 2005)...
    • ...(For detailed accounts of Miescher’s upbringing and early education in Basel as well as his scientiWc achievements, see the biography of Miescher published shortly after his death by Wilhelm His (1897e) or more recent reviews on the topic (Dahm 2004, 2005; Fruton 1999; Gehring 1998; Lagerkvist 1998; Portugal and Cohen 1977; Wolf 2003a, 2003b)...

    Ralf Dahm. Discovering DNA: Friedrich Miescher and the early years of nucleic aci...

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