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The Tangled Field: Barbara McClintock's Search for the Patterns of Genetic Control

Biography / Memoir

By: Nathaniel C Comfort

337 pages, B/w photos

Harvard University Press

Paperback | Apr 2003 | #137897 | ISBN: 0674011082
Temporarily out of stock: order now to get this when available Details
NHBS Price: £19.95 $26/€23 approx
Hardback | Jun 2001 | #128320 | ISBN: 0674004566
Out of Print Details

About this book

This biographical study illuminates one of the most important yet misunderstood figures in the history of science. McClintock (1902-1992) won the Nobel Prize for integrating classical genetics with microscopic observations of the behavior of chromosomes but was marginalised by colleagues as unorthodox, becoming an emblem of feminine scientific thinking.

This readable biography of one of the twentieth century's most important geneticists interweaves fact and insight about McClintock as both person and scientist. Her discovery of mobile genetic elements in corn and her efforts to resolve fundamental problems in biology...make her...a rare visionary. - Natural History "An important contribution to the history of genetics...[McClintock's] life has served as a role model for women in science and as an example of the success that can come from unconventional thought and an independent approach. By...revealing the very human scientist, Comfort has given us a more accessible role model." - Susan Wessler, Science


Acknowledgments 1 Myth 2 Freedom 3 Integration 4 Pattern 5 Control 6 Complexity 7 Reception 8 Response 9 Renaissance 10 Synthesis Appendix: A Molecular Epilogue Notes Interviews Index Photographs follow page 68.

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NATHANIEL C. COMFORT is Deputy Director, Center for History of Recent Science, George Washington University.

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