Celebrating Some of the Greatest Life Scientists of All Time

Scientist in lab

(DGIwire) – Life science helps us better understand the living world around us. Researchers spend countless hours in the laboratory or bent over desks furiously scribbling what would, to the layman, look like chicken scratch but might be, in reality, the pen marks of genius. Some of them achieve greatness.

Here are five of the greatest life scientists, as described on Biography Online and many other websites:

• Charles Darwin:
In the struggle for survival, the fittest win out at the expense of their rivals because they succeed in adapting themselves best to their environment. With this statement, Darwin became one of the most important men to have ever walked the earth. It eventually evolved into his theory of evolution, which is the basis for much of modern biology.

• Louis Pasteur: This French microbiologist is the man behind the process of pasteurization. He made discoveries in vaccination and created vaccines for rabies and anthrax. He also studied the causes and prevention of diseases, thus saving many lives. He contributed to the germ theory of disease and its application in clinical medicine. All of this led to Pasteur being titled the “father of microbiology.”

• Sir Alexander Fleming: His best-known discoveries are the enzyme lysosome in 1923 and the antibiotic substance benzylpenicillin (Penicillin G) from the mould Penicillium notatum in 1928, for which he shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1945 with Howard Florey and Ernst Boris Chain.

• Barbara McClintock: In the late 1940s, McClintock challenged existing concepts of what genes were capable of when she discovered that some genes could be mobile. Her studies of chromosome breakage in maize led her to discover a chromosome-breaking locus that could change its position within a chromosome.

• David Baltimore: In 1970 Baltimore and his wife Alice Huang discovered reverse transcriptase, an enzyme that allows RNA to synthesize DNA in retroviruses. He shared the 1975 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Renato Dulbecco and Howard Temin for his experimental confirmation of the connection between certain RNA viruses and cancer.

There is an old saying that researchers are only as good as their equipment. “The past inspires us to continue to innovate and do better every day,” says Jeffrey A. Duchemin, president and CEO of Harvard Bioscience. Based in Holliston, MA, the company offers the highest-quality tools and equipment for university, government and other research laboratories. Its product range is extensive, from molecular analysis instruments to electrophysiology tools.

“While we can’t guarantee that anyone using our equipment will one day make a ‘greatest scientists of all time’ list, we are pleased to provide the tools researchers need to push back the boundaries of knowledge in the 21st century,” Duchemin adds.

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