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Dr. John Tomkiel

Associate Professor

John Tomkiel

A Feeeling for the Organism: The Life and Work of Barbara McClintock by Evelyn Fox Keller

This is an inspiring account of the life of Nobel Laureate Barbara McClintock, the maize geneticist who made the discovery of transposable elements. McClintock was a maverick in many ways, as one of the few women in science of her day, as an incredibly insightful and imaginative researcher with a remarkable attention to detail, and as a bit of a mystic. Preceding the modern era of molecular genetics, her insights were derived entirely from applying deductive reasoning to results of simple crosses between corn plants. Through these elegant experiments and her "communications" with the corn plants, she discovered a fundamental property of our genetic material. Her findings have paved the way to countless other discoveries, including the development of modern gene therapy approaches.