On May 21, 1971 . . . . .
Dr. Barbara McClintock was awarded the National Medal of Science by President Nixon, becoming the first woman to do so. Dr. McClintock's life's work gained her recognition as a pioneer in genetics, earning her many awards including a Nobel Prize in 1983.
McClintock is best known for her work with cytogenetics. Using the unique variations of colored corn kernels, which are individually formed on a single ear, McClintock was able to test the theory that genes were physically positioned on chromosomes. Through experimentation across various types of maize, McClintock was able to prove that genes have transposable elements, (TEs). Today transposable elements are commonly referred to as "jumping genes."
McClintock's discovery has been instrumental in shaping the field of modern genetics.
HERE'S TO THIS MOMENT IN SCIENCE!