Study Guide

The Gene - "That Stupid Molecule" (Part Two) Summary & Analysis

Siddhartha Mukherjee
This Study Guide consists of approximately 78 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Gene.
This section contains 442 words
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Summary

Throughout the first half of the 20th century, scientists were working to better understand the components of genetic material. They determined that chromatin is made of two types of chemicals: proteins and nucleic acids. They also found that nucleic acids come in two forms: DNA and RNA, and that these two forms are each made up of four bases. Because the structure of nucleic acids is so simple, scientists assumed it could not be the carriers of complex genetic information. It was not until the 1940s that experiments by Oswald Avery confirmed that DNA is the carrier of genetic information. The publication of his paper in 1944 coincided with the horrific peak of Nazi eugenics which ultimately "placed the ultimate stamp of shame on eugenics" (138). After 1945, eugenics programs around the world came to "a shamefaced halt" (138).

Analysis

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This section contains 442 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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