Martha Cowles Chase
|Died||August 8, 2003 (aged 75)|
Lorain, Ohio, USA
|Alma mater||College of Wooster, University of Southern California|
Martha Cowles Chase (November 30, 1927 – August 8, 2003), also known as Martha C. Epstein, was an American geneticist known for having experimentally showed in 1952 (with Alfred Hershey) that DNA rather than protein is the genetic material of life.
Early Life and Education[change | change source]
Research and Later Life[change | change source]
In 1952 Chase was a young laboratory assistant to American bacteriophage expert Alfred Hershey at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory at the Carnegie Institution for Science. This was where the well-known Hershey-Chase experiment was performed. The experiment showed that it was DNA, and not protein, that was the genetic material through which traits were inherited.
A series of personal setbacks through the 1960s ended Chase's career in science. She spent decades suffering from a form of dementia that affected her short-term memory. She died of pneumonia on August 8, 2003, at the age of 75.
Key paper[change | change source]
- Hershey, A. D. and Martha Chase. "Independent Functions of Viral Protein and Nucleic Acid in Growth of Bacteriophage." J. Gen. Physiol., 36 (1): 39-56. September 20, 1952.
References[change | change source]
- Dawson, Milly (2003-08-20). "Martha Chase dies". The Scientist. Retrieved 2010-09-25.
- Lavietes, Stuart. "Martha Chase, 75, a Researcher Who Aided in DNA Experiment". The New York Times.
- David E Sadava; et al, Life: The Science of Biology (Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates ; Gordonsville, VA: W.H. Freeman and Co., 2008), p. 235
- Peter Haugen, Biology: Decade by Decade (New York: Facts On File, 2007), p. 130