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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index A > Oswald Avery Quotes

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Oswald Avery
(21 Oct 1877 - 20 Feb 1955)

Canadian-American biochemist and immunologist.


Science Quotes by Oswald Avery (3 quotes)

Biologists have long attempted by chemical means to induce in higher organisms predictable and specific changes which thereafter could be transmitted in series as hereditary characters. Among microorganisms the most striking example of inheritable and specific alterations in cell structure and function that can be experimentally induced and are reproducible under well defined and adequately controlled conditions is the transformation of specific types of Pneumococcus.
— Oswald Avery
Oswald T. Avery (1877-1955), Colin Macleod (1909-72) and Maclyn McCarty (1911-2005), 'Studies on the Chemical Nature of the Substance Inducing Transformation of Pneumococcal Types', Journal of Experimental Medicine 1944, 79, 137.
Science quotes on:  |  Genetics (98)

If the results of the present study on the chemical nature of the transforming principle are confirmed, then nucleic acids must be regarded as possessing biological specificity the chemical basis of which is as yet undetermined.
— Oswald Avery
Oswald T. Avery (1877-1955), Colin Macleod (1909-72) and Maclyn McCarty (1911-2005), ‘Studies in the Chemical Nature of the Substance Inducing Transformation of Pneumococcal Types', Journal of Experimental Medicine 1944, 79, 155.
Science quotes on:  |  DNA (67)

The inducing substance, on the basis of its chemical and physical properties, appears to be a highly polymerized and viscous form of sodium desoxyribonucleate. On the other hand, the Type m capsular substance, the synthesis of which is evoked by this transforming agent, consists chiefly of a non-nitrogenous polysaccharide constituted of glucose-glucuronic acid units linked in glycosidic union. The presence of the newly formed capsule containing this type-specific polysaccharide confers on the transformed cells all the distinguishing characteristics of Pneumococcus Type III. Thus, it is evident that the inducing substance and the substance produced in turn are chemically distinct and biologically specific in their action and that both are requisite in determining the type of specificity of the cell of which they form a part. The experimental data presented in this paper strongly suggest that nucleic acids, at least those of the desoxyribose type, possess different specificities as evidenced by the selective action of the transforming principle.
— Oswald Avery
Oswald T. Avery (1877-1955), Colin Macleod (1909-72) and Maclyn McCarty (1911-2005), ‘Studies in the Chemical Nature of the Substance Inducing Transformation of Pneumococcal Types', Journal of Experimental Medicine 1944, 79, 152.
Science quotes on:  |  DNA (67)



Quotes by others about Oswald Avery (1)

The fundamental biological variant is DNA. That is why Mendel's definition of the gene as the unvarying bearer of hereditary traits, its chemical identification by Avery (confirmed by Hershey), and the elucidation by Watson and Crick of the structural basis of its replicative invariance, are without any doubt the most important discoveries ever made in biology. To this must be added the theory of natural selection, whose certainty and full significance were established only by those later theories.
In Jacques Monod and Austryn Wainhouse (trans.), Chance and Necessity: An Essay on the Natural Philosophy of Modern Biology (1971), 104.
Science quotes on:  |  Biology (150)  |  Confirmation (15)  |  Francis Crick (58)  |  Definition (152)  |  Discovery (591)  |  DNA (67)  |  Elucidation (6)  |  Fundamental (122)  |  Gene (68)  |  Heredity (51)  |  Identification (11)  |  Importance (183)  |  Invariance (3)  |  Gregor Mendel (20)  |  Natural Selection (79)  |  Replication (7)  |  Structure (191)  |  Theory (582)  |  Trait (19)  |  Variant (2)  |  James Watson (33)


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Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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