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Born 155 years ago today in Vermont, biologist Nettie Stevens was a pioneer in modern genetics and an activist who sought to bring female scientists to the forefront.
Among some of her many successes was her continued study of what Gregor Mendel already established as the rules of heredity.
“We find that the evidence is overwhelmingly on the side of the view that sex is determined in the egg; but to the question of how sex is determined in the egg, no thoroughly convincing answer has yet been given,” Stevens wrote in an essay in 1905, eventually concluding in reports that sex is, in fact, determined by chromosomes.
Unfortunately, at the same time, America’s first cell biologist and Columbia University’s Edmund Beecher Wilson independently made the same discovery.
“It is generally stated that E. B. Wilson obtained the same results as Stevens, at the same time,” Vox quotes historian Stephen Brush[.]
In the end, Stevens lost her battle with breast cancer in 1912, and…[E.B.] Wilson…got the credit.
Read full, original post: Meet Nettie Stevens: The Genetics Pioneer Who Discovered That Sex Is Determined By Chromosomes