Scientific and extraordinary women

Scientific and extraordinary women

The woman has always been related to science, but has always opted for a secondary position, attributing many of her findings to her husbands. Today we celebrate women’s day, remembering some of those fantastic scientific women.

Marie Curie

Maria Salomea Skłodowska (Marie Curie, after marrying Pierre Curie) was a Polish scientist. Thanks to her research, she discovered two new elements: radio and polonium. Marie Curie became the first woman to receive a Nobel Prize, in Physics. Years later she would get this award for the second time, now related to Chemistry. Thus he became the first person in history to win two Nobel prizes of different modalities.

Alice Ball

Alice Ball was a chemist who stood out for developing the most effective treatment to fight leprosy until the 1940s (when the first antibiotics appeared). Until the discovery of Ball, the imprisonment and isolation of lepers was the entire system he employed. Given this, Ball developed an effective extract of injectable oil that allowed the sick to get out of their seclusion and recover their lives.

Valentina Tereshkova

She was the first female astronaut in history. Tereshkova made her space trip on June 16, 1963, aboard the Vostok-6 ship and under the alias of “Seagull”. In addition, she broke another record, as she made 48 complete orbits of Earth.

Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan y Mary Jackson

These three African Americans made possible, in the shadow, one of the most famous events of humanity: the arrival of man on the moon. These women worked as mathematics in the years of legalized racial discrimination in the United States. Her impeccable calculations granted the success of the first American to orbit the Earth. Her contributions have served the entire scientific-space community for years.

Lise Meitner

She was a Swedish physics and the true author of the discovery of nuclear fission. His research partner, Otto Hahn received instead the Nobel Prize for his finding (1944). Meitner, faced with her condition as a Jew, had to flee from Germany and communicate with Hahn through letters. One day Meitner discovered the energy that was released by separating the nucleus of an atom and informed his collaborator. However, Lise Meitner never wanted to return to Germany and Hahn received the award.

Elizabeth Blackburn

This Australian biochemistry was the discoverer of telomerase, an enzyme that is able to lengthen telomeres (the ends of chromosomes) and confer additional life to the cells. This discovery is still the objective of the study by researchers in diseases related to aging, such as cancer, since tumor cells are the only ones capable of activating telomerase to become immoral. The findings related to telomerase, therefore, today represent an important target of study in cancer therapies. This discovery earned Blackburn the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2009.

Janes Goodall

She had serious problems to form because of his economic limitations, but finally she could doctorate in ethology and travel to Tanzania to observe the primate communities. Her scientific work has been a reference for generations of biologists and primatologists, although she has also been subject to harsh criticism for his methodology, since she did not strictly adhere to the scientific method.

Rosalind Franklin

Despite her excellent grades and acknowledgments in large educational institutions, she always had difficulties to devote herself to science. Her great stolen discovery was a photograph that demonstrated the double helix of DNA. This recognition was given to three other scientists, who had continued their work for years, taking it with them behind Franklin’s back.


Ada Lovelace

Born in 1815 Victorian England, this lover of philosophy and mathematics became the first programmer in history. She worked with Charles Babagge, “The Father of Computing,” and in her notes she described the first algorithm intended to be processed by a machine, which is why the US Department of Defense baptized a programming language with her name.

ian.gallego@plamarcell.net

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