25 de setembro, nasce Thomas Morgan, ‘o Darwin da genética’

25 de setembro, nasce Thomas Morgan, ‘o Darwin da genética’

Hoje é dia de recordar Thomas Hunt Morgan, geneticista norte-americano, cujo trabalho permanece vivo, num legado eterno. Morgan provou que os cromossomas são portadores de genes.

Thomas Hunt Morgan nasceu em Lexington (Kentucky), 25 de setembro de 1866. Trabalhou em história natural, zoologia e genética, sobretudo nesta última ciência, cuja obra lhe permitiu receber o Nobel de Fisiologia/Medicina, em 1933, por ter conseguido provar que os cromossomas são portadores de genes. Thomas Hunt Morgan deixou um importante legado na área da genética. Alguns dos seus estudantes da Universidade de Columbia e do Instituto de Tecnologia da Califórnia seguiram a investigação nesta área e conquistaram os seus próprios prémios Nobel. Como modo de homenagear Thomas Hunt Morgan, a Genetics Society of America condecora, todos os anos, um dos seus membros, com a medalha de ‘Thomas Hunt Morgan’, para distinguir contributos importantes para a ciência genética. “Assim como as descobertas de Charles Darwin sobre a evolução de espécies animais definiram a biologia do século XIX como uma ciência descritiva, as descobertas de Morgan sobre os genes e sua localização nos cromossomas ajudaram a transformar a biologia em uma ciência experimental.”, escreveu Eric Richard Kandel, seu aluno e vencedor de um Nobel.

Hoje, no dia em que se assinala o nascimento de Thomas Hunt Morgan, recordamos o seu trabalho notável. O Darwin da genética morreu em Pasadena, a 4 de dezembro de 1945.

Nasceram a 25 de setembro Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot, inventor francês (1725), Thomas Hunt Morgan, geneticista norte-americano (1866), William Faulkner, escritor norte-americano (1897), Michael Douglas, ator e realizador norte-americano (1944), Christopher Reeve, ator norte-americano (1952), Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, ex-futebolista alemão (1955), Will Smith, ator e rapper norte-americano (1968), e Catherine Zeta-Jones, atriz britânica (1969). Morreram neste dia Johann Heinrich Lambert, matemático franco-alemão (1777), Paul Ehrenfest, físico e matemático austríaco (1933), John Bonham, músico britânico, ex-baterista dos Led Zeppelin (1980), Klaus Barbie, um dos mais temidos oficiais da SS alemã (1991), e Marion Zimmer Bradley, escritora norte-americana (1999).

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