Max Delbrück

Max Delbrück, a German physicist and biologist, was born Sep. 4, 1906. Delbrück was trained in physics during the heady rise of quantum mechanics in the 1920s, and he spent a year with Niels Bohr in Copenhagen in 1931-32. It seems to have been Bohr who inspired Delbrück to apply physics to the problem of life and its replication. After moving to the United States upon the rise of Nazism, Delbrück began working on bacteriophages…

Rosalind Franklin

Rosalind Franklin, a British physical chemist, was born July 25, 1920. Franklin, working at King’s College, London, under the supervision of Maurice Wilkins, developed improved techniques for producing images by X-ray crystallography. This imaging method, where X-rays…

Oswald Avery

Oswald Avery, a molecular biologist, was born Oct. 21, 1877, in Nova Scotia. In 1944, working at the Rockefeller Institute in New York City, Avery solved a problem that had been vexing biologists for decades: the identity of the carrier of the genetic code. Everyone...