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Alternate history: What if a key DNA scientist had died before making his discovery?

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<em>Coffee</em> Tins From Ross Pomeroy at RealClearScience:

We know this thanks to a lengthy chain reaction of scientific discoveries. And according to Cobb, if there was a single man who catalyzed this reaction, it was Oswald Avery. In 1944, Avery, a medical researcher at Rockefeller University, published a paper with his colleagues Colin MacLeod and Maclyn McCarty. The experiment they described showed that DNA carries genetic information. While that seems obvious today, back then it was a controversial conclusion, countering decades of entrenched thought. DNA had originally been discovered back in 1869, but the majority of scientists considered it to be too simple to carry meaningful biological information. That duty, they assumed, belonged to proteins.

But a decade before Avery dented that dogma, he underwent surgery for Graves’ disease. He survived, of course… but what if he didn’t? Here is where Cobb’s story begins. More.

If it is true and stays true, would it not eventually be figured out by someone? Different episodes, same story, like traditional cycles of tales?

See also: What we know and don’t know about the origin of life

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