Get to Know
Barbara McClintock
In this fact-file find out why we turned Katsuko into a superhero.
Superhero Identity
Superpower
One day while Barbara was in the lab her cat Charles jumped through the window and knocked a vile from her hand. The liquid penetrated through Barbara's gloves and shoes and she was taken ill. After many weeks in hospital she slowly recovered. Once she was home and able to move around freely, Barbara found she had the power to leap great distances from a standing, or running position. Barbara became a formidable and unrelenting member of Team Remarkablz, admired by all.
Barbara has the ability to jump longer and higher distances than others.
Backstory
SUPERHERO IDENTITY
Barbara's drawing Explained
We have packed a lot into our drawings - from amazing imagined superpowers to biographical information and hidden treasures.

• The background is the University of Missouri. Barbara accepted an Assistant Professorship in 1940.

• Barbara developed the technique for visualising maize chromosomes and demonstrated many fundamental genetic ideas. If you look closely you will see some chromosomes in her hands.

• On the building we've hidden The Nobel Prize. Barbara was awarded the 1983 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

• Barbara was a Nobel prize-winning plant geneticist, whose multiple discoveries in maize, also known as corn, changed our understanding of genetics. We've drawn a few stocks in the flower bed behind her, but also in the detail of her superhero costume.
Name: Barbara McClintock
Born: 1902
Died: 1992
Occupation: Geneticist
Nationality: American
REAL-LIFE BIO
Barbara was born in Connecticut and began studying at Cornell's College of Agriculture in 1919. Her research focused on heredity – the inheritance of genetic traits in corn, also known as maize. She tracked how characteristics like the colour of maize kernels were inherited. Barbara discovered that genetic elements can occasionally move to a different position, a process that can cause genes nearby to become less or more active. These genetic elements were coined "jumping genes". Barbara was awarded the 1983 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her discovery of mobile genetic elements.

Find out more about her in this video from Cornell University
"I was just so interested in what I was doing I could hardly wait to get up in the morning"
Barbara McClintock

EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES
A geneticist is a biologist who studies genetics. Geneticists study genes and the science of heredity (inherited traits passed down through generations). They study human beings, animals, plants and even bacteria. Interested in what a day in the lift of a geneticist is like? Check out this video from Hannah Likes Science
What Do Geneticists Do?
Video credit: careergirls
Barbara discovered the colour variation in corn comes from transposons, or so-called "jumping genes". These stretches of DNA jump out of their original spot in the genome and then place themselves in another, random spot. By moving they may disrupt the activities of nearby genes, including pigment genes. The jumping patterns are different in every cell and this explains the colour variability that Barbara saw in the corn.
Barbara studied corn for 26 years. She gathered data on different types of corn in Central and South America.
Hank and his brother John discuss heredity via the gross example of relative ear wax moistness.
What is Heredity?
DID YOU KNOW ?
Each father and mother pass down traits to their children, who inherit combinations of their dominant or recessive alleles. But how do we know so much about genetics today?
What do Mendel's peas have to do with genetics?

Video credit: CrashCourse
Video credit:TedEd
When Barbara went to Cornell University, women weren't allowed to major in genetics. Barbara earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in botany.
Fun facts
What is DNA? Check out this video and find out more.
What is DNA?
Video credit: Peekaboo Kidz
Find out more about our signature card game: Top Quarkz
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