Charlotte Auerbach

AUERBACH, Charlotte, German/Scottish geneticist, 1899-1994. Fruit flies (Drosophila) and a fungus (Neurospora) were used in her investigations on genetic mutagens. Finally in 1962, she published ‘Mutation Methods’, and then in 1978 ‘Mutations Research’. Her publications popularised the field, ‘Genetics in the Atomic Age’ in 1956-65, and ‘The Science of Genetics’ during 1962-69. Charlotte received many honours for her discovery and creation of chemical mutagens. One material she used was purified essential oils from mustard, similar to mustard gas, but the term mustard gas in warfare relates to a synthetic poison gas that has similar effects and smell to mustard gas. What Charlotte used in some experiments was real mustard gas, too expensive for chemical warfare purposes, she isolated it.


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