Muller, Hermann Joseph
- born Dec. 21, 1890, New York, N.Y., U.S.died April 5, 1967, Indianapolis, Ind.U.S. geneticist.He attended Columbia University. The possibility of consciously guiding human evolution provided the initial motivation for his research, leading him to work in the Soviet Union's Institute of Genetics. He later assisted the Republican forces in the Spanish Civil War before returning to the U.S. in 1940; he thereafter taught principally at Indiana University (1945–67). In 1926 he first induced genetic mutations through the use of X rays, and he demonstrated that mutations are the result of breakages in chromosomes and of changes in individual genes. His receipt of the Nobel Prize in 1946 increased his opportunities to publicize the dangers posed by accumulating spontaneous mutations in the human gene pool as a result of industrial processes and radiation, and he devoted much energy to increasing public awareness of the genetic dangers of radiation.
* * *▪ American geneticistborn Dec. 21, 1890, New York, N.Y., U.S.died April 5, 1967, Indianapolis, Ind.American geneticist (genetics) best remembered for his demonstration that mutations and hereditary changes can be caused by X rays striking the genes and chromosomes of living cells. His discovery of artificially induced mutations in genes had far-reaching consequences, and he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1946.Muller attended Columbia University from 1907 to 1909. At Columbia his interest in genetics was fired first by E.B. Wilson (Wilson, Edmund Beecher), the founder of the cellular approach to heredity, and later by T.H. Morgan (Morgan, Thomas Hunt), who had just introduced the fruit fly Drosophila as a tool in experimental genetics. The possibility of consciously guiding the evolution of man was the initial motive in Muller's scientific work and social attitudes. His early experience at Columbia convinced him that the first necessary prerequisite was a better understanding of the processes of heredity and variation.A laboratory assistantship in zoology in 1912 allowed him to spend part of his time doing research on Drosophila at Columbia. He produced a series of papers, now classic, on the mechanism of crossing-over of genes, obtaining his Ph.D. in 1916. His dissertation established the principle of the linear linkage of genes in heredity. The work of the Drosophila group, headed by Morgan, was summarized in 1915 in the book The Mechanism of Mendelian Heredity. This book is a cornerstone of classical genetics.After three years at the Rice Institute, Houston, Texas, and an interlude at Columbia as instructor, Muller in 1920 became associate professor (later professor) at the University of Texas, Austin, where he remained until 1932. The 12 years that he spent at Austin were scientifically the most productive in Muller's life. His studies of the processes and frequencies of mutations (mutation) enabled Muller to form a picture of the arrangements and recombinations of genes and later led to his experimental induction of genetic mutations through the use of X rays in 1926. This highly original discovery established his international reputation as a geneticist and eventually won him the Nobel Prize. At this time Muller was able to demonstrate that mutations are the result of breakages in chromosomes and of changes in individual genes. In 1931 he was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.After undergoing a nervous breakdown in 1932 due to personal pressures, Muller spent one year at the Kaiser Wilhelm (now Max Planck) Institute in Berlin, where he investigated various physical models for explaining mutations in genes. In 1933 he moved to Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) and then to Moscow at the invitation of N.I. Vavilov, head of the Institute of Genetics there. Muller was a socialist (socialism), and he initially viewed the Soviet Union as a progressive, experimental society that could pursue important research in genetics and eugenics. But by this time the false doctrines of the biologist T.D. Lysenko (Lysenko, Trofim Denisovich) were becoming politically powerful, bringing to an end valid Soviet scientific research in genetics.Muller fought Lysenkoism whenever possible, but he ultimately had to leave the Soviet Union in 1937. He spent three years at the Institute of Animal Genetics in Edinburgh, returning to the United States in August 1940. On returning to the United States, Muller obtained temporary positions at Amherst College, Massachusetts (1941–45), and, finally, a professorship in zoology (1945–67) at Indiana University, Bloomington.The award of the Nobel Prize to Muller in 1946 increased his opportunities to publicize one of his major concerns—the dangers posed by accumulating spontaneous mutations in the human gene pool as a result of industrial processes and radiation. He was foremost in promoting public awareness of the dangers of radiation to future generations. He also became more actively involved in discussions on the relaxed processes of natural selection operating in modern society, and he made a controversial suggestion that the sperm of gifted men be frozen and preserved as part of a purposeful program of eugenics for future generations.Additional ReadingH.J. Muller, Studies in Genetics (1962), contains a selection of Muller's papers and excerpts from papers adequate for an appreciation of his work and ideas, and Man's Future Birthright: Essays on Science and Humanity, ed. by Elof Axel Carlson (1973), is a collection of Muller's nontechnical essays on the relationship between science and social concerns. Elof Axel Carlson, Genes, Radiation, and Society: The Life and Work of H.J. Muller (1981), covers social and professional aspects of Muller's life and traces the evolution of his scientific ideas and social concerns.
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Muller,Hermann Joseph — Mul·ler (mŭlʹər), Hermann Joseph. 1890 1967. American geneticist. He won a 1946 Nobel Prize for the study of the hereditary effect of x rays on genes. * * * … Universalium
Muller , Hermann Joseph — (1890–1967) American geneticist Born in New York City, Muller was awarded a scholarship to Columbia University in 1907 and specialized in heredity during his undergraduate studies. On graduation he took up a teaching fellowship in physiology at… … Scientists
Muller, Hermann Joseph — (1890–1967) US biologist and geneticist and Nobel laureate, 1946. Muller, a professor at the University of Indiana, was the first to establish that biological mutations were the result of chemical changes that could be induced artificially.… … Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament
Muller, Hermann Joseph — (1890 1967) American scientist. He was professor at the University of Indiana and established that biological mutations were the result of chemical changes that could be induced artificially. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine and… … Dictionary of Jewish Biography
Muller, Hermann Joseph — ► (1890 1967) Biólogo estadounidense. Fue premio Nobel de Medicina y Fisiología en 1946, por sus estudios acerca de la acción de los rayos X como productores de mutaciones y de la acción de las radiaciones sobre células. * * * (21 dic. 1890,… … Enciclopedia Universal
Hermann Joseph Muller — Infobox Scientist name = Hermann Joseph Muller image size = 180px caption = birth date = December 21 1890 birth place = New York City, New York, USA death date = April 5 1967 death place = Indianapolis, Indiana, USA nationality = United States… … Wikipedia
Hermann Joseph Muller — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Müller. Hermann Joseph Muller (21 décembre 1890 – 5 avril 1967) est un généticien américain qui a posé les bases de l étude des effets des rayonnements ionisants sur le génome. Il est lauréat du prix Nobel de… … Wikipédia en Français
Hermann Joseph Muller — (* 21. Dezember 1890 in Manhattan, New York, USA; † 5. April 1967 in Indianapolis, USA) war ein US amerikanischer Biologe und Genetiker. Für die Entdeckung, dass Mutationen mit Hilfe von Röntgenstrahlen hervorgerufen werden können, erhielt er… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Hermann Joseph Muller — (Nueva York, 21 de diciembre de 1890 – 5 de abril de 1967) fue un biólogo y genetista estadounidense. Renovador de la genética. Autor de notables estudios acerca de la acción de los rayos X como productores de mutación la acción de las… … Wikipedia Español
Hermann Joseph Muller — jose caemro Hermann Joseph Muller (Nueva York 1890 1967. Biólogo y genetista. Renovador de la genética. Autor de notables estudios acerca de la acción de los rayos X como productores de [mutaciónm la acción de las radiaciones sobre células; por… … Enciclopedia Universal