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Caught Short

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In 1987, 23-year-old Jennifer Doudna was walking through the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory when she spotted a slightly stooped woman walking towards her. She recognized Barbara McClintock, who had recently had won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for her discovery of transposons, or “jumping genes,” that can change position in a genome.  Doudna didn’t stop to introduce herself.   “Here’s this woman who is so famous and so incredibly influential in science acting so unassuming and walking toward her lab thinking about her next experiment. She was what I wanted to be.” I came across this anecdote last week reading The