DNA, RNA, and Chromosomes

What term was originally used for DNA?

DNA was originally called nuclein because it was first isolated in 1869 from the nuclei of cells. In the 1860s Johann Frederick Miescher (1844–1895), a Swiss biochemist working in Germany at the University of Tubingen lab of Felix Hoppe-Seyler (1825–1895), was given the task of researching the composition of white blood cells. He found a good source of white blood cells from the used bandages that he obtained at a nearby hospital. He washed off the pus and isolated a new molecule from the cell nucleus; white blood cells have very large nuclei. He called the substance nuclein.


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