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Old College Photographs - Women in Chemistry Class
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The role of women in chemistry have been a very central one. In both chemical and molecular science, women have been a crucial part of the equation since the antiquity. And while a large portion of this history has been obscured or is missing, there is still a great deal that is known about women's contributions to the fields of science, medicine, and technology. This image of a women's college chemistry class is an excellent transition into taking a closer look at some of chemistry's more prominent women.

Jacqueline Barton

Using custom-made molecules, Barton probed DNA with lecterns to locate various genes in order to study their particular arrangements. Through here research she was able to determine that some DNA molecules that have been damaged are not able to conduct electricity.

Ruth Benerito

Born and raised in New Orleans, Benerito was given something most young women of that time did not typically receive - an education. While most women of the day did not usually attend institution of higher education, Benerito's father saw to it that his daughter would receive the same education that most men would only be afforded to have. After completing her doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of Chicago, Benerito went on to invent wash-and-wear cotton fabric. This chemical treatment she created for the cotton surface reduced wrinkles, but also could be used to created fabric that is flame resistant and stain resistant.

Ruth Erica Benesch

In conjunction with her husband Reinhold Benesch, Ruth Benesch worked to discover how hemoglobin release oxygen into the body. Through the course of her research, their work with the 2,3-bisphosphoglyceric acid transformed the way in which scientist were able to view the oxygen transport system. Benesch, also worked to demonstrate that two types of protein chains, hetero-oligomer and homo-oligomer, are an essential part of a proper functioning hemoglobin.

Joan Berkowitz Graduating in 1955 with her PhD in physical chemistry, Berkowitz went on to becoming one of the top chemists who work focused in environmental matters. During the 1970s, Berkowitz worked to study manufactured goods and their potential for causing pollution. Here research looked into the use of limestone scrubbers and their use for removing sulfur dioxide - demonstrating how the reduce the had deposits that are hindering the effectiveness, and improved their design.

Carolyn Bertozzi

Completing her Ph.D. in 1993 at the UC Berkeley, Bertozzi has spent the majority her career working glycobiology and is credited with creating bioorthogonal chemistry, a form of science that uses a bioorthogonal chemical reporters, such as the azide to label biomolecules within living systems.

Hazel Bishop

Starting her chemistry working as an organic chemist for Standard Oil Development COmpany, were she worked to design fuels for airplanes during WWII. Following her time with Standard Oil, Bishop decided to leave the company and pursue her own business. After much thought, bishop had the idea to vera a smudge-proof, long lasting lipstick that would not smear on clothing or cups. In 9150, after develop her "No-Smear Lipstick," Bishop started Hazel Bishop Inc. to manufacturer lasting lipstick.

Marie Curie

Arguably the most famous female chemist, Marie Curie is known for her pioneering work in the field of radioactivity. Curie, who is was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, is also the only woman to have won two Nobel Prizes in two fields. She is also the only person to have one in multiple sciences. During the course of her career, Marie Curie achievements spanned radioactive theory, the isolation of radioactive isotopes, the discovery of two elements, and Under her direction, the world's first studies were conducted into the treatment of neoplasms, using radioactive isotopes.

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