Science Birthdays, March 21

 

Jean Fourier, mathematician,  born in 1768 and orphaned at age 8, he made his mathematical discoveries in 1808, any periodic oscillation however complex, can be broken up into a series of simple regular wave motions, the sum of which will be the original periodic variation. He wrote a book entitled Analytical Theory of Heat and believed heat was necessary for good health. He kept his house overheated and wore layers of clothing. He died in a fall down the stairs in 1830 at age 62.

Today is the birthday of Walter Gilbert, born in 1932, together with Allan Maxam, he developed a new DNA sequencing method, and he proposed the existence of introns and exons and explained the evolution of introns.  He also proposed the RNA world hypothesis for the origin of life.

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