Erwin Chargaff

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Erwin Chargaff (August 11, 1905June 20, 2002) was an Austrian biochemist who emigrated to the United States during the Nazi era. Through careful experimentation, Chargaff discovered two rules that helped lead to the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA.


  • Outside his own ever-narrowing field of specialization, a scientist is a layman. What members of an academy of science have in common is a certain form of semiparasitic living.
    • Perspectives in Biology and Medicine (1973)
  • We do not know what life is, and yet we manipulate it as if it were an inorganic salt solution... [citation needed]
  • What I see coming is a gigantic slaughterhouse, a molecular Auschwitz, in which valuable enzymes, hormones, and so on will be extracted instead of gold teeth.
    • The Genetic Revolution—Great Promise With Growing Concern, Awake! magazine, July 22, 1989.

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