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HISTORY

5 women in science that have changed the world and probably haven’t heard of

Science is often considered a male-dominated field, and if a woman happens to be named is most of the time, associated with being an assistant. However, throughout history, many women have contributed and even made great discoveries that changed the world.

These five women made breakthrough discoveries that led to modern computers, facilitated the study of the DNA and even helped millions of people to get tested for HIV, so you better learn their names and help them shine in the Olympus of Science.

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Ada Lovelace, Mathematician

Being a woman during the 1800s was not easy, especially if you wanted to pursue man-oriented activities like maths. However, Ada is considered to be the first computer programmer!

She proposed an analytical engine based on the studies of Charles Babbage –the inventor of the first mechanical computer- which later was considered to be the very first computer algorithm.

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Rosalind Franklin

You probably learned in school that the double-helix structure of the DNA was discovered by James Watson and Francis Crick, but they couldn’t have done that without Rosalind Franklin.

She was the one who first discovered this structure thanks to some X-ray diffraction photographs she took of the DNA. These were later shared with Watson and Crick who immediately published a paper in Nature explaining their findings.

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Some claim that Rosalind should have been included in the Nobel Prize, but by the time this happened, she had already passed away.

Katherine Johnson

Thanks to her, the launch of space rockets is possible. She made calculations used by NASA to establish trajectories, launch windows, and emergency return paths that took the first US astronauts into space.

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She was the first African-American woman to attend her graduate school and was one of few African-American women to work on the NASA space program.

Flossie Wong-Staal, Virologist and Molecular Biologist

Wong-Staal was the first scientist to clone HIV and let her create a map of its genes. This made possible the creation of a map of its genes, which led to a test for the virus.

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This has allowed millions of people around the world to receive adequate treatment on time.

Vera Rubin, Astronomer

Vera made one of the most significant discoveries of the 20th century. Thanks to her work we know about the existence of dark matter, a type of glue that holds the Universe together.

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