Nettie M. Stevens and the Discovery of Sex Determination by Chromosomes

  title={Nettie M. Stevens and the Discovery of Sex Determination by Chromosomes},
  author={Stephen G. Brush},
  pages={163 - 172}
  • S. Brush
  • Published 1 June 1978
  • Biology
  • Isis
D URING THE FIRST DECADE of the twentieth century it was established that the sex of almost all many-celled biological organisms is determined at the moment of fertilization by the combination of two kinds of microscopic entities, the X and Y chromosomes.1 This discovery was the culmination of more than two thousand years of speculation and experiment on how an animal, plant, or human becomes male or female; at the same time it provided an important confirmation for the recently revived… 

The contributions of Nettie Stevens to the field of sex chromosome biology

This review focuses on Stevens’ Studies in spermatogenesis, key findings in plant systems over the last century and open questions that are best answered, as in Stevens' work, by synthesizing across many systems.

Women as Mendelians and Geneticists

After the rediscovery of Mendel’s laws of heredity in 1900, the biologists who began studying heredity, variation, and evolution using the new Mendelian methodology—performing controlled hybrid

The Y-Chromosome in Animals [1]

In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the development of new microscopic and molecular techniques, including DNA sequencing, enabled scientists to confirm the hypothesis that chromosomes determine the sex of developing organisms.

Women in the Early History of Genetics: William Bateson and the Newnham College Mendelians, 1900-1910

This essay shows how the situation of women in science in the early twentieth century was a factor--along with scientific, institutional, social, and political developments--in establishing the new discipline of genetics.

The Y-Chromosome in Animals

The Y-chromosome is one of a pair of chromosomes that determine the genetic sex of individuals in mammals, some insects, and some plants and beginning in the 1980s, many studies of human populations used the Y- Chromosome gene sequences to trace paternal lineages.

How Theories became Knowledge: Morgan's Chromosome Theory of Heredity in America and Britain

  • S. Brush
  • Biology
    Journal of the history of biology
  • 2002
The reasons why thechromosome Theory of Heredity was accepted as part of a series of comparative studies of theory-acceptance in the sciences are examined, including the persuasiveness of confirmed novel predictions.

[Nettie Maria Stevens (1861-1912)].

Nettie M. Stevens is one of the first women who contributed to genetic research. She discovered the role of sex chromosomes in sex determination during the first decade of the twentieth century.

Nettie Maria Stevens (1861-1912)

Multiple theories about what determines sex were tested at the turn of the twentieth century. By experimenting on germ cells [4], cytologist Nettie Maria Stevens collected evidence to support the

Stevens, Nettie Maria

Through exploring her early life and education, her relationship to her colleagues who, while praising her work, did not give her the credit she deserved, and the professional difficulties that she as a woman encountered, Stevens’ importance in the history of genetics is considered.

The Riddle of Sex: Biological Theories of Sexual Difference in the Early Twentieth-Century

This paper will illustrate how the older metabolic theory of sex was displaced when those who argued for the relatively newer theories of chromosomes and hormones gradually formed an alliance that accommodated each other and excluded the metabolic Theory of sex.