Friedrich Miescher (1844 - 1895) on
collected single-cell leucocytes from pus in bandages, and and
subjected them to various chemical treatments. Gentle lysis of
of leucocytes in salt solution produced intact nuclei, which
upon precipitation and chemical analysis produced a substance
with a very high content of phosphoric
acid. This contrasted sharply
protein, and other known
cell components such as carbohydrates and lipids.
Miescher named this
material nuclein. The significance of the difference
in composition remained unknown in Miescher's lifetime. We now
know this substance as nucleic acid., and recognize the PO4 as a
component of the helical backbone.
All text material © 2015 by Steven M. Carr