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Martha Chase (1928-2003), US molecular biologist. After graduating in 1950, Chase went to work as a laboratory assistant for Alfred Hershey at Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory, New York, USA. Together they worked on the Hershey-Chase blender experiment (1952) that proved deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), and not proteins, passes on genetic information. Chase went on to gain a PhD from the University of Southern California (1964). In the late 1960s, her scientific career ended when she experienced a series of personal and financial setbacks. Chase eventually developed dementia, which caused her to lose her short-term memory. Chase died of pneumonia on 8 August 2003.
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