Concept

1940 in science

Summary
The year 1940 in science and technology involved some significant events, listed below. Biochemistry
  • August 24 – Howard Florey and a team including Ernst Chain, Arthur Duncan Gardner, Norman Heatley, M. Jennings, J. Orr-Ewing and G. Sanders at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford, publish their laboratory results showing the in vivo bactericidal action of penicillin. They have also purified the drug. On December 25 they seed their first batch of culture with spores of penicillin to grow it in medicinal quantity.
  • The antibiotic dactinomycin (actinomycin D) is first isolated by Selman Waksman and H. Boyd Woodruff at Rutgers University.
Biology
  • February 2 – The first transposons are discovered in maize (Zea mays, aka corn) by Barbara McClintock.
  • March 11 – Ed Ricketts, John Steinbeck and six others leave Monterey for the Gulf of California on a marine invertebrate collecting expedition.
Chemistry
  • February 27 – The radioac
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