Muriel Wheldale Onslow

Muriel Wheldale Onslow
Muriel Wheldale Onslow
Born 31 March 1880(1880-03-31)
Birmingham, England
Died 19 May 1932(1932-05-19) (aged 52)
Fields biochemical geneticists
Alma mater University of Cambridge

Muriel Wheldale Onslow (1880–1932) was a British biochemist. She was born on March 31, 1880, in Birmingham, England. She attended the King Edward VI High School in Birmingham and then matriculated at Newnham College, Cambridge in 1900.

At Cambridge she majored in Botany. She received no degree from Cambridge, despite taking First Class Honours in both parts of the Natural Sciences Tripos, because Cambridge did not award degrees to women until 1948.

In 1903 she joined William Bateson's genetics lab at Cambridge where she began her study of the inheritance of petal color in Antirrhinum (snapdragons). This work culminated in the 1916 publication of her first book, "The Anthocyanin Pigments of Plants."[1]

In 1914 Onslow joined the biochemistry lab of Frederick Gowland Hopkins, where she pursued the biochemical aspects of petal color, whose genetics she had elucidated at Bateson's lab. In combining genetics and biochemistry she became one of the first biochemical geneticists and paved the way for the later successes of such seminal investigators as Edward Tatum and George Beadle.

In 1919 Onslow married the biochemist Huia Onslow, second son of the 4th Earl of Onslow. Huia Onslow was paraplegic and died in 1922.

In 1926 she was one of the first women appointed as a lecturer at Cambridge.

Muriel Onslow died on May 19, 1932.

In 2010 the Royal Institution of Great Britain staged a play, entitled "Blooming Snapdragons," about four early-20th-century women biochemists, one of whom was Muriel Onslow.

Books by Muriel Onlsow

The Anthocyanin Pigments of Plants, 1916, revised in 1925

Practical Plant Biochemistry, 1920

Principles of Plant Biochemistry, Volume 1, 1931


External links

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