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Bonnevie, Kristine

"Chromosomenstudien III

  • Offprint, presentation copy inscribed by the author on the upper wrapper, “Schrader, with kind regards of the author”.

    Cell biologist Kristine Bonnevie (1872-1949) was Norway’s first female professor and the first woman member of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences. She studied with chromosome researcher Theodor Boveri in Germany, and was awarded a PhD in 1906 for her study of sex cells. “The problem of chromosome halving in the sex cells was not well understood at the time, and her work challenged the classic work of the Norwegian cytologists Alette and Kristian Emil Schreiner. In response to criticism by the Schreiners about her chromosomal work, Bonnevie went to Columbia University where she worked on sex chromosomes in the sea snake, under E. B. Wilson, verifying her earlier work... In 1908, she extended her work to non-dividing chromosomes in related organisms. She continued work on mitosis even after she gave up other work in cytology (Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science).” On Bonnevie’s return to Norway she became a professor of zoology at the University of Oslo (then Christiana) and did significant work on human genetic diseases and fingerprint patterns. “By 1949, almost every Norwegian cytologist had been trained by her” (BDWS). Bonnevie received a number of awards for her social and political work, including being made St. Olaf knight, First Class, for organising deliveries of food to the Norwegian resistance during the Second World War.

    The subject of this paper is the maturation of chromatin in the chromosomes of the common onion, chromatin being the cellular material that packages the usually-loose DNA into dense chromosomes in preparation for cell division. The recipient is uncertain, but may have been the prominent chromosome researcher Franz Schrader (1891-1962) or his wife, Sally, also a cytologist in her own right (1895-1984). Franz Schrader was a generation younger than Bonnevie, but it’s possible that this offprint was sent to him sometime after publication, perhaps as part of correspondence between the two scientists. Schrader was certainly well aware of Bonnevie’s work, and in 1935 cited her in the first paragraph of his paper “Notes on the Mitotic Behaviour of Long Chromosomes” in the journal Cytologia.

  • ...Chromatinreifung in Allium cepa. Mit 4 Tafeln." Offprint from The Archiv for Zellforschung volume 6, number 2.

    Leipzig: Wilhelm Engelmann, 1911.

    Octavo. Original grey wrappers printed in black. 4 plates of which 1 is folding and the others are double-page. Ownership signature “Ric” and short note on the upper wrapper. Wrappers a little toned at the extremities, lightly rubbed, lower corner bumped, contents faintly toned. A very good copy.

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