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February 9 Science History

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Learn about the history of science by reading about the significant scientific events that took place on this day in history.

1996 - Element 112 first created.

German nuclear scientists at the GSI facility announce they have created element 112, ununbium. Ununbium would be later renamed to copernicium in honor of Nicolaus Copernicus.

1994 - Howard Martin Temin died.

Temin was an American geneticist who was awarded the 1975 Nobel Prize in Medicine with David Baltimore and Renalto Dulbecco for their work on the interactions between tumor viruses and the genetic material of the cell. It was previously believed genetic information travels only from DNA to RNA to proteins. He showed that some tumor viruses could reverse that flow from RNA to DNA using a process called reverse transcriptase.

1950 - Element 98 first created.

Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley laboratories synthesize the first atoms of the element californium. It was created by bombarding a curium target with high energy alpha particles.

1923 - Norman Shumway was born.

Shumway was the American doctor who performed the first successful heart transplant in the United States. He continued to refine the procedure to minimize rejection and increase safety for the patient. Many early heart transplant patients did not live for very long after their operations.

1910 - Jacques Monod was born.

Monod was a French biologist who shares the 1965 Nobel Prize in Medicine with François Jacob and André Lwoff for discoveries about genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis. He and Jacob discovered the lac operon that describes the transport and metabolism of lactose in bacteria DNA. This was the first case of a transcriptional regulation system.

1870 - US Weather Bureau is established.

The United States Weather Bureau was created by Congress and signed by President Ulysses S. Grant to direct the Secretary of War to maintain meteorological observations and warn about approaching storms. The Weather Bureau would become the National Weather Service in 1970 and become part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

1865 - James Melville Gilliss died.

Gilliss was an American astronomer who was the founder of the US Naval Observatory, the first US research observatory. The original mission of the Observatory was to maintain the Navy's ship chronometers, charts and navigational equipment.

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