- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Hershey-Chase blender experiment

Related people

Alfred Hershey and Martha Chase in 1952 showed DNA to be the carrier of genetic information in virus reproduction, working with T2 phage. They showed by labelling the capsid proteins and nucleic acid of bacteriophage T2 with different radioactive isotopes that only the DNA of the phage had to enter the cell for virus replication to occur.

DNA was first identified in 1868 by the Swiss physician and biologist Johann Friedrich Miescher (1844-1895), in the nuclei of pus cells obtained from discarded surgical bandages from a hospital caring for the wounded of the Crimean War. He named the substance nuclein because it seemed to come from cell nuclei. It is now known as deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).


  • A. D. Hershey, M. C. Chase:
    Independent functions of viral protein and nucleic acid in growth of bacteriophage.
    The Journal of General Physiology, New York, 1952, 36: 39-56.
  • A. D. Hershey, M. C. Chase:
    Genetic recombination and heterozygosis in bacteriophage.
    Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology, 1952, 16: 471-479.

What is an eponym?

An eponym is a word derived from the name of a person, whether real or fictional. A medical eponym is thus any word related to medicine, whose name is derived from a person.

What is Whonamedit?

Whonamedit.com is a biographical dictionary of medical eponyms. It is our ambition to present a complete survey of all medical phenomena named for a person, with a biography of that person.


Whonamedit? does not give medical advice.
This survey of medical eponyms and the persons behind them is meant as a general interest site only. No information found here must under any circumstances be used for medical purposes, diagnostically, therapeutically or otherwise. If you, or anybody close to you, is affected, or believe to be affected, by any condition mentioned here: see a doctor.