1879 picture of the laboratory where Miescher isolated nuclein. The lab was run by Felix Hoppe-Seyler, and located in the vaults of an old castle.
Phoebus Aaron Theodor Levene, 1915.
Levene working in the lab.
(1 of 4) Levene's laboratory at the Rockefeller Institute, 1922. Levene had a large lab space; note the type of equipment used at the time.
(2 of 4) Levene's laboratory at the Rockefeller Institute, 1922.
(3 of 4) Levene's laboratory at the Rockefeller Institute.
(4 of 4) Levene's laboratory at the Rockefeller Institute—used for distillation purposes.
Levene's laboratory with some of his students: (L-R) W. Jacobs, D. Slyke, G. Meyer (1909).
Today, scientists can isolate pure DNA in less than an hour. However, over 100 years ago, Friedrich Miescher had to start at 5 in the morning and work late into the night to extract nuclein. Miescher almost missed his own wedding because he was in the midst of a nuclein extraction.
Both Friedrich Miescher and Phoebus Levene worked on DNA; both believed that proteins were the important hereditary molecules. Why didn't they assign more importance to their own work?