An Australian researcher who studied human evolution has passed away at the young age of 89, her family confirmed in a statement on Tuesday.
Dr Mary Crouch, a scientist who conducted groundbreaking work into how the human genome evolved and developed its own language, died peacefully at home, her daughter Jennifer told ABC Radio Melbourne.
Dr Crouch had been ill for some time but remained upbeat.
“She has always been very much a strong and resilient person and will be greatly missed,” Jennifer Crouch said.
“We ask that you respect her privacy at this time.”
Dr Cople’s research focused on how the genetic makeup of human embryos changed over time.
She developed a unique way to measure and analyse the changes in the genomes of embryos and babies.
In some cases, the analysis allowed her to see whether a child had the characteristics of a different person.
Dr Joseph Crouch told ABC News the research was based on DNA that was extracted from embryonic cells, and not from the person who conceived them.
Dr Joe Crouch was born in Perth in 1939.
His mother was the daughter of a local mining baron and he was raised by his grandparents in a rural Perth suburb.
Dr John Crouch’s research into the genetics of human development focused on analysing the changes that happened in the human genes as they evolved.
He is believed to have developed the first modern human language using these genes.
His research was conducted with a group of Australian scientists who collected genetic material from the embryonic cells of humans and tested it against the language of the Japanese.
“The results of his work helped lay the foundation for our understanding of how human genetic diversity changed over the course of evolution,” Dr Crouch is said to have said in a 2004 interview.
“It was an extraordinary breakthrough in science.”
Dr Joseph and his wife, Jane, died in 2004.
They had five children and two grandchildren.
Dr Jane Crouch has since died.
The Crouch family confirmed the death on Tuesday, saying that Dr Cople was in excellent health and would be greatly appreciated by her family.
“Dr Mary was an exceptional person, a remarkable person with a wide range of talents, skills and experience, and a profound commitment to human and cultural wellbeing,” the statement said.
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