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Nobel Prize Winner Got Poor Marks in School

Posted at: 10/09/2012 9:55 AM

LONDON (AP) - Teacher knows best?

That doesn't appear to be the case for one teacher who called a future Nobel Prize winner's dreams of becoming a scientist "quite ridiculous" in a scathing report card.

John Gurdon's future success was almost nipped in the bud in 1949 when a schoolmaster at Eton College wrote that pursuing science would be a "sheer waste of time" since the teenaged Gurdon did poor work and didn't listen.

It's a good thing he didn't.

After starting out studying classics at Oxford, Gurdon switched to zoology. In 1962, he showed that the DNA from specialized cells of frogs, like skin or intestinal cells, could be used to generate new tadpoles - a breakthrough rewarded Monday with the Nobel Prize for Medicine, which he shared with Japan's Shinya Yamanaka.

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