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Thomas Jukes identified the B vitamin pantothenic acid from studying purified diets in chickens in the 1930s at the University of California at Davis.  For 20 years, he worked at the pharmaceutical company Lederle Laboratories where he helped develop the anti-folate cancer drug methotrexate and discovered that subtherapeutic doses of antibiotics could stimulate the growth of chickens.

In 1963, Jukes became principle investigator for a NASA project at the University of California at Berkeley studying molecular evolution and the origins of life.  In his later years, Jukes was an outspoken and combative critic of those who questioned the safety of certain scientific developments, such as the use of the synthetic estrogen DES to increase the growth of cattle.

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