Download Selected Topics in the History of Biochemistry VII: by G. Semenza, A.J. Turner PDF

By G. Semenza, A.J. Turner

This e-book is the newest quantity in a hugely profitable sequence inside complete Biochemistry and gives a historic and autobiographical standpoint of the advance of the sector in the course of the contributions of best people who contemplate their careers and their effect on biochemistry. The e-book is key interpreting for everyone, from graduate pupil to professor, putting in context significant advances not just in biochemical phrases yet relating to historic and social advancements. Readers could be extremely joyful through the full of life kind and the perception into the lives and careers of best scientists in their time.

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B. Conant, then professor of organic chemistry, soon to become Harvard’s president, was impressed by a German report that the freezing point depression of proteins dissolved in phenol was unexpectedly large, corresponding to molecular weights of only a few hundred. This suggested that proteins might be colloidal aggregates of intrinsically small molecules, phenol breaking up the larger particles normally seen in aqueous solution. Cohn felt that such a heretical idea needed to be challenged: Cohn and Conant worked on the problem together [10] and showed that the German result was an artefact, arising from failure to maintain constant thermodynamic water activity.

He was an American and a member of the National Academy, but he was not born in America, nor was his great scientific work done in America. It was done in Switzerland, the country of the cuckoo clock (in the famous words of Orson Welles). The statue’s presence here proclaims our faith in all of science, our regard for it as a beacon to guide the future. We can all see the statue now, just a few steps from the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington monument, the Vietnam Veterans’ memorial, the statue of John Paul Jones.

It is likely that my struggles in working things out for myself (usually going back to original literature) contributed to the book’s ultimate readability, making it easier for the reader to appreciate the fundamentals from the standpoint of someone approaching the subject for the first time. The book almost did not come to be published, at least by John Wiley and Sons, the presumptive publisher during the years of writing; I have told that story in an earlier article [13]. G. Kirkwood, one of the foremost theoretical physical chemists of the day.

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