chemistry

Albert Szent-Györgyi and Vitamin C

Albert Szent-Györgyi and Vitamin C

On September 1893, Hungarian biochemist and Nobel laureate Albert Szent-Györgyi was born. Albert Szent-Györgyi is credited with discovering vitamin C and the components and reactions of the citric acid cycle. “Discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking something different.” Attributed to Szent-Györgyi in: IEEE (1985) Bridging the present and the future: IEEE Professional Communication Society conference record, Williamsburg, Virginia, October 16-18, 1985. p. 14.…
Luis Federico Leloir and the Metabolic Pathways of Lactose

Luis Federico Leloir and the Metabolic Pathways of Lactose

On September 6, 1906, Argentine physicist and biochemist Luis Federico Leloir was born. Leloir received the 1970 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of the metabolic pathways in lactose, becoming only the third Argentine to receive the prestigious honor in any field. His research has led to significant progress in understanding, diagnosing and treating the congenital disease galactosemia. Leloir’s parents, Federico Leloir and Hortensia Aguirre de Leloir, both from an…
Jacobus Henricus van ‘t Hoff and Physical Chemistry

Jacobus Henricus van ‘t Hoff and Physical Chemistry

On August 30, 1852, Dutch physical chemist Jacobus Henricus Van ‘t Hoff was born. Van ‘t Hoff was the first winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. His pioneering work helped found the modern theory of chemical affinity, chemical equilibrium, chemical kinetics, and chemical thermodynamics. He formulated the theory of the tetrahedral carbon atom and laid the foundations of stereochemistry and predicted the correct structures of allenes and cumulenes as well…
Sir Henry Tizard – Octane Rating and Radar Technology

Sir Henry Tizard – Octane Rating and Radar Technology

On August 23, 1885, English chemist and inventor Sir Henry Thomas Tizard was born. Tizard developed the modern “octane rating” used to classify petrol, helped to develop radar in World War II, and led the first serious studies of UFOs. Henry Tizard was born in Gillingham, Kent, the only son of Thomas Henry Tizard (1839–1924), naval officer and hydrographer, and his wife, Mary Elizabeth Churchward. His ambition to join the…
Julius Lothar Meyer and the Periodic Law

Julius Lothar Meyer and the Periodic Law

On August 19, 1830, German chemist Julius Lothar Meyer was born. Meyer was one of the pioneers in developing the first periodic table of chemical elements. He discovered the Periodic Law, independently of Dmitry Mendeleev, at about the same time (1869). However, he did not develop the periodic classification of the chemical elements as thoroughly as Mendeleev. “That the as yet undivided chemical elements are absolutely irreducible substances, is currently…
Frederick Sanger and the Structure of Proteins

Frederick Sanger and the Structure of Proteins

On August 13, 1918, British biochemist Frederick Sanger was born. In 1958, he was awarded a Nobel Prize in chemistry “for his work on the structure of proteins, especially that of insulin“. In 1980, Walter Gilbert and Sanger shared half of the chemistry prize “for their contributions concerning the determination of base sequences in nucleic acids“. “Scientific research is one of the most exciting and rewarding of occupations. It is…
Paul Walden and the Walden Inversion

Paul Walden and the Walden Inversion

On July 26, 1863, Russian and Latvian-German chemist Paul Walden was born. Walden is known for his work in stereochemistry and history of chemistry. In particular he invented the stereochemical reaction known as Walden inversion and synthesized the first room-temperature ionic liquid, ethylammonium nitrate. Paul Walden was born in Rozula in present-day Stalbe parish, Pārgauja municipality, Latvia as the youngest of 13 children in a peasant family. Already at the…
Sir Frederick Abel and the Smokeless Gunpowder

Sir Frederick Abel and the Smokeless Gunpowder

On July 17, 1827, English chemist Sir Frederick Abel was born. Abel was a military explosives specialist, and with the chemist Sir James Dewar, invented cordite in 1889, which is a smokeless gunpowder that was later adopted as the standard explosive of the British army, and proved vital in WWI. Frederick Abel studied chemistry at the Royal Polytechnic Institution. In 1845 he started studying at the Royal College of Chemistry…
Emil Erlenmayer and the Erlenmayer Flask

Emil Erlenmayer and the Erlenmayer Flask

On June 28, 1825, German chemist Emil Erlenmeyer was born. Erlenmayer is known for contributing to the early development of the theory of structure, formulating the Erlenmeyer rule, and especially for designing the Erlenmeyer flask, a type of chemical flask, which is named after him. Actually, I remember the Erlenmeyer flask from my earliest chemistry lessons back in high school. So, who was the man behind that prominent gadget? Richard…
John Jacob Abel and the Endocrine Glands

John Jacob Abel and the Endocrine Glands

On May 19, 1857, American biochemist and pharmacologist John Jacob Abel was born. Abel made important contributions to a modern understanding of the ductless, or endocrine, glands. He extracted a derivative of epinephrine, also known as adrenaline and successfully purified and isolated crystalline insulin. His interest in kidney functions led to his invention of a primitive artificial kidney that was able to remove toxins from the blood of living animals,…
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