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Significant biochemists and experiments

Significant biochemists and experiments that led to important advances in biochemical knowledge

This video highlights significant biochemists and experiments that led to important advances in biochemical knowledge. Further information about findings that have been important in biochemistry are available on the Biochemical Society website.

Findings highlighted in this video include:

Pre-1900: The term “biochemistry” (and its German/French equivalent “biochimie”) becomes synonymous with “physiological chemistry” or the “chemistry of life”. Medical schools start to teach that these studies are important for understanding human disease.

1902: First Chair (Professorship) of Biochemistry appointed at the University of Liverpool

1918: Fritz Haber awarded the Nobel prize in Chemistry in 1918 “for the synthesis of ammonia from its elements”.

1933, 1937 & 1953: Krebs discovers urea cycle and subsequently the citric acid cycle

1953: Crick, Franklin, Watson, Wilkins and colleagues report the double helical structure of DNA. After Franklin’s death in 1957, this work was recognised by the awarding of the Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962 to Crick, Watson and Wilkins. (For an overview of the research that led to solving of this structure, see the link to the article in Nature in October 2019.)

1964: Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin awarded the Nobel prize in Chemistry for her development of X-ray crystallography techniques that allow the structure of biomolecules to be determined at a high resolution.

1978: Nobel prize in Chemistry awarded to Peter Mitchell “for his contribution to the understanding of biological energy transfer through the formulation of the chemiosmotic theory”.

1997: Nobel prize in Chemistry awarded to Paul Boyer and John Walker “for their elucidation of the enzymatic mechanism underlying the synthesis of ATP”.

2003: Completion and publication of human genome sequence.

Further information about some of these findings and biochemists is available on the Biochemical Society website.

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Biochemistry: the Molecules of Life

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