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Timeline for biochemistry: metabolism and bioenergetics

Week 2 Timeline video.

During this week our attention focuses on biochemistry topics linked to cellular metabolism and bioenergetics.

In week 1 we already saw about some of the significant biochemists and biochemistry experiments in these research areas. These were:

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.

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

1930s: Krebs discovers urea cycle and then the citric acid cycle. This leads to the award of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1953 for his discovery of the citric acid cycle, along with Fritz Albert Lipmann, “for his discovery of co-enzyme A and its importance for intermediary metabolism”.

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

1997: Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Paul D. Boyer and John E. Walker, “for their elucidation of the enzymatic mechanism underlying the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP)”; Jens C. Skou, “for the first discovery of an ion-transporting enzyme, Na+, K+ -ATPase”.

Some other seminal biochemists and biochemistry experiments in these research areas include:

1902: Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Hermann Emil Fischer, “in recognition of the extraordinary services he has rendered by his work on sugar and purine syntheses”.

1923: Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Frederick Grant Banting and John James Rickard Macleod, “for the discovery of insulin”.

1931: Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Otto Heinrich Warburg, “for his discovery of the nature and mode of action of the respiratory enzyme”.

1958: Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Frederick Sanger, “for his work on the structure of proteins, especially that of insulin”.

1961: Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Melvin Calvin, “for his research on the carbon dioxide assimilation in plants”.

1988: Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Johann Deisenhofer, Robert Huber and Hartmut Michel, “for the determination of the three-dimensional structure of a photosynthetic reaction centre”.

1992: Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Edmond H. Fischer and Edwin G. Krebs, “for their discoveries concerning reversible protein phosphorylation as a biological regulatory mechanism”.

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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