Selected Topics in the History of Biochemistry. Personal Recollections. VEdited by
- G. Semenza, Swiss Institute of Technology, ETH-Zentrum, Zürich, Switzerland
- R. Jaenicke, Universität Regensburg
Institut für Biophysik und Physikalische Biochemie
The Editors invited selected authors who had participated in or observed the explosive development of biochemistry and molecular biology particularly in the second half of this century to record their personal recollections of the times and circumstances in which they did their work. The authors were given a completely free rein with respect to both content and style and the editors have made no attempt to impose any sort of uniformity in the chapters. Each reflects the flavour of the personality of the author.
The contributors to this volume encompass a wide variety of experiences in many different countries and in very different fields of biochemistry. Some have worked close to the laboratory bench throughout their scientific life and are continuing to do so. Others have been closely engaged in organisational matters, both nationally and internationally. All mention incidents in their own career or have observed those in others that will be of interest to future historians who will record and assess the period in which our contributors lived and worked. It was an extremely exciting time for life sciences.
Published: July 1997
Preface to Volume 40. Contributors to this Volume.
Chapter 1. Wandering in the Fields of Science (S. Lifson). Chapter 2. Keilin and the Molteno(M.F. Perutz). Introduction. Keilin's favourite. Warburton and the Siberian tick. Frail health. Lack of tenure. Chapter 3. An Australian Biochemist in Four Countries (E.C. Slater). Introduction. Early life in Australia 1917-1939. Family background. Schooling. University education. First research. Australian Institute of Anatomy 1939-1946. World War II work interlude (1942-1943). Return to Canberra. Cambridge 1946-1949. Molteno Institute. Australian National University. USA 1949-1950. Return to Cambridge 1950-1955. Enzyme kinetics. Stability of isolated mitochondria. Oxidative phosphorylation. Offer of Amsterdam Chair. Amsterdam 1955-1985. Starting in Amsterdam. First five years in Amsterdam 1955-1960. Second five years 1961-1965. The second decade (1965-1975). Reorganization of Netherlands universities as a result of student pressure. The last decade in Amsterdam 1975-1985. Extra-university activities. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. Nomenclature. EMBO and EMBL. The Royal Netherlands Academy of Science. The Netherlands Organization of Pure Scientific Research (ZWO). International Union of Biochemistry (IUB). China. Retirement. Concluding remarks. References. Chapter 4. A Lifetime Journey with Photosynthesis (A.A. Krasnovsky). Preface. Introduction. Childhood and primary education. Professional education in chemistry. War and the beginning of the biochemical career. Photochemistry of chlorophyll. Reversible chlorophyll photoreduction. Reversible chlorophyll photooxidation. Chase for free radicals. Chlorophyll-photosensitized electron transfer. The state of the photosynthetic pigments in living cells. Reaction centers. Inorganic models of reaction centers. Involvement in problems of the origin of life. Teaching at the Moscow University. Epilogue. References. Chapter 5. Efraim Racker: 28 June 1913 to 9 September 1991 (G. Schatz). Chapter 6. A Life with the Metals of Life (B.G. Malmström). Introduction: the shaping of a bioinorganic chemist. Early influences on my intellectual development. A gymnasium with a university curriculum. A book with a mission. From gymnasium to college studies in the United States. The graduate school years. The beginnings of research. Intellectual influences on a graduate student. Enzyme research in Uppsala. Metal-ion activation of enolase. Uppsala friends. Instructor in Minnesota. Teaching and research. A short army career. 'Docent' in Uppsala. The embryo of an enzyme group. An expanding research program. An interlude in Utah. The beginnings of oxidase research. The end of the Uppsala period. Visiting professor in California. A bioinorganic course. The transition from Uppsala to Göteborg. Professor at Göteborg University. A glimpse of the Swedish academic system of the 1960s. The building of a new department. A number of visitors. My research 1964-93. Laccase and other blue copper proteins. Three sabbaticals. Early cytochrome oxidase investigations. My collaboration with Harry Gray. Electron transfer and proton pumping. The CuA site. The Nobel Committee for Chemistry 1972-1988. The composition of the committee. Some small reforms. The happy life of a professor emeritus. Retirement. Mutants of bacterial cytochrome oxydases. CuA and PNA. Acknowledgements. References. Chapter 7. Harland Goff Wood: An American Biochemist (R. Singleton, Jr.). Introduction. Early years and education. Affiliation with C. H. Werkman at Iowa State. Graduate research. Postdoctoral work. The propionic acid cycle. Early studies on propionic acid metabolism. Expansion of the research project. Discovery of the transcarboxylation reaction. Isolation of the transcarboxylase enzyme. Completion of the propionic acid cycle. Conclusions. Coda. Acknowledgements. Appendix A: Fermentation balances. Chapter 8. Fate has Smiled Kindly (S.V. Perry). Early years. War service. Captivity. Halcyon days. Extramural activities. Post doctoral work in the United States. Return to Cambridge. Muscle organelles. Myofibrillar ATPase and its regulation. Protein components of the myofibril. The Cambridge contribution to protein structure. Kenneth Bailey. Move to Birmingham. Myosin structure and function. The interaction of actin and myosin. Biochemistry of muscle development and adaptation. Methylated muscle proteins. Troponin system. Consolidation in Birmingham. Components of the troponin complex. Calmodulin and calmodulin-binding proteins. Phosphorylation of the myofibrillar proteins. Muscular dystrophy. Tropomyosin. Isoforms and antibodies to the components of the troponin complex. The Italian connection. Committees and miscellaneous responsibilities. Retirement. Acknowledgements. References. Name Index.