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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Albert Szent-Györgyi who made several discoveries in biochemistry, including vitamin C

It's the birthday of Albert Szent-Györgyi, who was born in 1893 in Budapest, Hungary. Szent-Györgyi made several discoveries in biochemistry, including vitamin C, its structure and its role in cells. In 1938 his focus switched to the biophysics of muscle cells. He identified the roles of three of the key molecular actors: actin, myosin and ATP. Szent-Györgyi was also an early adopter of using electron microscopes to study biological structures. He was awarded the 1937 medicine prize for his vitamin C discoveries, a milestone that he recalled in his 1970 book, The Crazy Ape: "When I received the Nobel Prize, the only big lump sum of money I have ever seen, I had to do something with it. The easiest way to drop this hot potato was to invest it, to buy shares. I knew that World War II was coming and I was afraid that if I had shares which rise in case of war, I would wish for war. So I asked my agent to buy shares which go down in the event of war. This he did. I lost my money and saved my soul."