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TsvetMihail Semenovich

( Botanist)

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Biography TsvetMihail Semenovich
(14.05.1872 - 26.06.1919)
. He was poluitalyanets, but lived entirely Russian destiny: opened chromatography, which became the basis for most of the academic achievements of XX century, and he died of starvation during the post-revolutionary chaos.
. Imagine yourself in a fairly large and nearly empty room with an iron bed in the corner
. Autumn. Cold. Was dark. Which day of the rain and the roof leaks. In the opposite corner on the ceiling, slowly is spreading wet spot, a drop falling into a bucket of substituted. Landlady can not complain - all the same money to pay off the debt does not. It remains to look at forming strange patterns on the ceiling. And if to look at closely, we can see wonderful things - patterns consist of beautiful, very bright rings - blue-green (kuporosN), brown (rust with kryshiN), pink (old kraskaN). Bands of different colors and clearly separated from each other and form a fanciful figure. Now is difficult to see. New technologies - concrete floors, Leakproof roofs, synthetic materials, no plaster and sulphate. And once ... Who first saw a similar "chromatogram" N
In the XIX century, an extraordinary intellectual satisfaction scientists delivered the discovery of meaning green color of plants. It turns out that plants absorb the light and the absorbed energy is used for the synthesis of nutrients! It was necessary to isolate and purify the green leaf pigments - chlorophyll. And they are so close on the properties that separate them failed.
Mikhail Tsvet struggled with the task of separation of pigments of green leaf. The extract was brown-green color, and the same color has become the top layer of chalk columns. Then Mikhail Semenovich began dropwise pouring from the top tube with chalk pure alcohol. Drop by drop the next portion of his acid dissolved pigments from the grains of chalk, moving down the tube. As a result, in a column of chalk with a uniform colored bands of pure substances. It was beautiful. Bright green strip, a strip of slightly yellow green - are the two types of chlorophyll and bright yellow-orange band of carotenoids. Color called this picture chromatogram.
. (It is hard to resist a smile: Color - chromosomes chromatogram - tsvetogramma.)
. The method was so strangely simple that most of his contemporaries, or did not take this amazing discovery, or, even sadder, has risen sharply against its author.
. The silence lasted for almost 20 years ...
. Today the use of the principle of chromatographic separation of substances - the basis of most advances in science and technology
. This principle based analysis of the amino acid and nucleotide sequences in proteins and nucleic acids, separation and purification of antibiotics and many other substances. On the same principle is based isotope separation and, consequently, the creation of nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants ...

For separation of substances "under a leaky roof, watched many times before Colors. Why he has (or dovelosN) to transform these observations into a powerful modern method of separation veschestvN

Mikhail Semenovich Color was born in 1872 in the town of Asti. Italy. His mother, Maria de Dorotstsa - Italian, died shortly after the birth of son. His father, Simon N. color, comes from a Russian merchant family, has become a major official and a famous person in the circle of intellectuals, wrote works of literary and economic issues, was well acquainted with the IS. Turgenev, PV. Annenkov, K.D. Kavelin IN. Hugo, AI. Herzen. Turgenev's Fathers and Children "has devoted a leaflet on the history of Russian nihilism."

Childhood and youth were held in serene colors Switzerland. He graduated from Geneva High School in 1891 and immediately entered the Physics and Mathematics, University of Geneva. In 1893 Color - Bachelor of Physical and Natural Sciences. He decided to devote himself to the study of plant. Receiving five years of Doctor of Natural Sciences, University of Geneva, in December, Mikhail Semenovich was already in St. Petersburg. He "returned to their fathers."
Why had he succeeded in Switzerland RossiyuN rational response to this question. His "return" as it would divide their lives into two almost equal time and opposing to "paint" half: one light - the first 24 years in Switzerland, . another dark - the remaining 23 years before an early death in 1919 in Russia,
. But it is in Russia, he made his remarkable discovery.
. Here is his first impression of Russia: "... during the six-odd months that I was in Russia, I tried in vain to make themselves feel that in my breast beats the heart of Russian, I crossed all of Russia
. I visited Moscow, the holy city, and my eyes and ears were wide open ... Nothing twitched, nothing echoed in me. In their homeland, I felt like a foreigner. And this feeling I was deeply and desperately disappointing ... Now I am sorry that I left Europe ... "
Then the mood changed. Color met wonderful people and outstanding researchers. Of great importance to his meeting society "Little nerds", which took place every week at the home of Beketova Voronin or in the laboratory Famintsyna. Such meetings - discussion of scientific, . Yes, and any other problems at dinner, . in a relaxed atmosphere - created and still create a circle of friends Russia's intelligentsia that special climate, . special state of mind, . which helps to overcome the "cold life", . and remain for life as precious memories.,

. However, it was necessary to find a paid job
. Found that the degree of Doctor of the University of Geneva in Russia is not recognized. Its not even equated to the degree of Master. Many months searching for work - who are not familiar with this painful condition. At times it seemed bleak, and he thought about returning to Europe. For teaching, and thus for the possibility of scientific studies have been re already in Russia, to defend his master's thesis.
Color is extremely fortunate. He met with Peter Franzevich Lesgaft - a remarkable man, a physician, anatomist and an outstanding teacher. Mikhail Semenovich listened to the brilliant lectures Lesgafta, . and then to the newly constructed specifically for Lesgafta biological laboratory is continuing its studies of chloroplast, . preparing at the same time to the new master's examinations and to defend the dissertation.,
. He passed his exams in the 99-m and 19 April 1900, made a presentation on the nature hloroglobina "at a meeting of the botanical department of the St. Petersburg Society of Naturalists, and was adopted as an active member of this society
. Master's thesis he defended in the Kazan University, 23 September 1901. Beginning as a foster life ... But the March 4, 1901 in St. Petersburg on the square in front of Kazan Cathedral was violent demonstration - Students protesting against the return of the soldiers in Kiev and other cities in retaliation for participating in riots. "
. The police and the Cossacks brutally murdered students
. Lesgaft witnessed the massacre and, later, NK. Koltsov, protested by organizing a signature 99 professors and writers.
. After several searches Lesgafta expelled from St. Petersburg to Finland, and biological laboratory practice has been discontinued.
. Color was forced to seek a new job
. 26 November 1901 he held a competition for the post of assistant to the chair of anatomy and physiology of plants in the Warsaw University.
Poland - already Europe. Almost every summer color is in different universities in Germany and later in Paris, Amsterdam and other cities. In 1902 elected a member of the German Botanical Society, and June 28, 1907 At a meeting of the German Botanical Society reported on the opening of chromatography.
In the same year, ms. Color married Elena Aleksandrovna Trusevich, on 28 November 1910 he defended in - Warsaw University thesis "Hromofilly in plant and animal world" for the degree of doctor of botany. Now, finally, he could claim the title and position as professor. And while the doctor of botany Geneva and Warsaw University, Master of the Kazan University - only the assistant-assistant. Rarely has such an abundance of powers is accompanied by such a low position and salary, which also depends on the number of classes and lectures to students ...
In August 1914, with a shot in Sarajevo, the First World War ... Very lightly in June of 1915 ms. Color goes with his family on summer vacation in Odessa. At this time the Germanic troops occupied Warsaw, and in coming back was not possible. All property, books, manuscripts, scientific journals have remained in Warsaw and presumed dead.
Began the last, very sad and difficult period of life ms. Colors. In his biography gives details on how he was looking for work after Warsaw. The most attractive vacancy was head of the department of anatomy and physiology of plants Novorossiysk University in Odessa.
. Amazing how many outstanding candidates revealed the announcement of competition in Russia of those years and as an authoritative and numerous were the reviewers - Botany, Plant Physiology
. Note that among them was one of the most famous scientist in this field - KA. Timiryazeva. But in the recall A.S. Famintsyna stated: "... the most worthy candidate is a doctor of botany, Mikhail Semenovich Color, . scholar with a European reputation, . studies on chlorophyll which are the pride of Russian science and have already been awarded the Imperial Academy of Sciences awarded the big prize in BOGDANIVSKE 1911,
. ... University played to a debt to the Russian science, giving the possibility of such an outstanding scientist to take its rightful place and to continue his scientific work.

However, the colors are not chosen. It is no coincidence mentioned Timiriazev. No documentary evidence, but there is a persistent legend - stories of the old staff of the Moscow University of sharply negative attitude and actively Grand KA. Timiryazeva to work ms. Colors.

What Timiriazev great, everybody knows. He was an outstanding researcher and an even more outstanding advocate and popularizer of Plant Physiology. He raised a monument in downtown Moscow. His name is given to streets and schools. Most important thing - Timirjazevskaja Agricultural Academy. However, I think these honors is largely due to his unconditional support of Bolshevik power. He was unconditional, "canonized" the authority, after Lenin had sent his book "Science and Democracy" with a dedication and received in reply a letter thanking them for "... book and the kind words. I was just delighted, reading your comments against the bourgeoisie and for the Soviet power ". Lenin's letter arrived April 27, 1920, and the next day Timiriazev died.

All my life Timiriazev involved in chlorophyll. And when, in 1910 in Warsaw's book Colors of the results of studies of chlorophylls using the open method of chromatographic, Timiriazev responded only angry diatribe about the alleged intentional misrepresentation of its priority. And not a word about the new method.

In September of 1917 ms. Color came in Yurev and began work at the University. The war. German troops were advancing. It was decided to evacuate Yurievsky University Center of Russia, in Voronezh. But the troops entered the city so quickly that the evacuation was not possible. German occupation executives ordered to stop teaching in Russian and go to German. Rector and Russian professors asked "to voluntarily leave Livonia". In August, the eighteenth of flowers the family was evacuated from St. George's in September, arrived in Voronezh. The road was very difficult, to the same apartment in Voronezh was far from the University. Mikhail Semenovich developed heart failure.
However, he tried to think about the future - October 7, 1918, presented a memorandum on the organization of the botanical department of the newly emerging Voronezh University. April 9, 1919 the first began lecturing. Stand, he could not sit and read, panting. June 26, 1919 Color died from hunger and disease. He was buried in Voronezh, has only recently found his grave - it is set plate with the inscription: "He has given open chromatography - separating molecules that connects people."
In Russia, a method name and colors back dramatically. I told this story, Professor Simon Evstafievich Manoilov, which in the 30 years was a graduate student of Academician AN. Bach Institute of Biochemistry, USSR Academy of Sciences. (Wonderful! This institution still alive when Bach was named after him. Oh really liked the party leadership AN. Bah!).

Story S.E. Manoylova irresponsible to me is colored, is good enough as a scenario, as they say, "an action" detective movie.

Once (it always starts a fairy tale ...) in the Institute of Biochemistry, arrived from France 3. Lederer. He was a convinced communist and traveled the country "victorious socialism" with vysokoideynoy purpose - to return the name and the works of Mikhail Tsvet his homeland ... Sam Lederer, as I mentioned, worked until the arrival of the Nazis in the University of Heidelberg in the biochemical laboratory of the Kuhn. Having learned about the method of Colors, admiring Lederer traveled to Warsaw and found in the archives of the University of workbooks Colors, which he failed to withdraw in 1915.

In those years in Germany is increasingly gaining momentum Nazis. Lederer was not only a communist, but a Jew. But his close friend and schoolmate was a supporter of Hitler, an active member of the Nazi party and attack aircraft. (You can compose yourself scene discussions of two friends, if you want ...) One day Lederer in a university laboratory that came his friend and said: "In the coming days we will smash the University. I warn you, escape! "But Lederer did not believe. "It can not be that in Germany, a country of such a level of culture, could destroy the university!"

A few days later cordoned off the University of armed attack planes with German shepherd. In the laboratory ran constricted belts, in the form of ground attack planes, a former friend Lederer and shouted: "I warned you, but now do not move!" And locked him up, believing the arrested. But Lederer was able to escape and was in ... Switzerland, then France. He saved the most valuable - Notebook Colors ... Where then did the rescued notebooks, I do not know. Colorful details of screenplay, perhaps, too, are not very significant. The main thing - the method has found a second life.

After the visit Lederer Bach instructed his graduate student to master the chromatographic method, and Manoilov spent the first after the death of Colors chromatographic studies of carotenoids in the Russia. He singled out watermelon seven different carotenoids and investigated the transformation of carotene into vitamin A. Sam Lederer in the 36-m published in Russian article "Chromatographic adsorption and its application" [15]. The method was fascinated by many domestic researchers. In 1939, Mr.. N.A. Izmailov and ms. Schreiber at Kharkov University remarkably improved method - invented thin layer chromatography.

The Second World War. Science in the USSR almost ceased. But in the world chromatographic method has continued to develop. Davidson and E. Chargaff improved chromatography in columns, using as an adsorbent ion-exchange resins. A.Dzh.P. Martin R.L.M. Singh created a method of partition chromatography and the theory of chromatographic processes. Then they developed a wonderful, extremely simple method of paper chromatography.
These modifications had a revolutionary method of investigation. With it were installed in DNA structure and sequence of amino acids in proteins. Not to mention such things as search and selection of antibiotics, the analysis of metabolites and pr. etc.
Several Nobel Prizes in large part to the chromatographic method: P. Karrer. (1937), P. Kuhn (1938), LS. Ruzicka and п-.пг. Butenandt (1939), and later A.Dzh.P. Martin R.L.M. Singh (1952) and F. Sanger (1958 and 1980). In fact, chromatography as a universal method - a condition for success, and many other great works.
Tragic life ms. Colors seem to me to illustrate an important conclusion: the causes of the tragic fate of distinguished scholars - pioneers of new knowledge - to be found, usually within the scientific community. They arise, speaking sharply, the lack of high ethical standards in the relationship between researchers of different generations and different social polzheniya.
. Ethical handicap - not a specific property of Russia's scientific community
. It was and is in all countries. Suffice it to recall Peter Mitchell - author hemiosmoticheskoy theory of oxidative phosphorylation (awarded the Nobel Prize in 1978), stimulated for many years engaged in "samizdat" - his article did not take scientific journals.
. Problems of scientific ethics - the most important and special topic
. And now we can only deplore the fact that Providence and Koreans as "unreasonable" disposed of the fate of a great man. After Mikhail Tsvet could well live to see the triumph of chromatography. In 1942, he would have been only 70 years! Russia missed an opportunity to have a Nobel laureate.


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