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COON (Kuhn), Richard

( Austrian chemist, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1938)

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Biography COON (Kuhn), Richard
December 3, 1900, Mr.. - July 31, 1967
Austrian chemist Richard Kuhn was born in Vienna, the son of an engineer Clements Kuhn and elementary school teacher Angelica (Rodler) Kuhn. At first the boy was taught by his mother worked, and when K. turned 9 years old, he enrolled in deblingskuyu high school, where one of his classmates was Wolfgang Pauli. After graduating from high school in 1917, K. was called up for military service and served until the armistice in November 1918

After his discharge from the army to. enrolled in the University of Vienna, however, before finalizing the three semesters and moved to the University of Munich. There he studied chemistry at the Richard Vilshtettera and in 1922. received his doctorate for his thesis 'On the specific role enzimuglevodorodnom metabolism' ( 'On The Specificity of Engymes in Carbohydrate Metabolism'). K. continued his studies at the University of Munich until 1926. not received an invitation to go to work at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.
In 1929, Mr.. K. resigned from the Federal Institute of Technology and head of the Chemistry Department had recently established with the University of Heidelberg Institute for Medical Research of the Kaiser Wilhelm (1950 g. - Max Planck Institute), while occupying the university as professor of chemistry. In 1937, Mr.. He became director of the Institute and remained in office until the end of his performance.
Being deeply impressed by the work Willstatter, K. particularly interested in how the chemistry of organic compounds associated with their operation in biological systems. Enzymes - the subject of earlier research scientist - are catalysts, proteins that accelerate chemical reactions that occur in cells. Depending on the type of each enzyme reacts specifically with a particular chemical substance (substrate). K. wanted to know what the arrangement of atoms in specific organic molecules (ie. determine the configuration of molecules), and determine how these molecules are able to reject the light passing through them (ie. establish their optical isomers). He is also interested in the conjugated double bonds - molecular structure, in which double and single bond alternated with each other.
To. combined both directions of his research, undertook a study of carotenoids - biological pigments, which are an important part of living cells. Chemical formula of one of these substances, carotene - the pigment contained in carrots - has been defined previously Willstatter. In 1931, Mr.. independently to. and Paul Karrer carotene found in two clearly distinct from each other component: alpha-carotene, which rejects the light, and beta-carotene, which the world does not reject. Two years later, K. opened another, a third type - gamma-carotene. These three species (three isomers) have the same chemical formula but different molecular configuration, which determines their properties.
Continuing research, to found that carotene is the parent substance of vitamin A, ie. necessary 'starting material' for the production of this vitamin in biological systems. Vitamin A plays a vital role for the growth of higher animals and to maintain mucosal. In addition, K. found that the liver can produce two molecules of vitamin A or from one molecule of beta-carotene, or from two molecules of alpha-carotene. K. and his colleagues discovered the presence of carotenoids in organisms, many plants and animals, thereby greatly expanding the possibilities of such an important analytical tool, as chromatography.
. He then drew attention to the water-soluble B-group vitamins
. Working with Albert Szent-Gyorgyi and Julius Wagner-Jauregg, he has committed approximately one gram lactochrome of thousands of liters of milk. Determined the structure lyumiflavina, product decay lactochrome, K. could, therefore, to know the chemical composition of the lactochrome and eventually synthesize both compounds. Showing that lactochrome (which is now known as riboflavin, or vitamin B2) plays a crucial role in the activities of enzymes associated with the respiratory process, K. thus made a decisive step in understanding the function of vitamins in living systems. By 1939, Mr.. He singled out adermin, now called vitamin B6, as well as determine the chemical composition and molecular structure of the substance that helps regulate the metabolism of the nervous system.
In 1939, Mr.. K. was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 1938. 'in recognition of his work on carotenoids and vitamin'. However, the Nazi government banned it as a reward to citizens of a germanskomu. This ban was due to the fact that the award of four years before the Nobel Peace Prize germanskomu political dissident Carl von Ossietzky has infuriated Adolf Hitler. Nobel medal and a check to. able to obtain at a ceremony in Stockholm in 1949, only
Continuing research, K. identified P-aminobenzoic acid (PAB) - a connection that is used for the synthesis of anesthetic agents and pantothenic acid, essential for the formation of hemoglobin and release of energy from hydrocarbons. Having taken in 1950, Mr.. as professor of biochemistry at the Medical Faculty of the Max Planck Institute, K. concentrated on the study of organic substances that contribute to human body resist infection. His research on influenza viruses, cholera, and Colorado potato beetle larvae have made a valuable contribution to understanding the nature of the molecular interaction between the human body and its 'enemies'.
As a professional scientist to. characterized the accuracy and persistence in. These qualities are complemented by its inherent creativity, an amazing sense of intuition. He was deeply interested in the practical application of the results, especially in agriculture and medicine. Amateur tennis, chess and billiards, to. was also a talented violinist and from time to time make public concerts of chamber ensemble. In 1928, Mr.. He married Daisy Hartman. In the couple had four daughters and two sons. Died scientist at Heidelberg July 31, 1967, Mr.. the age of 66 years.
To. consisted in the scientific societies of many countries and was the holder of honorary degrees and the Munich Technical University of Vienna, University of St.. Mary in Brazil, as well as several other. In the two years before his death he was awarded the first commemorative medal to be awarded to a scientist the University of Heidelberg. K. was president Germanskogo Chemical Society and vice-president of the Max Planck Society.

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