A History of Biochemistry: Selected Topics in the History of by Albert Neuberger, L. L. M. Van Deenen, Giorgio Semenza

By Albert Neuberger, L. L. M. Van Deenen, Giorgio Semenza

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In April, as the Federation Society meetings were approaching, we had an urgent need for a few pigeons to complete an essential series of experiments. Our cages were, however, empty and there was not sufficient time to obtain more from a distant supplier. Marty and I therefore set out to Rittenhouse Square, in the center of Philadelphia carrying two gunny sacks and a bag of corn with the intention of capturing some birds. We had successfully lured two or three into our trap and were about to depart when we were approached by a policeman for an explanation of our actions.

BUCHANAN Theorell, Torbjorn Caspersson and J. Erik Jorpes. As each of the three established his own independent research program, Hammarsten allocated a part of his own space to their use. What each lacked in space and facilities was compensated for by the intimacy and camaraderie of compression. Hammarsten was a small peppery man with a slight lisp and a charming inclination to reveal more of the workings of Swedish science than most would have allowed. He had been a pioneer in nucleic acid chemistry and at the time of my arrival was constructing a mass spectrometer to study the biosynthesis of the pyrimidine nucleotides.

The former may also be grown in a methionine-free medium to which vitamin B 12 is supplied. Thus, an extract of either mutant by itself was incapable of synthesizing methionine from a reaction mixture containing ATP, 5,10-methylene tetrahydrofolate, homocysteine and a reducing source, but when combined they could [138-142]. The problem then was to develop an assay so that either enzyme could be isolated and purified. By using the strategy employed so frequently in our studies on purine biosynthesis, one enzyme was purified in the presence of an excess of the other and vice versa without knowledge of the characteristics or intermediates of the reaction.

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