Melvin Ellis Calvin
April 8, 1911
|Died||January 8, 1997 85) (aged|
|Alma mater|| Michigan College of Mining and Technology |
University of Minnesota
|Known for||Calvin cycle|
|Spouse(s)||Genevieve Elle Jemtegaard (m. 1942; 3 children) (d. 1987)|
|Awards|| Centenary Prize (1955)|
Nobel Prize for Chemistry (1961)
Davy Medal (1964)
Priestley Medal (1978)
AIC Gold Medal (1979)
National Medal of Science (1989)
|Fields||Chemistry · Biology|
|Institutions|| University of Manchester |
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley Radiation Laboratory
Science Advisory Committee
|Academic advisors||Michael Polanyi|
|Doctoral students||Cyril Ponnamperuma|
Melvin Ellis Calvin (April 8, 1911 – January 8, 1997)was an American biochemist known for discovering the Calvin cycle along with Andrew Benson and James Bassham, for which he was awarded the 1961 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He spent most of his five-decade career at the University of California, Berkeley.
Calvin was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, the son of Elias Calvin and Rose Herwitz,Jewish immigrants from the Russian Empire.
As a small child Calvin's family moved to Detroit; he graduated from Central High School in 1928.Melvin Calvin earned his Bachelor of Science from the Michigan College of Mining and Technology (now known as Michigan Technological University) in 1931 and his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Minnesota in 1935. He then spent the next four years doing postdoctoral work at the University of Manchester. He married Marie Genevieve Jemtegaard in 1942, and they had three children, two daughters and a son.
Calvin joined the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1937 and was promoted to Professor of Chemistry in 1947. Using the carbon-14 isotope as a tracer, Calvin, Andrew Benson and James Bassham mapped the complete route that carbon travels through a plant during photosynthesis, starting from its absorption as atmospheric carbon dioxide to its conversion into carbohydrates and other organic compounds.In doing so, Calvin, Benson and Bassham showed that sunlight acts on the chlorophyll in a plant to fuel the manufacturing of organic compounds, rather than on carbon dioxide as was previously believed. Calvin was the sole recipient of the 1961 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for what is sometimes known as the Calvin–Benson–Bassham Cycle. Calvin wrote an autobiography three decades later titled Following the Trail of Light: A Scientific Odyssey. During the 1950s he was among the first members of the Society for General Systems Research. In 1963 he was given the additional title of Professor of Molecular Biology. He was founder and Director of the Laboratory of Chemical Biodynamics and simultaneously Associate Director of Berkeley Radiation Laboratory, where he conducted much of his research until his retirement in 1980. In his final years of active research, he studied the use of oil-producing plants as renewable sources of energy. He also spent many years testing the chemical evolution of life and wrote a book on the subject that was published in 1969.
In his 2011 television history of Botany for the BBC, Timothy Walker, Director of the University of Oxford Botanic Garden, criticised Calvin's treatment of Andrew Benson, claiming that Calvin had got the credit for Benson's work after firing him, and had failed to mention Benson's role when writing his autobiography decades later.Benson himself has also mentioned being fired by Calvin, and has complained about not being mentioned in his autobiography.
Calvin was elected a foreign member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1958.In 1959 he was elected a Member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.
In 1971, Calvin was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws (LL.D.) degree from Whittier College.
Calvin was featured on the 2011 volume of the American Scientists collection of US postage stamps, along with Asa Gray, Maria Goeppert-Mayer, and Severo Ochoa. This was the third volume in the series, the first two having been released in 2005 and 2008.
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Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to convert light energy into chemical energy that, through cellular respiration, can later be released to fuel the organism's activities. This chemical energy is stored in carbohydrate molecules, such as sugars and starches, which are synthesized from carbon dioxide and water – hence the name photosynthesis, from the Greek phōs, "light", and sunthesis, "putting together". In most cases, oxygen is also released as a waste product. Most plants, algae, and cyanobacteria perform photosynthesis; such organisms are called photoautotrophs. Photosynthesis is largely responsible for producing and maintaining the oxygen content of the Earth's atmosphere, and supplies most of the energy necessary for life on Earth.
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The Calvin cycle,light-independent reactions, bio synthetic phase,dark reactions, or photosynthetic carbon reduction (PCR) cycle of photosynthesis are the chemical reactions that convert carbon dioxide and other compounds into glucose. The Calvin cycle is present in all photosynthetic eukaryotes and also many photosynthetic bacteria. In plants, these reactions occur in the stroma, the fluid-filled area of a chloroplast outside the thylakoid membranes. These reactions take the products of light-dependent reactions and perform further chemical processes on them. The Calvin cycle uses the reducing powers ATP and NADPH from the light dependent reactions to produce sugars for the plant to use. These substrates are used in a series of reduction-oxidation reactions to produce sugars in a step-wise process. There is no direct reaction that converts CO
2 to a sugar because all of the energy would be lost to heat. There are three phases to the light-independent reactions, collectively called the Calvin cycle: carboxylation, reduction reactions, and ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP) regeneration.
Nobel Prize–winning chemist Glenn T. Seaborg ranked among the most prolific authors in scientific history. With some 50 books, 500 scientific journal articles, hundreds of published speeches, and a lifelong daily journal, a massive volume of written material is available in the Glenn T. Seaborg bibliography with a partial listing given below. Seaborg frequently collaborated with other scientists, co-authors, and staff members to achieve the productivity for which he was so well known. Although most of his writing was in the field of nuclear chemistry, history of science, science education, and science public policy, he has also collaborated on works in sports and collegiate history.
Andrew Alm Benson was an American biologist and a professor of biology at the University of California, San Diego, until his retirement in 1989. He is known for his work in understanding the carbon cycle in plants.
James Alan Bassham was an American scientist known for his work on photosynthesis.
Ralph Arthur James was an American chemist at the University of Chicago who co-discovered the elements curium (1944) and americium (1944–1945). Later he worked at UCLA and at the Lawrence Livermore laboratory in California.
Page 25 – (24:51) BUCHANAN: So, would you use the word "fired?" (24:54) BENSON: Yeah. ... Page 30 – (30:04) BENSON: ... He published a book, an autobiography, Following the Trail of Light, which is a fantastic – a beautiful title for what it was about. It makes the whole volume about him getting a Nobel Prize, no mention of Benson at all in that book. And he didn't have to do that. He could have done it right. And finally, one of his last publications he mentioned – Dr. Benson and some graduate students were involved – but just briefly mentioned.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
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