Calvin in 1960
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|| 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,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.
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.
Glenn Theodore Seaborg was an American chemist whose involvement in the synthesis, discovery and investigation of ten transuranium elements earned him a share of the 1951 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. His work in this area also led to his development of the actinide concept and the arrangement of the actinide series in the periodic table of the elements.
Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to convert light energy into chemical energy that can later be released to fuel the organisms' activities. This chemical energy is stored in carbohydrate molecules, such as sugars, which are synthesized from carbon dioxide and water – hence the name photosynthesis, from the Greek φῶς, phōs, "light", and σύνθεσις, synthesis, "putting together". In most cases, oxygen is also released as a waste product. Most plants, most 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 all of the organic compounds and most of the energy necessary for life on Earth.
Ernest Orlando Lawrence was a pioneering American nuclear scientist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1939 for his invention of the cyclotron. He is known for his work on uranium-isotope separation for the Manhattan Project, as well as for founding the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
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Martin David Kamen was an American chemist who, together with Sam Ruben, co-discovered the synthesis of the isotope carbon-14 on February 27, 1940, at the University of California Radiation Laboratory, Berkeley.
Edwin Mattison McMillan was an American physicist and Nobel laureate credited with being the first-ever to produce a transuranium element, neptunium. For this, he shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Glenn Seaborg in 1951.
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Emilio Gino Segrè was an Italian-American physicist and Nobel laureate, who discovered the elements technetium and astatine, and the antiproton, a subatomic antiparticle, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1959. From 1943 to 1946 he worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory as a group leader for the Manhattan Project. He found in April 1944 that Thin Man, the proposed plutonium gun-type nuclear weapon, would not work because of the presence of plutonium-240 impurities.
Owen Chamberlain was an American physicist, and Nobel laureate in physics for his discovery, with collaborator Emilio Segrè, of the antiproton, a sub-atomic antiparticle.
Samuel Ruben was an American chemist who with Martin Kamen co-discovered the synthesis of the isotope carbon-14 in 1940.
The year 1950 in science and technology included some significant events.
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. 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. There are three phases to the light-independent reactions, collectively called the Calvin cycle: carbon fixation, 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.
Isadore Perlman was an American nuclear chemist noted for his research of Alpha particle decay. The National Academy of Sciences called Perlman "a world leader on the systematics of alpha decay". He was also recognized for his research of nuclear structure of the heavy elements. He was also noted for his isolation of Curium, as well as for fission of tantalum, bismuth, lead, thallium and platinum. Perlman discovered uses of radioactive iodine and phosphorus for medical purposes. He played a key role in Manhattan Project's plutonium production.
Ralph Arthur James was a 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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