J.B.S. Haldane, English geneticist

J.B.S. Haldane, English geneticist

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: John Burdon Smith Haldane, English geneticist (1892-1964). Haldane is one of the most eccentric figures in modern science. He went to Oxford to study biology but graduated in philosophy. In 1910 his interests turned to genetics. In 1932 he was the first to estimate the rate of mutation of a human gene. He became known for experiments on himself designed to study the behaviour of the human body under stress. Later, Haldane turned to biochemistry, applying his mathematical ability to calculate the rates of enzyme reactions and gave the first proof that enzyme reactions obey the laws of thermodynamics. A quarrelsome person, Haldane died of cancer in exile in India.

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