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Eduard Buchner, German biochemist

Eduard Buchner, German biochemist

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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Eduard Buchner. Eduard Buchner (1860-1917), German chemist who discovered enzymes, the proteins that act as biological catalysts. Until Buchner's work in 1897, it was thought that the fermentation of sugar into alcohol required living yeast cells. Buchner ground up yeast cells with sand and extracted a cell-free solution which caused fermentation. It also caused fermentation in the presence of oxygen, whereas living yeast does not. Buchner called the solution's active agent zymase and his discovery won him the 1907 Nobel Prize for chemistry. Buchner volunteered for military service during World War I and was killed during fighting in Romania.

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