History of Biochemistry


A history of biochemistry from the eighteenth to the late twentieth century, revealing some of the problems faced by biochemists seeking chemical explanations for biological phenomena and introducing some origins of modern biochemistry.

Keywords: photosynthesis; cell theory; metabolism; enzymes; nucleoproteins; biological oxidation

Further Reading

Coley NG (1973) From Animal Chemistry to Biochemistry. Amersham, UK: Hulton.

Florkin M and Stotz EH (1972–1979) Comprehensive Biochemistry, sect. VI, vols 30–33. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Fruton JS (1990) Contrasts in Scientific Style: Research Groups in the Chemical and Biochemical Sciences. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society.

Holmes FL (1974) Claude Bernard and Animal Chemistry. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.

Needham DM (1971) Machina Carnis; The Biochemistry of Muscular Contraction in its Historical Development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Needham J (ed.) (1970) The Chemistry of Life. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Neuberger A and Deenen LM van (eds) (1983–1997) Comprehensive Biochemistry, vols 35–38, 40. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Olby R (1994) The Path to the Double Helix: the Discovery of DNA (Reprint of 1974 edn with additions). New York: Dover.

Teich M and Needham DM (1992) A Documentary History of Biochemistry 1770–1940. Leicester, UK: Leicester University Press.

Weatherall M and Kamminga H (1992) Dynamic Science: Biochemistry in Cambridge, 1898–1949. Cambridge: Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine.

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Coley, Noel G(Feb 2002) History of Biochemistry. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0003077]