Who do we really thank? Reflecting on enzymes

Just a brief look at the scientists that, ‘did all the background work’ , which we appreciate so much today! 

Louis Pasteur ( 1822 – 1895)


When he saw that yeast converted sugar into ethanol, he said that there was something in called ferments in the yeast that could convert the sugar into ethanol. However he said that yeast cells must be intact and alive for the conversion to take place. This view was called  vitalism and prevailed for decades, until Eduard Buchner came along 

Eduard Buchner 1860-1917 


He proved this theory to be wrong when he got the same results from yeast extracts. His experiment put an end to the vitalistic notions and the dawn of the science if biochemistry began.

 Wilhelm Friedrich Kühne ( 1837 – 1900) 


Gave the name enzymes to the molecules detected by Buchner 

James Sumner ( 1887-1955) 


He was the first to isolate and crytalize the first set of enzymes, he looked at urease and saw that it was made up of proteins only. So he said that all enzymes were made up of proteins. 

J.B.S Haldane (1892-1964) 


He devised the hypothesis that enzymes and substrates bind together by weak interactions. 


Little did he know how great his hypothesis was. 




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