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December 2 Science History

Science History of December 2

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Learn about the history of science by reading about the significant scientific events that took place on this day in history.

1987 - Luis Federico Leloir died.

Luis Federico Leloir (1906 - 1987)
Wikimedia Commons
Leloir was an Argentine physician and biochemist who was awarded the 1970 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of sugar nucleotides and their role in carbohydrate biosynthesis. He researched the way the body breaks down and forms lactose and discovered sugar nucleotides. These are important parts of the process the body converts sugar to usable energy.

1942 - First sustained atomic chain reaction achieved.

The first sustained atomic chain reaction was achieved in the squash courts of the University of Chicago. Enrico Fermi and other Manhattan Project researchers constructed a wooden lattice that would support 80 tons of graphite blocks with uranium dioxide embedded in them and a collection of cadmium coated rods to control the flow of neutrons. The atomic 'pile' was allowed to go critical for 28 minutes before the experiment was ended.

1885 - George Richards Minot was born.

Minot was an American physician who shares the 1934 Nobel Prize in Medicine with George Whipple and William Murphy for their research into anemia and liver therapy. Whipple had shown that pernicious anemia in dogs could be treated by feeding them raw liver. Minot prepared liver extracts that became the primary treatment for human anemia until the vital compound in liver was identified as vitamin B12.

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