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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
- About Us
Bright Light in Photosynthesis
10 January 1997 8:00 pm
Melvin Calvin, who as a biologist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory unraveled the secrets of how plants use light for energy, died on 8 January in Berkeley, California. He was 85.
As Calvin told the story, it was on the day the Japanese army surrendered to end World War II that renowned physicist Ernest Lawrence told him, "Now is the time to do something useful with radioactive carbon." Calvin assembled a crack Berkeley team to tackle photosynthesis. His group used carbon-14, discovered at the Berkeley lab in 1940, to trace carbon's route in the plant: from absorption as carbon dioxide to conversion into carbohydrates and other compounds. Calvin's team found that sunlight acts on chlorophyll rather than carbon dioxide.
Calvin earned a bachelor's degree from the Michigan College of Mining and Technology in 1931 and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Minnesota in 1935. He is survived by two daughters, a son, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.