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10 April 2014 11:44 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
The Pyrenean ibex, an impressive mountain goat that lived in the central Pyrenees in Spain, went extinct in 2000. But a...
Tight budgets are forcing NASA to consider turning off one or more planetary science projects that have completed their...
Ebola is not a stranger to West Africa—an outbreak in the 1990s killed chimpanzees and sickened one researcher. But the...
In an as-yet-unpublished report, an international panel of geoscientists has concluded that a pair of deadly...
Tropical disease experts tried and failed before to eradicate yaws, a rare disfiguring disease of poor countries. Now,...
Since 2002, researchers have reported that agricultural communities in the hot and humid Pacific Coast of Central...
Balkan endemic kidney disease surfaced in the 1950s and for decades defied attempts to finger the cause. It occurred...
- 10 April 2014 11:44 am , Vol. 344 , #6180
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Tracing Cholesterol's Origins
21 January 1997 8:00 pm
Today is the 85th birthday of Konrad Bloch, the German-born American chemist who shared the 1964 Nobel Prize in medicine for figuring out the biochemistry and metabolism of cholesterol. Bloch, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and his Harvard colleagues discovered that cholesterol's major precursor is acetic acid, a two-carbon molecule. This finding paved the way for tracing all 36 steps that take place, primarily in the liver, to build 27-carbon cholesterol molecules. The work, along with that of Nobel Prize co-recipient Feodor Lynen of the Max Planck Institute in Munich, has had major implications for understanding cholesterol's role in cardiovascular disease.
[Source: Roy Porter, Ed., The Biographical Dictionary of Scientists (Oxford University Press, ed. 2, 1994).]