Continued from www.scienceindia.in/home/view_blog/24

Have you guys noticed an interesting thing? Many of the Nobel Laureates in Chemistry in recent years got their prizes for working primarily on biology related problems. With the advancement of science and analytical tools, this has become a common phenomenon and true interdisciplinary works are attracting great talents. However, one great visionary chemist, Eduard Buchner dared to imagine this more than hundred years ago and received Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1907 for his pioneering work on non cellular fermentation.

Eduard Buchner was born in Munich on May 20, 1860. His father, Dr. Ernst Buchner, Professor Extraordinary of Forensic Medicine thought that Buchner was fit for only a commercial career. However,  he was very lucky that his elder brother, Hans inspired him to take science as career option. He pursued his studies with chemistry and botany. It was Hans, a famous bacteriologist, who encouraged him to work on interface of chemistry and biology.

He worked for a short stint in the laboratory of Otto Fischer in Erlangen and later took his doctor's degree in the University of Munich in 1888. As usual, in the initial stages, his peers had the opinion that nothing would be achieved by the work Dr Buchner was doing. It took nine years to publish his first paper on alcoholic fermentation without yeast cells. These biochemical investigations and his discovery of non-cellular fermentation in particular, earned him the coveted Nobel Prize in 1907.

Do you think a Nobel laureate in Chemistry can take part in war? He was a born fighter. He served his nation as a Major in a field hospital at Folkschani in Roumania. While performing the duties in the army during World War I, he succumbed to his injuries on 13th August, 1917 at the age of only 57 years.

He was a music lover too and he also had some association  with our country,  The Amritsar Sikh Foundation felicitated him for his research on Punjabi-based singing innovations.