acid. The unequivocal demonstration of non-photochemical reduction of CO2, however, involved illumination of algae in the absence of CO2 instantly followed by transfer of the algae to black flasks containing 14CO2 Analysis of the products formed revealed production of radioactive sucrose at rates approaching those in the light. Clearly, the energy absorbed by chlorophyll was used for production of phosphorylating and reducing agents capable of driving the conversion of CO2 to sugar. Following The Path of Carbon in Photosynthesis,” then, involved metabolism independent of chlorophyll and the far more complex reactions leading to liberation of oxygen. That phrase, coined by Melvin Calvin, was used in the title of twenty-four publications.
Calvins interdisciplinary group appliedthe techniques of many scientific areas to the solution of problems inbiochemistry and molecular biology, in particular elucidation of the pathof carbon in photosynthesis for which Calvin was awarded the Nobel Prize.
Melvin Calvin Obituary - Berkeley Lab
Melvin Calvin engaged in an extraordinarily broad range of significant scientific activity, of which his role as Mr. Photosynthesis” was the most outstanding.
Turned windows into energy savers
The Royal Society awarded him the Davy Medal in 1964 for his pioneering work in chemistry and biology, particularly the photosynthesis studies.Despite his important contribution to chemistry and biology, Calvin continued to involve himself in research.
There are plenty of ideas, but few clear facts
The next two years were spent working with the intellectual giant Michael Polanyi in Manchester, England, where Melvin became interested in phthalocyanines. This first incursion into photochemistry was later to lead to chlorophyll, photosynthesis, and artificial photosynthetic membrane models. A chance visit with Joel Hildebrand at Manchester resulted in an invitation from Gilbert N. Lewis to join the chemistry faculty at the University of California. So, in 1937 Calvin arrived as an instructor at Berkeley, where he was to remain for the rest of his life. He was the first non-Berkeley graduate to be hired by the Department of Chemistry in more than a quarter century. His work with G. N. Lewis developed the photochemistry of colored porphyrin analogs and their coordination of iron and other central metals. Melvin was at home in discussions of the excited triplet states of chlorophyll and intermediates in the energy transfer processes of photosynthesis, subjects that clearly passed over the heads of most plant biologists of that period. Such discussion later involved James Franck, A. A. Krasnovsky, A. Terenin, George Porter, R. G. W. Norrish, Bill Arnold, Sterling Hendricks, and G. O. Schenk.
Biofuels Library - Journey to Forever
An approach to the natural production of liquid fuels by biomass is under investigation by Nobel prize winner Melvin Calvin using a combination of natural photosynthesis and genetic manipulation.