Tag Archives: Hans Adolf Krebs

Krebs in the Army?

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This is Krebs. Sir Hans Adolf Krebs to be precise. Who is he you may ask?

Sir Hans Adolf Krebs was a German-born British physician and biochemist. Krebs is well known for his Nobel Prize winning research in the citric acid cycle or what we usually call it, the TCA cycle/ Krebs cycle.

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The Krebs cycle is a series of metabolic chemical reactions used not only by us, but also by all aerobic organisms, to produce energy through the oxidization of acetate into carbon dioxide.

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Yeah, you may have heard of him before but I bet you didn’t know this about him.

Krebs was Jewish and he joined the German army in 1932, and was also appointed to the 13th Mechanized Infantry Division. You’re probably confused. How could a Jew be a part of the German army at that time? Well the Nazi party was not in power as yet so German Jews were welcome in the German army.

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Afterwards, Krebs returned to clinical medicine at the hospital of Altona and then at the medical clinic of the University of Freiburg, where he conducted studies and discovered the urea cycle. Yup, the Krebs cycle wasn’t the only cycle he discovered!

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Unfortunately, because he was Jewish, he was prohibited from practicing medicine in Germany when the Nazis took power, and he emigrated to England in 1933.  He then worked in the biochemistry department under Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins in Cambridge. So… the guy who discovered the essential amino acid Tryptophan and the guy who discovered the TCA cycle were buddies! Two great minds working together for the love of biochemistry! I love it! 🙂

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References:

http://www.nndb.com/people/619/000129232/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citric_acid_cycle

http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1953/krebs-bio.html

http://inoxx.net/?tag=citric-acid-cycle

http://pictureshistory.blogspot.com/2009/12/men-of-wehrmacht-german-soldiers-part-1.html

http://www.corbisimages.com/stock-photo/rights-managed/SF8172/chemist-hans-adolf-krebs-and-assistant-in

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Adolf_Krebs

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