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Whipple, George Hoyt

haemoglobin red found especially

(1878–1976) US medical scientist.

From his medical student days at Johns Hopkins, Whipple was particularly interested in the oxygen-carrying pigment of red blood cells (haemoglobin) and in the bile pigments that are formed in the body from it. Working in the University of California from 1914–22, he examined the effect of diet on haemoglobin formation. To do this he bled dogs until their haemoglobin level was reduced to a third of normal, and then studied the rate of red cell regeneration when the dogs were fed various diets; he found that meat, kidney and especially liver were effective in stimulating recovery. Since the fatal human disease of pernicious anaemia is associated with red cell deficiency, it was reasonable to attempt to treat it similarly, and G Minot (1885–1950) and W Murphy (1892–1987) found in 1926 that large additions of near-raw liver in the patient’s diet were effective: Minot, Murphy and Whipple shared a Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine in 1934. It was another 20 years before other workers isolated the active curative compound, vitamin B12 , and made it available for treatment and study.

Whipple spent the rest of his career at the University of Rochester, continuing to work on blood and especially on thalassaemia, a genetic anaemia due to a defect in the haemoglobin molecule found especially in Mediterranean races.

Whipple, Prince(c.1750–1797) - Slave, Accompanies Master to War, Legend Results from Confusing Records, Chronology, Leutze Paints Crossing with License [next] [back] Whipper, Leigh (1877–1975)

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