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Meyerhof, Otto Fritz

muscle action acid lactic

(1884–1951) German–US biochemist: elucidated mechanism of lactic acid formation in muscle tissue.

Meyerhof studied medicine at Heidelberg and began to specialize in psychiatry. However, he became attracted to biochemistry and in 1909 worked with and studied his methods; afterwards in Kiel, Berlin and Heidelberg, he used similar techniques to examine the chemical changes linked with muscular action. Had shown that lactic acid is formed in a working muscle, and Meyerhof showed how this is formed and how it is removed when the muscle rests. He became increasingly unhappy in Nazi Germany, moved to France in 1938 and when France fell in 1940 escaped to the USA and worked in Philadelphia until his death. He shared a Nobel Prize in 1922 with A V Hill (1886–1977), who had worked in Cambridge and Manchester on the heat evolved in muscle action. Hill was able to measure this with delicate thermocouples and to deduce from his results that oxygen is taken up only after (and not during) the action of muscle.

Meyers, Jonathan Rhys - Actor, Career, Sidelights [next] [back] Meyer, Viktor

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