Science Birthdays, January 6


Today is the birthday of Anselme Payen, he was first to use charcoal as an adsorbent to remove large molecules in 1820. In 1833 he separated the enzyme diastase from malt sugar. He actually called it diastase and this was a half century before the word enzyme was used. It set the trend of naming enzymes with –ase endings. He named cellulose in 1834, setting the trend of naming sugars with an –ose ending. He witnessed the end of Napoleon III rule and the French defeat during the Franco-Prussian War.

It is also the birthday of Jacques Montgolfier, born in 1845, he made the first hot air balloon ascent in 1783, this was the first time that man was able to leave earth.


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