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September 30, 1933


JAMA. 1933;101(14):1085-1086. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740390043017

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Chemical Aspects of Life  At the annual meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, the president, Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins, professor of biochemistry at Cambridge and president of the Royal Society, delivered an address entitled "Some Chemical Aspects of Life." Almost the founder of biochemistry and its most distinguished exponent, he gave a brilliant and subtle interpretation. Life, he said, has one fundamental attribute—the arrest of the steady increase of entropy displayed by all the rest of the universe. But there is no evidence that life evades the second law of thermodynamics; it only interposes a barrier and dams up a reservoir of energy, which provides a potential for its remarkable activities. The arrest of energy degradation in living nature is indeed a primary biologic concept. Every living unit is a transformer of energy, however acquired, and biochemistry is deeply interested in the transformations. Its development belongs

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