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October 1977

Friedrich Wilhelm Kühne: The Centennial of Rhodopsin

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Los Angeles

Arch Ophthalmol. 1977;95(10):1766. doi:10.1001/archopht.1977.04450100068003

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Often the past has been said to be the mirror to the future. We pause, therefore, in this 1977th year to honor a distinguished scientist of the recent past, Friedrich Wilhem Kühne, and to acknowledge the debt owed to him on the part of visual scientists. The year 1977 marks the centennial of Kühne's pioneer investigations of the visual pigments, investigations that have set the pattern for much of the work carried out since his death. This work has resulted in the present comprehensive knowledge of rhodopsin and of the visual cells. To Kühne belongs much of the credit for generating the initial impetus and vigor for this field of visual science.

Kühne was first inspired to examine rhodopsin as the result of Franz Boll's report to the Berlin Academy in 1876. He quickly obtained results, which he reported, on Jan 5, 1877, to the Naturhistorisch-Medizinischen Verein of Heidelberg in

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