Medicine: Protein Prober

The intense young man who went to Harvard as an assistant professor in 1922 was no physician but a biochemist, ready to dedicate his life to probing the secrets of proteins. He would never get to treat a patient. But across the U.S. and around the world, hundreds of thousands are alive and well today, thanks to his biochemistry, and the vast majority of his beneficiaries have never so much as heard his name.

Edwin Joseph Cohn, son of a wealthy Manhattan tobacco importer, had just finished his doctoral thesis when World War I drew him into the Army Sanitary Corps. There...

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