Medicine: Fat in the Fire

The body gets 20% to 40% of all its energy by burning up fat. But scientists have not known exactly how—or where—the body burns its fat-fuel. Last week a young (31) University of Chicago biochemist named Albert Lehninger reported a solution of the puzzle. His report at the American Chemical Society's meeting in Washington (see SCIENCE) won him the $1,000 Paul-Lewis Laboratories Award.†

Scientists have known that it is enzymes which burn up fat, and that certain co-enzymes are needed to get the fire started. But the identity of the co-enzymes was unknown. Biochemist Lehninger discovered that the same enzymes which oxidize...

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