Artury Wirtanen

Picture of Artury Wirtanen

Date of Birth: 01/15/1895

Age: 78

Place of birth: Helsinki

Citizenship: Finland


B. continued his studies as a graduate student in physical chemistry in Zurich (1920) and bacteriology - in Stockholm (1921). Since 1919, he also worked as a chemist in the laboratory of the Finnish cooperative the cheese "Valio" Association, and in 1921 became its director. By 1923, scientists have focused interests in the field of biochemistry, and 1923 ... 1924. he devoted to the study of enzymology Hans von Euler-Chelpin at Stockholm University.

For some time, "Valio" Association of Laboratory worked to create better ways of growing feed for livestock, especially plants that bind nitrogen. Nitrogenous compounds are essential for all living organisms. The main source of nitrogen is the atmosphere, but atmospheric nitrogen can not be used by most plants and whatever was allowed, if it is not included in the compounds capable absorbed by the body. Among the plants that can bind nitrogen or form such compounds using nitrogen directly from the atmosphere, including many members of the family of legumes such as peas, clover and soybeans. These plants have the ability in the process of decay fill the depleted soil with nitrogen again. They also largely represented nitrogen nutrients, especially amino acids ( "bricks" which are built of proteins), so they are excellent feeds for dairy cows and other livestock. Realizing the value of such plants W. in 1925 began the study taking place in these biochemical processes. Among the questions to be answered, included questions about the nature, location and activity of the bacteria, which are expected to play a role in nitrogen fixation.

B. aware that, when a green fodder such as clover and grass silage harvested, they rapidly lose catastrophically nitrogen from the natural decomposition of bacteria and reduce the loss of nutritional value of the feed of 25 to 50 percent. Accordingly lose their nutritional properties, especially vitamins A and B12 is, milk from dairy cows that are fed these winter fodder. Reduced quality of winter milk and butter was common knowledge. Having studied the earlier work, which dealt with the chemical aspect of silage deterioration and ways of storing it, B. discovered that they lack a clear, sound theoretical base. Moreover, it has not been properly defined and the nutritional characteristics of feedstuffs.

B. experimentally proved that the silage quality degradation can be significantly slowed or even stopped, if you add in food, hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid. Moreover, by changing the acidity of the silage scientist managed to put under the control of chemical reactions that lead to the destruction of the feed contained in proteins and vitamins. The results of this experiment were set the maximum, minimum and optimum levels of acidity in the processing of the silo. A biopsy tissue of cows fed silage treated in such a way, has shown that such food animals did not lead to any harmful effects, milk also receives higher quality comparing favorably not only for its nutritional properties, but also the taste. This method, called AIV-by the initials of scientist, was first used in many European countries and - in a somewhat modified form - in the United States.

In 1931, B. was appointed director of the Biochemical Research Institute in Helsinki and at the same time he became a professor of Biochemistry of the Finnish Institute of Technology. Continuing to investigate the nitrogen fixation in plants, he discovered that the red pigment legemoglobin similar to hemoglobin and plays an important role in the transformation of nitrogen, is carried in the root-knot. In 40-ies. in his laboratory at the University of Helsinki carried out the work on the study of more complex biochemistry of plants, which led to the production of many amino acids and refinement of their chemical structure.

The fame brought B. AIV method he created. In 1945 the scientist was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for his research and achievements in the field of agriculture and chemistry of nutrients, especially for fodder preservation method". "I think that I was lucky, - said Victor in his Nobel lecture. - I not only worked in such an interesting area, but also something in it hit. "

After receiving the Nobel Prize B. actively continued research and development. Occupying the post of Director responsible Biochemical Research Institute, in 1948 he became both the president of the State Academy of Arts and Sciences in Finland. In 1958, Vladimir began to study the possibilities of obtaining milk from dairy cows kept on non-protein diet. Based on the data obtained by him in the study of bacteria that bind nitrogen, scientists have suggested that the cow`s digestive system is quite capable of synthesizing amino acids found in milk from the nitrogen compounds contained in the urea and ammonium salts, and not from the protein-rich animal feed. This hypothesis was confirmed experimentally in 1961

In 1920 W. married Lily Moise. The couple had two sons. He died scientist at the age of 78 in Helsinki.

As one of the leading Finnish scientists V. represented his country in the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. In addition to the Nobel Prize, he was awarded many honors, including honorary degrees from the University of Lund, Paris, Helsinki and Hesse.