Happy Birthday Melvin Calvin

Melvin Ellis Calvin, born April 8, 1911, using the 14C isotope as a tracer, Calvin and his team mapped the complete route that carbon travels through a plant during photosynthesis, starting from its absorption as atmospheric carbon dioxide to its conversion into carbohydrates and other organic compounds. In doing so, the Calvin group showed that sunlight acts on the chlorophyll in a plant to fuel the manufacturing of organic compounds, rather than on carbon dioxide, as was previously believed.

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