Albrecht Kossel

  • German scientist
  • Born September 16, 1853
  • Died July 5, 1927

Ludwig Karl Martin Leonhard Albrecht Kossel (16 September 1853 – 5 July 1927) was a German biochemist and pioneer in the study of genetics. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1910 for his work in determining the chemical composition of nucleic acids, the genetic substance of biological cells. Kossel isolated and described the five organic compounds that are present in nucleic acid: adenine, cytosine, guanine, thymine, and uracil. These compounds were later shown to be nucleobases, and are key in the formation of DNA and RNA, the genetic material found in all living cells.

The more the relationships of the nitrogen-rich substances to the cell nucleus were recognized, the more the question of the arrangement of the nitrogen and carbon atoms in the molecule came to stand out.

The living cell almost always contains, locked in its interior, the visible or invisible products of its physiological activity or its nourishment.