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. 2009 Jan;99(1):63-80.
doi: 10.1007/s11120-008-9357-3. Epub 2008 Sep 16.

Martin Gibbs and the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Radiation, (14)C


Martin Gibbs and the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Radiation, (14)C

Clanton C Black et al. Photosynth Res. .


This abstract is a prologue to this paper. Prior to his health failing, Martin Gibbs began writing remembrances of his education and beginning a science career, particularly on the peaceful uses of nuclear radiation, at the U.S. Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Camp Upton, NY. Two years before his death Martin provided one of us (Govindjee) a draft text narrating his science beginnings in anticipation of publication in Photosynthesis Research. Govindjee edited his draft and returned it to him. Later, when it became difficult for him to complete it, he phoned Govindjee and expressed the desire that Govindjee publish this story, provided he kept it close to his original. Certain parts of Martin's narrations have appeared without references (Gibbs 1999). The Gibbs family made a similar request since the narrations contained numerous early personal accounts. Clanton Black recently presented an elegant tribute on Martin Gibbs and his entire science career (Black 2008). Clanton was given the draft, which he and Govindjee then agreed to finish. This chronicle is their effort to place Gibbs's narrations about his education and his maturation scientifically, in context with the beginnings of biological chemistry work with carbon-14 at the BNL (see Gibbs 1999). Further, these events are placed in context with those times of newly discovered radioisotopes which became available as part of the intensive nuclear research of World War II (WW II). Carbon-14, discovered during WW II nuclear research in 1940, was extremely useful and quickly led to the rapid discovery of new carbon metabolism pathways and biochemical cycles, e.g., photosynthetic carbon assimilation, within a decade after WW II.

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