Friday, November 13, 2009

On This Day in Science History - November 13

November 13th is Edward Doisy's birthday. Doisy was an American biochemist who shared the 1943 Nobel Prize in Medicine with Henrik Dam for their work concerning vitamin K. Dam discovered the vitamin and Doisy identified, isolated, determined the structures, and synthesized of two different forms of vitamin K.

Vitamin K is actually a group of vitamins named after "Koagulations-Vitamin" in German because they are required for processes of blood coagulation. They are also involved in the process of binding calcium during bone metabolism. Deficiency is rare in adults, but newborns have a higher risk, and an injection of vitamin K1 is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics shortly after birth. Other research into the K vitamins is looking at links between vitamin K and bone health, Alzheimer's disease, and certain cancers.

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