Google Celebrates Birthday Of The Discoverer of Vitamin-C With A Sweet-and-Sour Doodle
By on September 16th, 2011

Today’s doodle will not be described using the words normally used to describe other Google doodles. Let’s not use awesome’, graphic’ or artistic’ for this doodle, even though all three are applicable. Let’s just call it sweet, with some vital tinge of sourness.

The Doodle

Google celebrates the 118th birthday of Albert von Szent-Gyorgyi with a doodle that looks like a label for a mixed fruit drink and appropriately so. For health freaks and everyone else, Szent-Gyorgi is the discoverer of Vitamin C and is famous for explaining that it occurs in copious amounts in citric acid. He also did vital work describing the reactions and their mechanism in the citric acid cycle, one of the oldest biological cycles on Earth.

The 'Vitamin C' Doodle

The doodle prominently depicts two oranges with many other citric fruits, like lemons and strawberries, in the background. The font used for writing Google’ has an oriental feel to it. A distinctive feeling of this being a fruit drink label is enhanced by the imperfect arc and a couple of fold marks. (pic above)

Click and you'll get this

Mouse over the doodle and it shows Albert Szent-Gyorgi’s 118th  Birthday. Clicking on the doodle links to the search for the name Albert Szent Gyorgi, which is usual with Google Doodles.

The Man

The Hungarian physiologist was born in 1893, September 16 (of course, that’s why the doodle), survived the two world wars, including an arrest warrant by Hitler, won a Nobel Prize for Medicine, co-founded a cancer research institute and even entered politics. He served as a medic in the First World War, but soon became disgusted. After shooting himself in the arm and claiming that he was critically injured by enemy fire, Szent-Gyorgyi was quickly sent back home on medical leave. He played no further part in the First World War. His pinnacle achievement came in the early 1930′s, while he was a professor at the University of Szegad. He worked on the citric acid cycle, identifying the products, most notably the role of fumaric acid, and explaining reaction mechanisms. This would become famous as the Krebs cycle, but is also known in Soviet circles by the more appropriate name Szent-Gyorgyi-Krebs cycle. Both Szent-Gyorgi and Krebs were awarded the Medicine Nobel Prize in 1937 for their seminal work. Later in his life, he also co-founded the National Foundation for Cancer Research.

No, this is not the best that Google has come up with in recent times, especially given the awesome Freddie Mercury video doodle. However, it is sort of cute, simple and definitely sour.

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Author: Debjyoti Bardhan Google Profile for Debjyoti Bardhan
Is a science geek, currently pursuing some sort of a degree (called a PhD) in Physics at TIFR, Mumbai. An enthusiastic but useless amateur photographer, his most favourite activity is simply lazing around. He is interested in all things interesting and scientific.

Debjyoti Bardhan has written and can be contacted at debjyoti@techie-buzz.com.

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