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SpenceMr. PerryBiology 101-25 December 2017Erwin ChargafErwin Chargaf was an Austro-Hungarian Biochemist born on August11th, 1905, in Czernowitz, Duchy of Bukovina, Austria-Hungary. Once WorldWar 1 began, he and his family moved to Vienna. He grew up there, andeventually went to Vienna College of Technology. Chargaf studied chemistryat Vienna for four years. In 1928, Chargaf married Vera Broido, they went onto have one son, Thomas Chargaf. At this point Chargaf was not much of aninventor or scientist, but then he started to travel all around the world in thename of science.Chargaf spent five years at Yale University, then he returned toEurope. There, he served as the first assistant of chemistry at the Universityof Berlin for three years. He was forced to resign because of the Nazi’ policiesagainst Jews. He then spent a year at the Pasteur Institute in Paris. In 1935Erwin Chargaf moved back to the United States of America, in 1935. Hesettled down there and became a research associate at Columbia University.He became an assistant professor at Columbia University in 1938, andbecame a professor in 1950, but now we’ve skipped most of his career, solet’s rewind.Spence 2While Chargaf was at the University of Colombia, he published manypapers having to do with nucleic acids and DNA. Although he is not nearly asfamous for these as he is for some of his other findings, he dedicated manyyears of his life to it. Then, eventually, in 1950, Erwin Chargaf discoveredthat in natural DNA, the number of Guanine units equal the number ofCytosine units, and the number of adenine units equal the number ofThymine units. This crucial discovery was shared and went on to helpscientists Francis Crick and James Watson discovery the double helix shapeof DNA.Erwin Chargaf received the Pasteur Medal in 1949 and also receivedthe National Medal of Science in 1974. Erwin Chargaf died at the age of 96on June 20th, 2002, in New York City. He died an American since he becameone in 1940. Even though Erwin Chargaf is not one of the most famousScientists out there, without him, people might not have discovered the”Chargaf Rules” or the shape of DNA for many more years. Erwin Chargafhad one more major discovery, which sort of led up to his discovery of the”Chargaf Rules”. In 1949, that the amount of bases in DNA depended onwhich species the DNA came from, so diferent species have diferentamounts of base. This is not what scientists believed at that time, so it was amajor discovery. Erwin Chargaf was a great scientist and biochemist, andhis work has impacted a lot of what we know today.


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