Physical, Chemical, Biological and Biotechnological Sciences are Incomplete Without Each Other
Kahlon Talwinder S*
Western Regional Research Center, United States Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service, 800 Buchanan St, Albany, CA-94710, USA
*Corresponding author Email: talwinder.Kahlon@ars.usda.gov
By coupling of mechanics, optics, and mathematics, Theodor Svedberg invented the ultracentrifuge, which allowed separation of important biological materials by high centrifugal force, resulting in physical chemical separation and characterization of atherogenic low density lipoproteins and other biological molecules. Combining physics, chemistry and engineering, Ernest Lawrence invented the cyclotron, resulting in advancing nuclear physics, particle physics, molecular and materials science, and nuclear medicine. Using isotope– C-14, Melvin Calvin elucidated the photosynthesis cycle. Coupling photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) with NaI scintillation crystal, Hal Anger revolutionized nuclear imaging. Shashi Kumar and co-workers used biology and polymerase chain technology for the detection of mislabeled food materials. Combinations of biotechnology, chromatography, analytical chemistry and electron microscopy have resulted in organic chemists’ improved ability to synthesize isoprene compounds of interest. These are some of the examples that have moved science forward and demonstrate that physical, chemical, biological, and biotechnological sciences are incomplete without each other. The single most important advance in the use of centrifugal force to separate biologically important substances was the coupling of mechanics, optics and mathematics, by T. Svedberg and J.W. Williams in the 1920′s (http://humantouchofchemistry.com/theodorsvedberg.htm). The sedimentation coefficient is the rate at which particles of a given size and shape travel to the bottom of a tube under centrifugal force. The Svedberg unit is named after the Swedish chemist Theodor Svedberg (1884–1971), winner of the 1926 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on colloids and his invention of the ultracentrifuge. Combining physics, chemistry and engineering Ernest Lawrence of the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory invented Cyclotron (Fig 1). (http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1939/lawrence-bio.html). The First Cyclotron, measuring only 5 inches in diameter, was constructed of glass, sealing wax and bronze; the material cost was about $25 (Fig 1). For his invention of the cyclotron, Lawrence was awarded the 1939 Nobel Prize in Physics.