Kei Miyano
   Department   Kawasaki Medical School  Kawasaki Medical School, Department of Natural Sciences,
   Position   Assistant Professor
Article types 原著
Language Japanese
Peer review Peer reviewed
Title Hungarian Biochemists
Domestic / ForeginDomestic
Volume, Issue, Page pp.1-14
Author and coauthor Kei MIYANO, Ranko HONDA
Authorship Lead author,Corresponding author
Publication date 2023/02/08
Summary The roots of Hungarian biochemical research go back to the early 20th century. Albert Szent-Györgyi discovered vitamin C; F. Brunó Straub discovered actin, a protein involved in muscle contraction; Gertrúd Szabolcsi proposed the concept of ‘fluctuation fit’ as protein-ligand interactions ―all these scientists made discoveries indispensable to the later development of history of biochemistry. But while in 1937 Szent-Györgyi was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, the achievements of the other biochemists did not receive due evaluation.
The burial of these achievements can be ascribed to the difficult situation in which Hungary, as an Eastern European country, was placed. Geopolitically, Hungary experienced a dark period in its relationship with Nazi-Germany in the first half of the 20th century, and in the latter half of the century with the Soviet Union, the superpower which played the leading role in the East’s antagonism to the West.
This article portrays the biochemists who lived through these difficult times, with a particular focus on F. Brunó Straub. Straub was an outstanding biochemist who tried to promote research under the communist regime and contributed to the development of science of the country. The range of his activities was expanded to the politics in the years 1988 and 1989; he was then the last head of the old state, and, with the fall of the Iron Curtain, people saw the dawn of a new era for Hungary. This was a critical moment in the modern history of Hungary, of which a brief account is given in this article; also the pursuits of scientists are described here ― the scientists who faithfully fulfilled their respective lives even in the hardships they suffered.