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Google orange doodle celebrates man who discovered vitamin C

September 16, 2011 |  3:26 pm

Almost everyone knows that a glass of orange juice is chock full of vitamin C. And Friday, Google's doodle celebrates the man who discovered that nutrient, Nobel Prize winner Albert von Szent-Györgyi.

Szent-Györgyi, a Hungarian physiologist who also worked undercover to fight Nazis during World War II, would have been 118 years old today.

Appropriately, the Doodle is shaped like an old-fashioned orange juice label. At the University of Szeged in Hungary, Szent-Györgyi and a research fellow tested "hexuronic acid" as a possible cure for scurvy, and soon found it was a substance previously undiscovered -- vitamin C, according to the National Library of Medicine

In 1937, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for "discoveries in connection with the biological combustion processes, with especial reference to vitamin C and the catalysis of fumaric acid."

If you're still not impressed, consider the man's extracurriculars: Szent-Györgyi won the medal of valor for fighting in World War I, and then joined the Hungarian resistance movement against Nazis during World War II. Adolf Hitler personally issued a warrant for his arrest, and he spent two years on the run from the Gestapo, according to TNT magazine.

To learn more about the man, check out a biography of Szent-Györgyi at his page on the Nobel Prize website.


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-- Shan Li

Photo: Google doodle for Albert von Szent-Györgyi's birthday. Credit: Google