Emil Smith, a biochemist who studied proteins and chaired UCLA's department of biological chemistry, died of complications from a heart attack. He was 97. According to the Los Angeles Times, Smith along with his colleague Emanuel Margoliash uncovered the amino acid sequence of cytochrome c in the late 1950s. They then sequenced it in other mammals, finding that the human cytochrome c is identical to the chimpanzee's, differed at two positions from the rhesus monkey, and at 12 spots from the horse. Emile Zuckerkandl and Linus Pauling's idea of a molecular clock was based on Smith's work. In the late 1960s, Smith and his colleague James Bonner determined the histone H4 and showed that cows and pea plants differed at two positions. "Emil Smith was one of the true pioneers in the development of protein chemistry, particularly in the immediate decades following World War II," says UC Irvine's Ralph Bradshaw.
Emil Smith Dies
Jun 12, 2009