Ralph Hirschmann, who led one of the teams that first synthesized an enzyme, died from kidney disease at the age of 87, reports the Los Angeles Times. In 1969, Hirschmann and his colleague at Merck, Robert Denkewalter, and an independent group made up of Bruce Merrifield and Bernd Gutte at Rockefeller University announced that they had synthesized ribonuclease. In 1984, Merrifield received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his methodology.

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