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Hans Kornberg Dies

Hans Kornberg, a biochemist who studied how organisms transform food and oxygen into energy and mass, has died, the Guardian reports. He was 91 years old.

According to the Guardian, Kornberg studied with Hans Krebs, who had uncovered what's now known as the Krebs cycle, a sequence of reactions many cells use to generate energy, and that Kornberg used radioactive labelling to find the sources of carbon in Krebs cycle intermediates. Through that, the Guardian says Kornberg found related biochemical cycles that plants and microbes use to transform additional carbon sources. It adds that he continued to study metabolic cycles and applied molecular genetics approaches to study the enzymes that catalyze the various steps of the process.

The Telegraph notes that after Kornberg started at Cambridge University in 1975 the field of biochemistry underwent rapid changes. It adds that he liked to point out that his career-worth of work amounted to less than a page in a more than 1,000-page textbook. "It cuts your achievement down to size," Kornberg said.