Lykønskninger til vores gode kollega Albert Gjedde, som er professor i neurobiologi og farmakologi (og er institutleder for Institut for Neurovidenskab og Farmakologi, SUND) — fordi han lige har fået Orr. E. Reynolds Award for den bedste fysiologihistoriske artikel skrevet af et medlem af The American Physiological Society. Artikeln, der har titeln “Diffusive Insights: On the Disagreement of Christian Bohr and August Krogh at the Centennial of the Seven Little Devils” og lige er blevet publiceret i tidsskriftet Advances in Physiological Education (nr 4, dec. 2010), handler om en interessant videnskabelig konflikt i begyndelsen af sidste århundrede. Prisen vil blive overrakt ved Experimental Biology meeting i Washington, DC, 9-13 april. Her er abstraktet til artikeln:
The year 2010 is the centennial of the publication of the “Seven Little Devils” in the predecessor of Acta Physiologica. In these seven papers, August and Marie Krogh sought to refute Christian Bohr’s theory that oxygen diffusion from the lungs to the circulation is not entirely passive but rather facilitated by a specific cellular activity substitute to secretion. The subjects of the present reevaluation of this controversy are Christian Bohr, Professor and Doctor of Medicine (1855–1911), nominated three times for the Nobel Prize; August Krogh, Doctor of Philosophy (1874–1949), Christian Bohr’s assistant and later Nobel Prize laureate (1920); and Marie Krogh, née Jørgensen, Doctor of Medicine and wife of August Krogh (1874–1943). The controversy concerned is the transport of oxygen from the lungs into the bloodstream: are passive transport and diffusion capacity together sufficient to secure the oxygen supply in all circumstances or is there an additional specific (“energy consuming” or “active”) mechanism responsible for the transport of oxygen from the alveoli into the bloodstream? The present discussion purports to show that the contestants’ views were closer than the parties themselves and posterity recognized. Posterity has judged the dispute unilaterally from the Nobel laureate’s point of view, but it is evident that August Krogh’s Nobel Prize was awarded for the discovery of a cellular activity (Christian Bohr’s expression), represented by Krogh’s discovery of capillary recruitment. Christian Bohr appears to have been correct in the narrower sense that the diffusion capacity at rest is not great enough to explain the transport during work; a special mechanism intervenes and optimizes the conditions under which diffusion acts. August Krogh, of course, was right in the wider sense that the transport mechanism itself is always entirely passive.
Den er faktisk meget relevant for os her på Medicinsk Museion, ikke mindst fordi Christian Bohr arbejdede og boede her i huset, og vi har mange af August Kroghs ting i samlingerne. Måske kunne Albert have lyst til at lave en lille udstilling om sagen?