Homework 1 - James Sumner

Biochemistry of the cell                                                                        Fall 2013

Homework 1

In 1946 James Sumner shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with John Northrop and Wendell Stanley. In his Nobel Lecture Sumner describes in detail his efforts to “isolate” an enzyme.

Please read his lecture and answer the following questions:

  1. What in heaven’s name is a “jack bean,” and why did Sumner choose to work with it?
  2. Why did Sumner decide that he would focus his efforts on urease?
  3. Who was Otto Folin?
  4. How does Sumner’s description of his work on urease illustrate the nature of research (or re-search, to search again)?
  5. Give an example of your own struggle with research. This could be anything from a project for in laboratory course to some independent research you conducted during an internship. Briefly explain the difficulty you encountered, and how has that affected how you think about the process of research.


One page should be enough for all 5 questions. Due Thursday, 9/5/13, in class.

Last modified: Tuesday, September 3, 2013, 9:35 PM