Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Christian De Duve Oct. 2, 1917 - May 4, 2013 Acclaimed Cell Biologist

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Christian De Duve Oct. 2, 1917 - May 4, 2013 Acclaimed Cell Biologist

Article excerpt

Christian de Duve, a Belgian biochemist whose discoveries about the internal workings of cells shed light on genetic disorders like Tay-Sachs disease and helped give birth to the field of modern cell biology, earning him a Nobel Prize, died May 4 at his home in Nethen, Belgium. He was 95

The cause was euthanasia, which is legal in Belgium, and which was administered by two doctors at Dr. de Duve's request, said his son Thierry, who lives in Los Angeles.

Gunter Blobel, a colleague of Dr. de Duve's at the Rockefeller University in New York City, said Dr. de Duve had been, "suffering from a number of health problems," including cancer, and decided to end his life after falling a few weeks ago.

Beginning in the late 1940s, Dr. de Duve used a centrifuge and other techniques to separate and examine the components of cells. He discovered the lysosome, a tiny sack filled with enzymes that functions like a garbage disposal, destroying bacteria or parts of the cell that are old or worn out. …

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