The Crystallography of Hemoglobins.
The Differentiation and Specificity of Corresponding Proteins and Other Vital Substances in Relation to Biological Classification and Organic Evolution
First edition. Large cloth 4to, 12 x 9.5 inches, 338pp + 100 plates. Mild ex-library copy with the usual treatments to front matter and upper corner of flyleaf torn away. Otherwise a Very Good copy with cloth worn at extremities, but binding tight and contents clean. A hefty 7-pound volume with incredible b&w micrographic plates and generous in-text illustrations. (A note for those interested in Froebel, their resemblance to shapes and structures formed in certain Gifts are an exciting reminder and testament to the pedagogue's background in crystallography.)
“In 1909 appeared an extraordinary volume, The Crystallography of Hemoglobins, by Edward Tyson Reichert, a physiologist at the University of Pennsylvania, and Amos Peaslee Brown, a mineralogist there. Reichert had conceived the ambition to plot the evolutionary relationships among species by the divergences among their protein molecules. His essential idea was merely seventy years ahead of the technology: only with the advent of Frederick Sanger’s methods for sequencing amino acids could students of evolution begin to measure the similarities among proteins, and only with Sanger’s means of sequencing nucleotides in DNA, beginning in 1976, could such measurements of genetic similarity begin to be accurate. But Reichert understood the enormous scope for diversity if proteins were large, specific molecules; he settled on crystal forms—and recruited his colleague Brown—as the means to get at degrees of difference, and on hemoglobin as the easily crystallized protein universal among animals. Their book surveyed the nineteenth-century literature of hemoglobin; catalogued crystals of the stuff from a hundred and nine different vertebrate species—Philadelphia had a good zoo—complete with drawings and measurements of the crystal forms; and ended with six hundred large, clear, well-printed photomicrographs of hemoglobin crystals” (Judson, 'The Eighth Day of Creation', p. 492). The first large-scale study of molecular differences among species, engrossingly illustrated.