Google doodle honours Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge, who discovered caffeine


New Delhi: Google with a doodle on its homepage on Friday celebrated the 225th birth anniversary of Germany’s analytical chemist Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge.

The German chemist was the first to identifying caffeine, the psychoactive drug present in coffee beans which is responsible for stimulating the central nervous system.

Runge is also credited with finding the effect of belladonna plan’s extract on dilating of pupils.

Born in Hamburg, Germany, on February 8, 1794, Runge earned his doctorate degree from the University of Berlin and went on to teach chemistry at the University of Breslau until 1831, when he went to work for a chemical company until 1852.

His noteworthy inventions include a synthetic blue dye called aniline blue, as well as a process for splitting compounds into their constituent chemicals, called paper chromatography, and a method for extracting sugar from beet juice. He also became one of the first chemists to isolate the compound quinine, which was used for decades to treat and prevent malaria.

Despite his contributions to chemistry, Runge died in poverty in 1867 at the age of 73.

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