Google Doodle remembers Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge on his 225th birth anniversary

Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge Google Doodle honours German chemist who identified caffeine

Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge Google Doodle honours German chemist who identified caffeine

From an early age Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge expressed his interest in chemistry and began experimenting as a teenager.

Google celebrated his birthday with a doodle showing the chemical structure of caffeine and Runge sipping on his morning coffee and enjoying the la cafe moment.

He identified the mydriatic (pupil dilating) effects of belladonna (deadly nightshade) extract, using a cat as an experimental subject. He was asked to reproduce belladonna's effects as part of a demonstration while studying under renowned chemist and inventor Johann Wolfang Dobereiner at the University of Jena ten years later. While doing the demonstration for Dobereiner's friend, the writer and polymath Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Runge once again showed belladonna's effects.

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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. Thus, the isolation of the ingredient caffeine took place for the first time in 1819. Runge is best remembered for identifying caffeine, the psychoactive drug present in coffee beans which is responsible for stimulating the central nervous system. He then joined a chemical company, where he invented the first coal tar dye, an artificial coloring agent, and also the process for dyeing clothes.

He is also considered an originator of paper chromatography, an early technique for separating chemical substances, and a way of extracting sugar from beet juice.

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