While mixing the fuel, dry Santa Ana winds caused a buildup of static electricity resulting in an explosion giving him severe burns over half his body. After recovering from the explosion at age 21, he was among the first Chemistry graduate 8-Bromo-cAMP students at the newly formed campus of the University of California at San Diego located at the old Camp Matthews Marine Corps base in La Jolla. As a first-year student, he worked in Sverdrup Hall on the campus of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which was allied with UCSD and where it was not uncommon for students to house
their surfboards RG-7388 nmr or fishing poles in the lab or hallway. Mike was no exception to this practice as he loved surf fishing. The nearby racetrack at Del
Mar allowed him to engage in another interest, horseracing. In his second year, his class moved to Bonner Hall in the newly completed Revelle College up the hill from Scripps. It was a very exciting time with several Nobel laureates on campus and a cadre of well-renowned scientists. The Vietnam War led to major unrest on campus with many students and even some faculty calling for boycotts and violent action, nevertheless BAY 63-2521 purchase it had little effect on research. Torrey Pines Golf Course had a much greater impact on his life. Mike chose Martin Kamen, an amazing scientist, as advisor. A year later, I joined the Kamen lab, quickly learning that Martin could think faster than anyone I had ever met and had a broad knowledge in all areas of science as well as being an extremely accomplished
musician with a great sense of humor. In 1940, Martin, together with Sam Rubin, Dichloromethane dehalogenase discovered carbon 14, perhaps the most useful of all radioactive isotopes considering that there are more papers published on its use than for any other isotope (Kamen, Ann Rev Biochem 55:1–36, 1986). Many had doubted that 14C existed at all or that it would have such a long halflife. This discovery was deserving of a Nobel Prize, in fact Willard Libby was given the Nobel Prize for the radiocarbon dating method using 14C in 1960 and Melvin Calvin was given the prize in 1961 for tracing the path of carbon in photosynthesis using 14C. But Kamen’s discovery was made during the war years and at a time that he was labeled a possible information leak due to his gregarious nature and associations with leftists. It took him more than 10 years to clear his name and regain his passport. Martin had another claim to fame, although not so dramatic as the discovery of 14C, in that he and Leo Vernon discovered cytochrome c2, a homolog of mitochondrial cytochrome c, in the non-sulfur purple bacterium, Rhodospirillum rubrum, which we now know has an important role in bacterial photosynthesis and respiration. They also discovered cytochrome c′, one of the most commonly occurring bacterial cytochromes, which to this day has an unknown functional role.