Needham, Dorothy M. | Machina Carnis

  • First edition, first impression of this work on the history of the biochemistry of muscle by prominent biochemist Dorothy Needham (1896-1987). Though ex-library, with institutional binding and cancelled library stamps, this copy is in exceptionally fresh condition.

    Needham’s “most important work was on carbohydrate metabolism in muscle. From 1930 to 1940 she was involved in pioneering work on the part played by ATP (adenosine triphosphate) in the contraction of muscle, and for this and other research she was awarded the Cambridge University ScD (1945) and elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society (1948). In 1940 she joined Dr Malcolm Dixon's chemical defence research group to work on the effects of chemical weapons such as mustard gas on the metabolism of skin and bone-marrow. She retired from active research in 1963 to work on her book Machina Carnis: The biochemistry of muscular contraction in its historical development, published by Cambridge University Press in 1971. Her significant contribution to biochemistry was recognised by becoming an Honorary Fellow at three Cambridge Colleges: at Girton, where she had been educated, she became an honorary fellow in 1976; at Lucy Cavendish, which she helped to found in 1965, she was a Foundation Fellow; and at Gonville and Caius, where Joseph Needham was Master for eleven years (1965 - 1976), she became an Honorary Fellow in 1979 - the first woman admitted to Caius and, for a long time, the only woman fellow. Despite her great distinction she never held an established post in the University, but was supported by grants and fellowships from the ARC and other funding bodies” (University of Cambridge Digital Library biography).

    See also: Ogilvie, Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science, p. 932

  • ...The Biochemistry of Muscular Contraction in Its Historical Development. Cambridge: at the University Press, 1971.

    Large octavo. Brown cloth library binding, titles to spine gilt on purple ground, library shelf number ticket attached to the tail of the spine with clear tape, buff endpapers and top edge dyed light brown. 10 double-sided plates from photographs, illustrations and diagrams within the text. Cancelled library stamps of the Bonn University Orthopedic Clinic on the title, pastedowns, rear free endpaper, and page 373. An excellent, fresh copy.