- Haldane , John Burdon Sanderson
- (1892–1964) British geneticistHaldane, who was born at Oxford, became involved in scientific research at an early age through helping in the laboratory of his father, the physiologist John Scott Haldane. His interest in genetics was first stimulated as early as 1901, when he heard a lecture on Mendel's work, and he later applied this by studying inheritance in his sister's (the writer Naomi Mitchison) 300 guinea pigs. On leaving school he studied first mathematics and then the humanities at Oxford University. He served in World War I with the Black Watch Regiment and was wounded at Loos and in Mesopotamia. Some work on gas masks, following the first German gas attacks, marked the beginning of his physiological studies.In 1919 Haldane took up a fellowship at Oxford, where he continued research on respiration, investigating how the levels of carbon dioxide in the blood affect the muscles regulating breathing. He was next offered a readership in biochemistry at Cambridge, where he conducted some important work on enzymes. These experiments, and later work on conditions in submarines, aroused considerable public interest because he frequently used himself as a guinea pig.In 1933 Haldane became professor of genetics at University College, London, a position he exchanged in 1937 for the chair of biometry. While at London he prepared a provisional map of the X sex chromosome and showed the genetic linkage between hemophilia and color blindness. He also produced the first estimate of mutation rates in humans from studies of the pedigrees of hemophiliacs, and described the effect of recurring deleterious mutations on a population. With the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, Haldane joined the Communist Party and advised the republican government on gas precautions. In the 1950s he left the party as a result of Soviet acceptance and promotion of Trofim Lysenko. In protest at the Anglo-French invasion of Suez, Haldane emigrated to India in 1957, becoming an Indian citizen in 1961. He was director of the laboratory of genetics and biometry at Bhubaneswar from 1962 until his death.Haldane's books include Enzymes (1930), The Causes of Evolution (1932), and The Biochemistry of Genetics (1954); he also wrote a number of books popularizing science.
Scientists. Academic. 2011.