Albert Lehninger

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In existographies, Albert Lehninger (1917-1986) (CR:9) (LH:1) was an American biochemist, noted for refers to []


In 1965, Lehninger, in his Bioenergetics: the Molecular Basis of Biological Energy Transformations, attempted to outline the subject of “bioenergetics”, i.e. the energetics of "bio-things", aka the study of the energy aspects of physiology of organisms, which give a very simplified discussion of an attempt to apply the basic principles of thermodynamics to areas such as cell structure, cell function, genetics, and evolution.[1]

In 1982, Lehninger published his Principles of Biochemistry textbook, which became very popular, having gone through five editions, and published in seven languages, which since has become something of a classic in college biochemistry courses.

Binding energy

Lehninger, at one point, defined binding energy as the Gibbs free energy derived from enzyme-substrate interaction; a major source of free energy used by enzymes to lower the activation energies of reactions.[2]


In 1976, Melvin Klegerman and Hugh McDonald, in their “The Thermodynamics of War”, via citation to Gilbert Lewis’ Thermodynamics, Lehninger’s Bioenergetics, and Bruce Lindsay’s “thermodynamic imperative”, attempted to outline a social thermodynamics model, based on Gibbs energy, enthalpy, and entropy, so to explain war in terms of a Lindsay-style Kantian imperative.[3]

In 2005, Gerald Nahum, attempted to cite Lehninger as having, supposedly, reasoned somewhere that the entropy of living systems cannot be defined in classical thermodynamic terms because such systems are said to not exist at equilibrium, but rather in open metastable states (see: metastable equilibrium).[4]


Lehninger completed his BA at Wesleyan University (1939), his MS (1940) and PhD (1942), in biochemistry, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Quotes | By

The following are related quotes:

“Today, all scientists agree that the laws of physics and chemistry, including the principles of thermodynamics, also hold in the biological world: there can be no vitalism or black magic by which living organisms sustain and perpetuate themselves.”
— Albert Lehninger (1973), Bioenergetics: the Molecular Basis of Biological Energy Transformations (pg. 1) [1]
“It is the ultimate fate of the universe, then, to attain a state of complete randomness and disorder, which has been called ‘entropic doom’. If entropy is randomness or disorder, its opposite is order.”
— Albert Lehninger (1973), Bioenergetics: the Molecular Basis of Biological Energy Transformations (pg. 21) [1]

End matter


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Lehninger, Albert. (1965). Bioenergetics: the Molecular Basis of Biological Energy Transformations (pg. 1). Publisher, 1973.
  2. Lehninger, Albert L., Nelson, David L., and Cox, Michael M. (2005). Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry, Volume 1 (pg. 196). MacMillan.
  3. Melvin Klegerman (subdomain) – Hmolpedia 2020.
  4. Nahum, Gerald. (2005). “A Proposal for Testing the Energetics of Consciousness and its Physical Foundation (33-pgs)”, Submitted for review to Consciousness and Cognition.

External links

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