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Artturi Ilmari Virtanen
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    (January 15, 1895-November 11, 1973)
    Born in Helsinki, Finland
    Obtained PhD in organic chemistry from University of Helsinki (1918)
    Director of the dairy products company Valio’s research laboratory (1921-1939)
    Chemistry instructor at University of Helsinki (1924-1939)
    Professor of biochemistry at University of Helsinki (1939-1948)
    Discovered the indispensability of cozymase in lactic and propionic acid fermentations, as well as the phosphorylation of sugar (1924)
    Conducted the first chemically elucidated sugar fermentation by fermenting dioxyaceton to glycerol and glyceric acid in phosphates using Coli bacteria (1929)
    Invented the AIV fodder, a type of silage that prevents harmful fermentation of animal fodder by increasing its acidity (1932)
    Received Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1945)
    Died in Helsinki from complications over a fractured hip two weeks earlier
    He never owned a car.
    He unsuccessfully tried to make bread from hay. (1942)
    During World War II, the Germans featured him in a propaganda article that emphasized his 'Nordic' appearance.
    He told the ministers Carl Enckell and Vihtori Vesterinen not to sign a peace treaty with the Soviet Union that would force Finland to pay $300,000,000 in reparations. (1947)
    This act angered President Juho Kusti Paasikivi, who called Virtanen's behavior childish and ignorant.
    He criticized Urho Kekkonen's Eastern policy as the 'downward' path.
    He grew up poor.
    Four of his brothers died in childhood, most likely from vitamin A deficiency, which prompted him to become a chemist.
    Despite his fame, he preferred to live a simple life in a farm.
    He never smoked nor drank alcohol.
    AIV fodder has improved Finland's milk and butter production, allowing it to export the latter.
    His one-time home Viipuri (now Vyborg) was annexed by the Soviet Union, an action he never forgave.
    He helped train the next generation of professors in various scientific fields.
    A crater on the moon is named after him.

Credit: Big Lenny

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