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Leopold Ruzicka

Musk and Testosterone

Leopold Ruzicka investigated odorous substances and sex hormones, finding chemical compounds that scientists up until then did not believe could exist. The chemist came across combined carbon with rings up to 17 limbs. The existence of carbon rings that big had not been considered as possible by experts previously. Hence, Ruzicka managed to clarify the chemical structure of moscin and zibetin, which are the odorous substances of skin of musk deers and the civet cats. He was furthermore able to fabricate these substances, so that Swiss perfumeries were much interested in creating them synthetically in the laboratory. Thereby, he contributed substantially to the research of hormones, as well as to the processing of synthetic scents.

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Leopold Ruzicka

* 13 September 1887 in Vukovar (now in Croatia)
† 26 September 1976 in Zurich

1920-1925 Privatdozent at the University of Zurich.

Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1939

“for his work on polymethylenes and higher terpenes”