Google Doodle honours German Chemist and caffeine inventor Friedlieb Runge on his 225th Birthday

Today, Google Doodle honors German chemist and the inventor of caffeine Friedlieb Runge on his 225th birthday

It all started with Goethe giving a bag of coffee beans to Runge and asking him to analyze their chemical makeup and what followed was the invention of caffeine. That’s right! On German Analytical Chemist Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge's 225th birthday, Google Doodle honored the German Chemist for his invention of caffeine. The German chemist (February 8, 1794 -25 March 1867) is credited with finding the effect of belladonna plan's extract on dilating of pupils and also known for inventing caffeine, which is the drug present in coffee beans.

Owing to his interest in chemistry, Runge started to experiment from his teenager days and one of his first experiments was based on the ‘effect of belladonna plant's extract on dilating of pupils’. While conducting the experiment, as a teenager, Runge accidentally splashed a drop of belladonna extract in his

eye and took note of its effect on his own pupils. 10 years later, while studying under chemist Johann Wolfgang Dobereiner at the University of Jena, this finding caught his attention and Runge was asked to re-conduct the same experiment and reproduce the effects of belladonna. After his successful experiment, Runge's experiment was noticed by his professor friend, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who, as a matter of fact, encouraged him to analyse the chemical makeup of coffee beans and thanks to the professor’s friend and of course, Runge’s determination, a few months later, the chemist went on to identify caffeine. In the Google Doodle image, seen on Google’s homepage today, we can see Runge, holding a cup of hot coffee and the impact of his research.

After inventing caffeine, Runge completed his doctorate from the University of Berlin, and later, the chemist taught at the University of Breslau till 1831. And on his 225th birthday, Google Doodle honored the German Chemist and his contribution in the field of chemistry. Besides inventing caffeine, Runge’s other inventions include first coal tar dye along with a process on how to dye clothes and he is also one of the first scientists to isolate quinine.

After his academics, Runge took up a job and it was then that he invented first coal tar dye and a process used for dyeing clothes. Besides caffeine, his other contributions include isolation of quinine,

the originator of paper chromatography and even coming up with a method for extracting sugar from beet juice. So while having your daily cup of coffee, you know whom to thank for inventing caffeine. 

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Credits: Google

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