Top 32 Christian de Duve Quotes

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“The cost of our success is the exhaustion of natural resources, leading to energy crises, climate change, pollution, and the destruction of our habitat. If you exhaust natural resources, there will be nothing left for your children. If we continue in the same direction, humankind is headed for some frightful ordeals, if not extinction.”

― Christian de Duve

“We have access to practical, ethical and scientifically established methods of birth control. So I think that is the most ethical way to reduce our population.”

― Christian de Duve

“Ribosomes contain RNA, messenger RNA provides the information, transfer RNAs brings the amino acids; so the protein-making machinery is an RNA machinery, completely.”

― Christian de Duve

“Although attracted by the humanities, I had chosen medicine as a career, seduced by the image of the ‘man in white’ dispensing care and solace to the suffering. But science was lurking around the corner, in the form of an unpaid student assistantship in the laboratory of physiology.”

― Christian de Duve

“The living world has become impoverished. Species are being lost every day. Energy and other resources are nearing exhaustion. The environment is deteriorating. Pollution is everywhere. Climate is changing. Natural balances are threatened.”

― Christian de Duve

“I knew the lysosomes and peroxisomes because I had discovered them; I knew the mitochondria because I was interested in them. I knew the membrane system because my friend, George Palade, had worked on that.”

― Christian de Duve

“The advantage of the analytical approach is that it is widely applicable, and it can provide a considerable amount of quantitative information even with a relatively poor resolving power.”

― Christian de Duve

“We know that once we stop learning and call ourselves learned, we become useless members of the scientific society.”

― Christian de Duve

“My parents, of Belgian-German extraction, were Belgian nationals who had taken refuge in England during the war. They returned to Belgium in 1920, and I grew up in the cosmopolitan harbour city of Antwerp, at a time when education in the Flemish part of the country was still half French and half Flemish.”

― Christian de Duve

“Due to these various circumstances, when I entered the Catholic University of Louvain in 1934, I had already travelled in a number of European countries and spoke four languages fairly fluently. This turned out to be a valuable asset in my subsequent career as a scientist.”

― Christian de Duve

“My education, according to the tradition of the Jesuit school which I attended, had been centered on the ‘ancient humanities’, and I was strongly attracted to the more literary branches.”

― Christian de Duve

“Our investigations were very fruitful. They led to the discovery of a new cell part, the lysosome, which received its name in 1955, and later of yet another organelle, the peroxisome.”

― Christian de Duve

“When, in 1949, I decided to join the little band of early explorers who had followed Albert Claude in his pioneering expeditions, electron microscopy was still in its infancy.”

― Christian de Duve

“Although separating mitochondria and microsomes might appear worlds apart from the determination of the molecular weight of macromolecules, certain concepts were common to the two operations and could be usefully transposed from the latter to the former.”

― Christian de Duve

“The possibility that lysosomes might accidentally become ruptured under certain conditions, and kill or injure their host-cells as a result, was considered right after we got our first clues to the existence of these particles.”

― Christian de Duve

“I followed lectures on the history, geography, economy and political organization of Sweden.”

― Christian de Duve

“The war broke out, and for a number of years I lived in darkness, with the memory of the lakes, the trees and the skies of Sweden, until I returned in 1946 to spend two unforgettable years in the laboratory of Hugo Theorell.”

― Christian de Duve

“We are sick because our cells are sick.”

― Christian de Duve

“It would be an exaggeration to say I’m not afraid of death, but I’m not afraid of what comes after, because I’m not a believer.”

― Christian de Duve

“When I disappear, I will disappear; there’ll be nothing left.”

― Christian de Duve

“What would help us preserve our natural resources are genetic traits that let us sacrifice the present for the sake of the future. You need wisdom to sacrifice something that is immediately useful or advantageous for the sake of something that will be important in the future.”

― Christian de Duve

“I believe that the writers of Genesis had detected the inherent selfishness in human nature that I propose is in our genes, and invented the myth of original sin to account for it. It’s an image. I am not acting as an exegete – I don’t interpret scripture.”

― Christian de Duve

“If you want this planet to continue being habitable for everyone that lives here, you have to limit the number of inhabitants. Hunters do it by killing off the old or sick animals in a herd, but I don’t think that’s a very ethical way of limiting the population.”

― Christian de Duve

“Overcrowded cities are spawning increasingly lawless suburbs. Waste is accumulating in and around them, straining the capacity to deal with it.”

― Christian de Duve

“Vast areas are witness to the struggles of destitute populations trying to survive under unlivable conditions.”

― Christian de Duve

“In spite of the advances of medicine, deathly epidemics are more menacing than ever before.”

― Christian de Duve

“Speaking as a biologist, I think women are less aggressive than men, and they play a larger role in the early education of the young and helping them overcome their genetic heirloom.”

― Christian de Duve

“What I was concerned with was life: what are the major features that are common to all living organisms that subtly define life. So I looked at the whole problem as a chemist, as a biochemist, and as a molecular biologist.”

― Christian de Duve

“I cannot look at a question and not try to find the answer, even if I don’t know it.”

― Christian de Duve

“I have had the good fortune to live – as an inside witness and, even, a modest participant – at a time when our understanding of this wonder we call ‘life’ has made its most revolutionary advances.”

― Christian de Duve

“I promptly fell in love with scientific research and soon had assigned myself, as a major vocation, the task of elucidating the mechanism of action of the antidiabetic hormone.”

― Christian de Duve

“Born in England during the First World War, of Belgian parents with partly German roots, I grew up in the cosmopolitan city of Antwerp, where I had the benefit of a classical education taught in the two national languages of Belgium: French and Dutch.”

― Christian de Duve
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