, Volume 48, Issue 10, pp 971–972

The pre-history of hemocyanin. The discovery of copper in the blood of molluscs

  • A. Ghiretti-Magaldi
  • F. Ghiretti

DOI: 10.1007/BF01919143

Cite this article as:
Ghiretti-Magaldi, A. & Ghiretti, F. Experientia (1992) 48: 971. doi:10.1007/BF01919143


The presence of copper in molluscs was discovered in 1833 by Bartolomeo Bizio, a Venetian chemist, who found copper in marine gastropods of the family Muricidae during his studies on the purple dye he had isolated from these animals. Bizio was so surprised by this finding that he extended his analysis to several other invertebrate species in which he identified the metal.

Key words

Hemocyanin copper 

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Ghiretti-Magaldi
    • 1
  • F. Ghiretti
    • 1
  1. 1.C.N.R. Center for the study of Physiology and Biochemistry of hemocyanin and other copper proteins, Dept of BiologyUniversity of PaduaPadua(Italy)

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