COPISAROW, MAURICE (1889–1959), British chemist. Copisarow was born in Manchester. In World War I his research for the Ministry of Munitions was responsible for ending a succession of disastrous explosions in TNT factories. He also discovered methods of converting dangerous waste materials into dyestuffs and other useful products. Copisarow's continuous experimentation with TNT and phosgene, however, soon resulted in blindness, and he was forced to confine himself to theoretical work. This was both original and fruitful: he propounded a general theory of allotrophy and established new relationships between inorganic and living forms. In World War II Copisarow helped to meet Britain's food problems by his work in connection with grassland improvement, the reclamation of the brackenland, and fruit and vegetable preservation. After the war, he investigated enzyme and virus activity, and the biochemistry of influenza and of cancer. (Samuel Aaron Miller)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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