Two papers published by Edward Joseph Conway became Biochemical Journal Classics; both of these concerned the micro-determination of ammonia. Broadly, the 1933 paper with Alfred Byrne described a new technique of general use for the analysis of substances (or products made from them) on a micro-scale that involved simple gaseous diffusion; the 1942 paper with Ethna O'Malley presented enhancements of this new development. In addition, over the period 1939–1963 Conway recapped the content of the classic papers and other related papers in eight editions (five revisions) of his book, Microdiffusion Analysis and Volumetric Error; the book greatly increased the impact of the microdiffusion technique, launched by the Biochemical Journal classic papers. Our story, starting with the isolation of ammonia, extends roughly over three 80-year periods; the first one ending when quantitative analysis by gaseous diffusion was achieved, the second with Conway and Byrne's innovation, and the third from then to the present day.

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