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Jean Dausset and the Major Histocompatibility Complex

Jean Dausset and the Major Histocompatibility Complex

On October 19, 1916,  French immunologist Jean Dausset was born. Dausset received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1980 along with Baruj Benacerraf and George Davis Snell for their discovery and characterization of the genes making the major histocompatibility complex. Jean-Baptiste-Gabriel-Joachim Dausset’s father worked at the Bayonne Hospital at Biarritz. After the family moved to Paris, Dausset began his formal education and later studied medicine at the University of Paris.…
Salomon August Andrée’s Ill Fated Polar Balloon Expedition

Salomon August Andrée’s Ill Fated Polar Balloon Expedition

On October 18, 1854, Swedish engineer, physicist, aeronaut and polar explorer Salomon August Andrée was born. Andrée died while leading an attempt to reach the Geographic North Pole by hydrogen balloon. The balloon expedition was unsuccessful in reaching the Pole and resulted in the deaths of all three of its participants. Salomon Auguste Andrée attended the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1874. Two years…
Cyril Ponnamperuma and the Origins of Life

Cyril Ponnamperuma and the Origins of Life

On October 16, 1923, Ceylonese-American chemist and exobiologist Cyril Ponnamperuma was born. Cyril Ponnamperuma was a leading authority on the chemical origins of life. He built on the work of Miller and Clayton Urey studying chemical reactions in “primordial soup” experiments. Ponnamperuma focused on producing compounds related to the nucleic acids and offered a convincing theory about series of chemical reactions that gave rise to precursors of life on earth. Cyril…
Friedrich Kohlrausch and the Conductive Properties of Electrolytes

Friedrich Kohlrausch and the Conductive Properties of Electrolytes

On October 14, 1840, German physicist Friedrich Wilhelm Georg Kohlrausch was born. Kohlrausch investigated the conductive properties of electrolytes and contributed to knowledge of their behaviour. He also investigated elasticity, thermoelasticity, and thermal conduction as well as magnetic and electrical precision measurements. Friedrich Kohlrausch studied physics at Erlangen and Göttingen, Germany. He was appointed professor of physics at the University of Göttingen in 1866 and became professor at ETH Zurich in…
Jules Quicherat – the Father of French Archaeology

Jules Quicherat – the Father of French Archaeology

On October 13, 1814, French archaeologist and historian Jules Étienne Joseph Quicherat was born. Quicherat was one of the founders of archaeology in France. In 1847, he inaugurated a course of archaeological lectures at the École des Chartes. His students circulated his principles throughout France, recognizing him as the “founder of national archaeology”. He wrote on the history of medieval France, and also edited texts of the trial and rehabilitation…
Harriet Boyd Hawes and the Minoan Culture

Harriet Boyd Hawes and the Minoan Culture

On October 11, 1871, American archaeologist, nurse, and relief worker Harriet Boyd Hawes was born. Hawes is best known as the discoverer and first director of Gournia, one of the first archaeological excavations to uncover a Minoan settlement and palace on the Aegean. Harriet Ann Boyd Hawes was probably first introduced to the study of Classics by her older brother, Alex. She graduated from Smith College in Northampton in 1892 with a…
Pieter Zeeman and the Zeeman Effect

Pieter Zeeman and the Zeeman Effect

On October 9, 1943, Dutch physicist Pieter Zeeman passed away. Zeeman shared the 1902 Nobel Prize in Physics with Hendrik Lorentz for his discovery of the Zeeman effect, the effect of splitting a spectral line into several components in the presence of a static magnetic field. Pieter Zeeman witnessed the Aurora borealis in the Netherlands during 1883 and created a drawing of the phenomenon which was published in Nature. During the same…
Emil Kraepelin’s classification system for Mental Illness

Emil Kraepelin’s classification system for Mental Illness

On October 7, 1926, German psychologist Emil Kraepelin passed away. Kraepelin is considered the founder of modern scientific psychiatry, psychopharmacology and psychiatric genetics. He developed a classification system for mental illness that influenced subsequent classifications. Kraepelin made distinctions between schizophrenia and manic-depressive psychosis that remain valid today. Emil Kraepelin studied medicine at the University of Leipzig and the University of Würzburg. At the former university, he studied studied neuropathology under Paul Flechsig…
Reinhard Selten and Game Theory

Reinhard Selten and Game Theory

On October 5, 1930, German economist and Nobel Laureate Reinhard Selten was born. Selten is well known for his work in bounded rationality and can be considered as one of the founding fathers of experimental economics. For his work in game theory, Selten won the 1994 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (shared with John Harsanyi and John Nash). Reinhard Selten was born in Breslau and after a brief family exile in…
Elias Howe and the Sewing Machine

Elias Howe and the Sewing Machine

On Oct 3, 1867, American inventor Elias Howe Jr. passed away. Howe is best known for his invention of a a sewing machine using a lockstitch design. Elias Howe Jr. was apprentice in a textile factory and after mill closings due to the Panic of 1837, he moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts. There, Howe started working with carding machinery, apprenticing along with his cousin Nathaniel P. Banks. In 1838, Howe apprenticed…
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