biology

Alfred Kinsey and his Scientific Interest in Sex

Alfred Kinsey and his Scientific Interest in Sex

On September 14, 1953, Dr. Alfred Charles Kinsey published the second of his controversially discussed and provoking reports entitled ‘Sexual Behaviour in the Human Female‘. Kinsey’s work has profoundly influenced social and cultural values in the United States and many other countries. From Engineering to Biology Alfred Charles Kinsey grew up in a strictly religious Christian family and even though he did not share his parent’s enthusiasm, Kinsey followed their wishes and demands. He even…
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Ernst Haeckel and the Phyletic Museum

Ernst Haeckel and the Phyletic Museum

On July 30, 1908, the ‘Phyletic Museum‘ was gifted to the University of Jena due to its 350th anniversary by Ernst Haeckel. The famous zoologist was best known for his approaches in evolution theory. “As our mother earth is a mere speck in the sunbeam in the illimitable universe, so man himself is but a tiny grain of protoplasm in the perishable framework of organic nature. [This] clearly indicates the true place…
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Maria Sibylla Merian and her Love for Nature’s Details

Maria Sibylla Merian and her Love for Nature’s Details

On April 2, 1647, the German naturalist and scientific illustrator Maria Sibylla Merian was born. Even though she is not very well known for her achievements, she made significant contributions to entomology through the observation and documentation of the metamorphosis of the butterfly. The fact that Maria Sibylla Merian is not well known throughout the scientific community is probably caused by the fact that the study of nature and entomology in general…
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Conrad Gessner’s Truly Renaissance Knowledge

Conrad Gessner’s Truly Renaissance Knowledge

On March 26, 1516, Swiss naturalist and bibliographer Conrad Gessner was born. His five-volume Historiae animalium (1551–1558) is considered the beginning of modern zoology, and the flowering plant genus Gesneria is named after him. He is considered as one of the most important natural scientists of Switzerland and was sometimes referred to as the ‘German Pliny‘. Conrad Gessner was born and educated in Zürich, Switzerland as the son of Ursus Gessner, a…
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Crick and Watson decipher the DNA

Crick and Watson decipher the DNA

On February 28, 1953,  American molecular biologist James D. Watson and English biophysicist Francis Crick announced to friends that they succeeded to determine the chemical structure of DNA. Already in the 19th century biochemists were able to isolate DNA and RNA from the cell nuclei mixed together. They later found out that DNA and RNA had to be distinct from each other. The nuclein was identified by Friedrich Miescher in 1869 and he…
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Richard Kuhn and his Work on Carotinoids and Vitamins

Richard Kuhn and his Work on Carotinoids and Vitamins

On December 3, 1900, Austrian-German biochemist Richard Johann Kuhn was born. Kuhn was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1938 “for his work on carotenoids and vitamins“. Kuhn is also credited with the discovery of the deadly nerve agent Soman in 1944. Before entering the University of Vienna in 1918, Richard Kuhn attended the same classes as the later Nobel Prize winner Wolfgang Pauli. In 1919, Kuhn moved to the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of…
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Colin Turnbull and the Forest People

Colin Turnbull and the Forest People

On November 23, 1924, British-American anthropologist Colin Turnbull was born. Turnbull came to public attention with the popular books The Forest People on the Mbuti Pygmies of Zaire and The Mountain People on the Ik people of Uganda, and one of the first anthropologists to work in the field of ethnomusicology. Colin Turnbull studied politics and philosophy at Magdalen College, Oxford and joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve during World War II. He was…
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Earnest A. Hooton and Physical Anthropology

Earnest A. Hooton and Physical Anthropology

On November 20, 1887, Jewish-American physical anthropologist Earnest Hooton was born. Hooton investigated human evolution and racial differentiation, classified and described human populations, and examined the relationship between personality and physical type, particularly with respect to criminal behaviour. Earnest Hooton earned his Ph.D. in 1911 on “The Pre-Hellenistic Stage of the Evolution of the Literary Art at Rome” at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. After a period of studying in England, Hooton taught…
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August Krogh and the Capillaries

August Krogh and the Capillaries

On November 15, 1874, Danish zoophysiologist August Krogh was born. Krogh contributed a number of fundamental discoveries within several fields of physiology, and is famous for developing the Krogh Principle, which states that “for such a large number of problems there will be some animal of choice, or a few such animals, on which it can be most conveniently studied.” In 1920 August Krogh was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for…
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J. B. S. Haldane and population Genetics

J. B. S. Haldane and population Genetics

On November 5, 1892, English geneticist and biometrician John Burdon Sanderson Haldane was born. Haldane is known for his work in the study of physiology, genetics, evolutionary biology, and in mathematics, where he made innovative contributions to the fields of statistics and biostatistics. John Burdon Sanderson Haldane began working with hos father in the home laboratory. There, he performed first experiments, mostly on himself. At New College at the University of Oxford,…
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