biology

Hans Christian Gram and the Gram Stain

Hans Christian Gram and the Gram Stain

On September 13, 1853, Danish bacteriologist Hans Christian Gram was born. Gram is best known for his development of the Gram stain, which differentiates bacteria by the chemical and physical properties of their cell walls by detecting peptidoglycan, which is present in a thick layer in gram-positive bacteria. Education Hans Christian Gram was the son of Frederik Terkel Julius Gram, a professor of jurisprudence, and Louise Christiane Roulund. In 1871, Gram studied botany at the University of…
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Marthe Louise Vogt and the Neurotransmitters

Marthe Louise Vogt and the Neurotransmitters

On September 8, 1903, German neuroscientist Marthe Louise Vogt was born. Vogt is mainly remembered for her important contributions to the understanding of the role of neurotransmitters in the brain, especially epinephrine. Marthe Louise Vogt was born in Berlin as the daughter of the famous anatomists Cécile and Oskar Vogt. Marthe Vogt studied medicint as well as chemistry at the University of Berlin and earned her doctorate degree with her research on…
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Comte de Buffon and his Histoire Naturelle

Comte de Buffon and his Histoire Naturelle

On September 7, 1707, French naturalist, mathematician, cosmologist, and encyclopedic author Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon was born. Buffon formulated a crude theory of evolution and was the first to suggest that the earth might be older than suggested by the Bible. His works influenced the next two generations of naturalists, including Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and Georges Cuvier. “Truly, Buffon was the father of all thought in natural history in the second half of…
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Louis Leakey and the Human Evolutionary Development in Africa

Louis Leakey and the Human Evolutionary Development in Africa

On August 7, 1903, Kenyan paleoanthropologist and archaeologist Louis Seymour Bazett Leakey was born. Louis Leakey‘s work was important in establishing human evolutionary development in Africa, particularly through his discoveries in the Olduvai Gorge. We’ve already had posts about his wife Mary Leakey, as well as two other famous women, whose life is connected with Louis Leakey: Dian Fossey and Jane Goodall. Having been a prime mover in establishing a tradition of…
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Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and the Evolution

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and the Evolution

On August 1, 1744, French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck was born. Lamarck was an early proponent of the idea that evolution occurred and proceeded in accordance with natural laws. He gave the term biology a broader meaning by coining the term for special sciences, chemistry, meteorology, geology, and botany-zoology. “Do we not therefore perceive that by the action of the laws of organization . . . nature has in favorable times, places, and climates multiplied…
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George Shaw and the Platypus

George Shaw and the Platypus

On July 22, 1813, English botanist and zoologist George Shaw passed away. Shaw published one of the first English descriptions with scientific names of several Australian animals including the very first scientific description of the platypus. Shaw was born at Bierton, Buckinghamshire and was educated by his father until 1765 when he entered Magdalen College, Oxford, receiving his B.A. in 1769 and his M.A. in 1772. He was ordained deacon in 1774.…
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Frits Zernike and the Phase Contrast Microscope

Frits Zernike and the Phase Contrast Microscope

On July 16 , 1888, Dutch physicist and Nobel Laureate Frits Zernike was born. He is best known for his invention of the phase contrast microscope, an instrument that permits the study of internal cell structure without the need to stain and thus kill the cells. “I am impressed by the great limitations of the human mind. How quick are we to learn, that is, to imitate what others have done or thought before. And how…
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Carl Woese and the Evolution of the Cell Organization

Carl Woese and the Evolution of the Cell Organization

On July 15, 1928, American microbiologist and biophysicist Carl Richard Woese was born. Woese is famous for recognizing the existence of the Archaea – a new domain or kingdom of life – in 1977 by phylogenetic taxonomy of 16S ribosomal RNA, a technique pioneered by Woese which revolutionized the discipline of microbiology. Archaea define a third domain of life, distinct from the previously recognized two domains of bacteria, and life other than…
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Camillo Golgi and the Golgi Apparatus

Camillo Golgi and the Golgi Apparatus

On July 7, 1843, Italian physician, pathologist, scientist, and Nobel laureate Camillo Golgi was born. His key discovery was the use of silver salts to stain samples for microscope slides. Thus new details of cellular structure components were revealed and several phenomena in anatomy and physiology are named for him, including the Golgi apparatus. Camillo Golgi was born near Brescia in northern Italy. His father was a district medical officer. Golgi studied medicine…
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Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins and the Discovery of Vitamins

Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins and the Discovery of Vitamins

On June 20, 1861, English biochemist and Nobel Laureate Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins was born. He is best known for the discovery of essential nutrient factors, now known as vitamins, needed in animal diets to maintain health. He also discovered the amino acid tryptophan, in 1901. Frederick Gowland Hopkins was born in 1861 in England. It is believed that in his early years, Hopkins was more interested in literature rather than science. He attended school in London and…
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