biology

Rembert Dodoens and the Love for Botanical Science

Rembert Dodoens and the Love for Botanical Science

Rembert Dodoens (1516–1585) On June 29, 1516, Flemish physician and botanist Rembert Dodoens (Dodonaeus) was born. His seminal work Stirpium historiae pemptades sex sive libri XXX (1583) is considered one of the foremost botanical works of the late 16th century. He divided plants into 26 groups and introduced many new families. Rembert Dodoens was born under the name Rembert Van Joenckema in Mechelen, Spanish Netherlands, today Flanders, Belgium. Later, he…
Ernst Boris Chain and his Research on Antibiotics

Ernst Boris Chain and his Research on Antibiotics

Sir Ernst Boris Chain (1906-1979) On June 19, 1906, German-born British biochemist and Nobel Laureate Sir Ernst Boris Chain was born. He is best known for being one of the founders of chemical and medical research on antibiotics, esp. on Penicillinum. “Science, as long as it limits itself to the descriptive study of the laws of nature, has no moral or ethical quality and this applies to the physical as well as the…
Barbara McClintock and Cytogenetics

Barbara McClintock and Cytogenetics

Barbara McClintock (1902-1992) On June 16, 1902, American cytogeneticist Barbara McClintock was born. She is one of the world’s most distinguished cytogeneticists and received the 1983 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine. Maybe, firt of all you might ask, what is cytogenetics. Well, cytogenetics is a branch of genetics that is concerned with the study of the structure and function of the cell, especially the chromosomes. Chromosomes, as being a…
John James Audubon’s Birds of America

John James Audubon’s Birds of America

Carolina Parakeet amidst a leafy branch by John James Audubon On April 26, 1785, French-American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter John James Audubon was born. He was notable for his expansive studies to document all types of American birds and for his detailed illustrations that depicted the birds in their natural habitats. His major work, a color-plate book entitled The Birds of America (1827–1839), is considered one of the finest ornithological works…
Royal Botanist Charles Plumier

Royal Botanist Charles Plumier

Franipani (Plumeria) flowers in Perth, Western Australia Author: Renesis On April 20, 1646, French botanist Charles Plumier was born. He is considered one of the most important of the botanical explorers of his time. He made three botanizing expeditions to the West Indies, which resulted in a massive work Nova Plantarum Americanarum Genera (1703–04) and was appointed botanist to king Louis XIV of France. Charles Plumier (1646 – 1704) Charles…
The Great Paris Academic Dispute of 1830

The Great Paris Academic Dispute of 1830

A cartoon of Geoffroy as an ape (supposedly an Orang-utan) with Cuvier in background (1842) On February 15, 1830, the famous Paris Academy Dispute began between the naturalists Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire and George Cuvier about the possibility of biological evolution began with a speech of Saint-Hillaire comparing vertebrates with molluscs. Within 8 public debates the scientists argued about the possibility that nature not necessarely has to be static but might…
Gregor Mendel and the Rules of Inheritance

Gregor Mendel and the Rules of Inheritance

Gregor Mendel (1822 – 1884) On February 8, 1865, German-speaking Silesian scientist and Augustinian friar Gregor Mendel publishes his “Versuche über Pflanzenhybride” (Experiments on Plant Hybridization) in which he describes his experiments with peas, which later became the foundation of the so-called Mendelian inheritance of genetics. Mendel grew up in a farmer’s family and cultivated bees from early ages. In the 1840s, Mendel enrolled at the university, but soon gave…
August Weismann – the Founder of Neo-Darwinism

August Weismann – the Founder of Neo-Darwinism

Friedrich Leopold August Weismann(1834 – 1914) On January 17, 1834, German evolutionary biologist Friedrich Leopold August Weismann was born. He is considered the second most notable evolutionary theorist of the 19th century, after Charles Darwin, and one of the founders of neo-Darwinism. Adam Weismann grew up in a very religious home, with his father being a teacher and theologian. Weismann started receiving piano lessons at the age of 14 and…
Wilhelm Weinberg and the Genetic Equilibrium

Wilhelm Weinberg and the Genetic Equilibrium

Hardy–Weinberg principle for two alleles On January 13, 1908, German physician and obstetrician-gynecologis Wilhelm Weinberg delivered an exposition of his ideas on the principle of genetic equilibrium in a lecture before the Verein für vaterländische Naturkunde in Württemberg. He developed the idea of genetic equilibrium independently of British mathematician G. H. Hardy. Wilhelm Weinberg studied medicine at the Universities of Berlin, Tübingen, and Munich, Germany. He returned to his birth…
Georges Cuvier and the Fossils

Georges Cuvier and the Fossils

Georges Cuvier(1769 – 1832) On August 23, 1769, French naturalist and zoologist Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric Cuvier aka Georges Cuvier was born. He was a major figure in natural sciences research in the early 19th century, and was instrumental in establishing the fields of comparative anatomy and paleontology through his work in comparing living animals with fossils. The young Georges Cuvier was well educated and received additional classes by his…
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