biology

Davidson Black and the Peking Man

Davidson Black and the Peking Man

On July 25, 1884, Canadian anatomist and paleoanthropologist Davidson Black was born. Black is best known for his postulation of the existence of a distinct form of early man, Sinanthropus pekinensis, popularly known as Peking man and now Homo erectus pekinensis. It is believed that Davidson Black already enjoyed to collect fossils along the banks of the Don River when he was a child. Further, he probably became friends with First Nations…
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Albert Calmette and the Antituberculosis Vaccine

Albert Calmette and the Antituberculosis Vaccine

On July 12, 1863, French physician, bacteriologist and immunologist Léon Charles Albert Calmette was born. Calmette discovered the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin, an attenuated form of Mycobacterium bovis used in the BCG vaccine against tuberculosis. He also developed the first antivenom for snake venom, the Calmette‘s serum. Calmette was born in Nice, France. He wanted to serve in the Navy and be a physician, so in 1881 he joined the School of Naval Physicians…
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Ludwik Fleck and the Thought Collective

Ludwik Fleck and the Thought Collective

On July 11, 1898, Polish and Israeli physician Ludwik Fleck was born. Fleck did important work in epidemic typhus in Lwów, Poland, with Rudolf Weigl and in the 1930s developed the concepts of the “Denkstil” (“thought style”) and the “Denkkollektiv” (“thought collective”). The concept of the “thought collective” defined by him is important in the philosophy of science and in logology (the “science of science”), helping to explain how scientific ideas change over…
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Frank Rattray Lillie and the Fertilization Process

Frank Rattray Lillie and the Fertilization Process

On June 27, 1870, American zoologist and an early pioneer of the study of embryology Frank Rattray Lillie was born. Lillie is known for his discoveries concerning the fertilization of the egg (ovum) and the role of hormones in sex determination. He was instrumental in the development of the field of embryology. He identified the influence of potassium on cell differentiation and elucidated the biological mechanisms behind free-martins. Frank Lillie was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. His…
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Mary Jane Rathbun and the Crustacea

Mary Jane Rathbun and the Crustacea

On June 11, 1860, American zoologist Mary Jane Rathbun was born. Rathbun established the basic taxonomic information on Crustacea. For many years she was the Smithsonian’s complete department of marine invertebrates where she studied, cataloged, and preserved specimens. Through her basic studies and published works, she fixed the nomenclature of Crustacea and was the recognized, and the much sought after, authority in zoology and carcinology. Mary Jane Rathbun was a self-taught zoologist…
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Raymond Pearl and Biometry – Applying Statistics for Medicine and Biology

Raymond Pearl and Biometry – Applying Statistics for Medicine and Biology

On June 3, 1879, American biologist Raymond Pearl was born. Pearl is regarded as one of the founders of biogerontology. Moreover, he is one of the founders of biometry, the application of statistics to biology and medicine. He also pioneered studies in longevity, changes in world population, and genetics. Raymond Pearl earned his PhD in zoology for his work on the behavior of planarians from the University of Michigan. Along with his…
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Sir David Bruce and the Malta Fever

Sir David Bruce and the Malta Fever

On May 29, 1855, Scottish pathologist and microbiologist Sir David Bruce was born. Bruce investigated Malta fever (later called brucellosis in his honour) and African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness in humans and nagana in animals). He discovered the first protozoan parasite transmitted by insects, which was later named Trypanosoma brucei after him. David Bruce was born in Melbourne, Australia, to David Bruce, a Scottish engineer and his wife Jane Russell Hamilton, who had…
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Robert Yerkes – From Eugenics to Psychobiology

Robert Yerkes – From Eugenics to Psychobiology

On May 26, 1876, American psychologist, ethologist, eugenicist and primatologist Robert Mearns Yerkes was born. Yerkes is known for his work in intelligence testing and in the field of comparative psychology. He is referred to as a principal developer of comparative (animal) psychology in the U.S. and pioneered in the study both of human and primate intelligence and of the social behavior of gorillas and chimpanzees. Robert Yerkes first attended Ursinus College…
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Leonhart Fuchs’ Famous Herbal Book

Leonhart Fuchs’ Famous Herbal Book

On May 10, 1566, German Botanist Leonhart Fuchs passed away. Fuchs is best known for authoring a large book about plants and their uses as medicines, i.e. a Herbal Book, published in 1542 in Latin, with about 500 accurate and detailed drawings of plants printed from woodcuts. Leonhart Fuchs became Magister Artium in 1524 and earned his doctor of medicine degree. During the next years, Fuchs practiced as a doctor in Munich and…
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Jean Senebier and the Photosynthesis

Jean Senebier and the Photosynthesis

On May 6, 1742, Swiss pastor and naturalist Jean Senebier was born. Senebier wrote extensively on plant physiology and was one of the major early pioneers of photosynthesis research. He was the first who demonstrated that green plants consume carbon dioxide and release oxygen under the influence of light. Before Jean Senebier researched in the field of photosynthesis, other scientists had engaged in the field including Jan van Helmont, who measured the mass…
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