biology

Norman Borlaug and the Green Revolution

Norman Borlaug and the Green Revolution

On March 25, 1914, American biologist and humanitarian Norman Ernest Borlaug was born. Borlaug led initiatives worldwide that contributed to the extensive increases in agricultural production termed the Green Revolution and has been awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize. Borlaug is often called “the father of the Green Revolution“, and is credited with saving over a billion people worldwide from starvation. Borlaug was born in Cresco, Iowa, USA, the eldest…
Frederick William Twort and the Bacteriophages

Frederick William Twort and the Bacteriophages

On March 20, 1955, English bacteriologist Frederick William Twort passed away. Twort was the original discoverer in 1915 of bacteriophages, i.e. viruses that infect bacteria. He researched into Johne’s disease, a chronic intestinal infection of cattle, and also discovered that vitamin K is needed by growing leprosy bacteria. Frederick William Twort initially only received a limited education, but managed to go to London in order to study medicine  at the local St Thomas’s…
Entomologist and Myrmecologist William Morton Wheeler

Entomologist and Myrmecologist William Morton Wheeler

On March 19, 1865, American entomologist William Morton Wheeler was born. Wheeler published extensively on the classification, structure and behaviour of ants, on which he was a recognized world authority. Wheeler also wrote on problems of embryology, evolution, parasitism and the social life of animals in general. William Morton Wheeler was sent to a local German academy known for its discipline during his school years due to his bad behavior and after…
Marcello Malpighi and Microscopic Anatomy

Marcello Malpighi and Microscopic Anatomy

On March 10, 1628, Italian biologist and physician Marcello Malpighi was born. Malpighi is referred to as the “Father of microscopical anatomy, histology, physiology and embryology“. In developing experimental methods to study living things, Malpighi founded the science of microscopic anatomy. After Malpighi‘s researches, microscopic anatomy became a prerequisite for advances in the fields of physiology, embryology, and practical medicine. Marcello Malpighi was born at Crevalcore near Bologna, Italy, the…
Wilhelm Pfeffer and Plant Physiology

Wilhelm Pfeffer and Plant Physiology

On March 9, 1845, German botanist and plant physiologist Wilhelm Pfeffer was born. Pfeffer’s work on osmotic pressure made him a pioneer in the study of plant physiology. With Julius von Sachs, he was a leader in systematizing the fundamentals of plant physiology. Wilhelm Pfeffer attended the University of Göttingen studying chemistry and pharmacy under the chemist Friedrich Wöhler who became best known for his synthesis of urea, under William Eduard…
René Dubos and the Antibiotics

René Dubos and the Antibiotics

On February 20, 1901, French-born American microbiologist, experimental pathologist, environmentalist, humanist, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize René Jules Dubos was born. Dubos is credited for having made famous Jacques Ellul‘s environmental maxim, “Think globally, act locally” (penser global, agir local). In Research, he is best known for his pioneer work in isolating antibacterial substances from certain soil microorganisms and the discovery of major antibiotic. Dubos was born in Saint-Brice-sous-Forêt,…
Theodosius Dobzhansky and the Unifying modern Evolutionary Synthesis

Theodosius Dobzhansky and the Unifying modern Evolutionary Synthesis

On January 25, 1900, American geneticist and evolutionary biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky was born. Dobzhansky was a central figure in the field of evolutionary biology for his work in shaping the unifying modern evolutionary synthesis. He made the first significant synthesis of Charles Darwin‘s theory of evolution with Gregor Mendel‘s theory of genetics in his book Genetics and the Origin of Species (1937). “[Evolution] is a general postulate to which all…
Alec Jeffreys and the Genetic Fingerprint

Alec Jeffreys and the Genetic Fingerprint

On January 9, 1950, British geneticist Alec Jeffreys was born. In 1984, Jeffreys developed techniques for DNA fingerprinting and DNA profiling which are now used worldwide in forensic science to assist police detective work and to resolve paternity and immigration disputes. When Alec Jeffreys grew up, his father is known to have supported his curiosity, even though an accident with sulphuric acid left a permament scar on his chin. Less dangerously, Jeffreys also received…
Alfred Romer and the Evolution of Vertebrae

Alfred Romer and the Evolution of Vertebrae

On December 28, 1894, American paleontologist and biologist Alfred Sherwood Romer was born. Romer was a a specialist in vertebrate evolution. He studied the evolution of early vertebrates in biological terms of comparative anatomy and embryology. He researched muscle and limb evolution, the development and evolutionary history of cartilage and bone, and the structure and function of the nervous system. Youth and Education Alfred Romer was born in White Plains,…
Sewall G. Wright and Population Genetics

Sewall G. Wright and Population Genetics

On December 21, 1889, American geneticist Sewall Green Wright was born. Wright is known for his influential work on evolutionary theory and also for his work on path analysis. He was a founder of population genetics alongside Ronald Fisher and J.B.S. Haldane, which was a major step in the development of the modern evolutionary synthesis combining genetics with evolution. Sewall Wright was the brother of the aeronautical engineer Theodore Paul…
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