italy

Rita Levi-Montalcini and the Nerve Growth Factor

Rita Levi-Montalcini and the Nerve Growth Factor

On December 30, 2011, Italian neurologist and Nobel laureate Rita Levi-Montalcini passed away. Levi-Montalcini was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly with colleague Stanley Cohen for the discovery of nerve growth factor (NGF), which stimulates and influences both the normal and abnormal the growth of nerve cells in the body. “In life one should never give in, surrender oneself to mediocrity, but rather move out of that grey area…
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Cesare Lombroso – The Father of Criminology

Cesare Lombroso – The Father of Criminology

On November 6, 1835, Italian criminologist and physician Cesare Lombroso was born. Lombroso was the founder of the Italian School of Positivist Criminology, and is often referred to as the father of criminology. He rejected the established classical school, which held that crime was a characteristic trait of human nature. Instead, using concepts drawn from physiognomy, degeneration theory, psychiatry and Social Darwinism, Lombroso‘s theory of anthropological criminology essentially stated that criminality was…
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Laura Bassi – the first Woman with a University Chair

Laura Bassi – the first Woman with a University Chair

Between October 20 and October 29, 1711, Italian physicist and academic Laura Maria Caterina Bassi was born. Bassi is referred to as being the first woman to earn a professorship in physics at a university in Europe and is recognized as the first woman in the world to earn a university chair in a scientific field of studies. She contributed immensely to the field of science while also helping to spread the…
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Giovanni Battista Piranesi and the Art of Etching

Giovanni Battista Piranesi and the Art of Etching

On October 4, 1720, Italian Classical archaeologist, architect, and artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi was born. Piranesi is famous for his etchings of Rome and of fictitious and atmospheric “prisons” (Le Carceri d’Invenzione). Giovanni Battista Piranesi – Family Background Piranesi was born in Venice. He was the son of a stonemason who also worked as a construction manager. The first written document about Giovanni Battista Piranesi is his entry in the baptismal register of…
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Luigi Galvani and the Discovery of Bioelectricity

Luigi Galvani and the Discovery of Bioelectricity

On September 9, 1737, Italian physician, physicist and philosopher Luigi Aloisio Galvani was born. He is best known for his discoveries in bioelectricity. In particular, he discovered that the muscles of dead frogs legs twitched when struck by a spark. As a legacy, Galvani’s name survives in the Galvanic cell, Galvani potential, galvanic corrosion, the galvanometer and galvanization. Moreover, his reports also heavily influenced famous author Mary Shelley writing her novel ‘Frankenstein‘.[4] “When…
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Adventure Time with Emilio Salgari

Adventure Time with Emilio Salgari

On August 21, 1862, Italian writer of action adventure swashbucklers and a pioneer of science fiction Emilio Salgari was born. For over a century, his novels were mandatory reading for generations of youth eager for exotic adventures. Many of his most popular novels have been adapted as comics, animated series and feature films. He is considered the father of Italian adventure fiction and Italian pop culture, and the “grandfather” of the Spaghetti…
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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 – Early Years Camillo Golgi was born near Brescia in northern Italy. His father was a…
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Paolo Veronese and the Venetian painting of the Late Renaissance

Paolo Veronese and the Venetian painting of the Late Renaissance

On April 19, 1588, Italian Renaissance painter Paolo Veronese passed away. The Venetian painter is best known for extremely large history paintings of religion and mythology. Together with Titian and Tintoretto, Veronese is one of the “great trio that dominated Venetian painting of the cinquecento” and the Late Renaissance in the 16th century. “We painters use the same license as poets and madmen.” – Paolo Veronese, Testimony to the Inquisition in Venice (18…
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Filippo Brunelleschi – the first modern Engineer

Filippo Brunelleschi – the first modern Engineer

On April 15, 1446, Italian Renaissance architect, designer, sculptor, and engineer Filippo Brunelleschi passed away. He is considered to be a founding father of Renaissance architecture and is now recognized to be the first modern engineer. In 1421, Brunelleschi became the first person to receive a patent in the Western world. He is most famous for designing the dome of the Florence Cathedral. Filippo Brunelleschi – Early Years Filippo Brunelleschi was the…
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