physiology

The Clinical Teaching of Herman Boerhaave

The Clinical Teaching of Herman Boerhaave

On December 31, 1668, Dutch botanist, chemist, Christian humanist and physician Herman Boerhaave was born. Boerhaave is regarded as the founder of clinical teaching and of the modern academic hospital and is sometimes referred to as “the father of physiology”. He is best known for demonstrating the relation of symptoms to lesions and, in addition, he was the first to isolate the chemical urea from urine. He was the first physician that…
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Karl von Frisch and the Dancing Bees

Karl von Frisch and the Dancing Bees

On November 20, 1886, Austrian ethologist and Nobel Laureate Karl Ritter von Frisch was born. His work centered on investigations of the sensory perceptions of the honey bee and he was one of the first to translate the meaning of the waggle dance, which he described in his 1927 book “Aus dem Leben der Bienen” (The Dancing Bees). He received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1973, along with Nikolaas Tinbergen and…
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Archibald Hill and Biophysics

Archibald Hill and Biophysics

On September 26, 1886, English physiologist and Nobel Laureate Archibald Vivian Hill was born. Hill is one of the founders of the diverse disciplines of biophysics and operations research. He shared the 1922 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his elucidation of the production of heat and mechanical work in muscles. At Trinity College, Cambridge,  Archibald Hill studied mathematics and took the Mathematical Tripos. After graduation, Hill was supported by his teacher Walter Morley Fletcher…
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Stephen Hales and the Blood Pressure

Stephen Hales and the Blood Pressure

On September 17, 1677, English clergyman Stephen Hales was born. Hales made major contributions to a range of scientific fields including botany, pneumatic chemistry and physiology. He was the first person to measure blood pressure. He also invented several devices, including a ventilator, a pneumatic trough and a surgical forceps for the removal of bladder stones. In addition to these achievements was a philanthropist and wrote a popular tract on alcoholic intemperance. Stephen Hales…
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Ida Henrietta Hyde and the Microelectrode

Ida Henrietta Hyde and the Microelectrode

On September 8, 1857, American physiologist Ida Henrietta Hyde was born. Hyde is known for developing a micro-electrode powerful enough to stimulate tissue chemically or electronically, yet small enough to inject or remove tissue from a cell. The microelectrode has been said to have revolutionized neurophysiology. Ida Henrietta Hyde grew up in Chicago, where she was sent to a public school. In 1871, the family home was destroyed in the Great Fire…
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Theodor Kocher and the Thyroid Gland

Theodor Kocher and the Thyroid Gland

On August 25, 1841, Swiss physician and Nobel Laureate Emil Theodor Kocher was born. Kocher received the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work in the physiology, pathology and surgery of the thyroid. Among his many accomplishments are the introduction and promotion of aseptic surgery and scientific methods in surgery, specifically reducing the mortality of thyroidectomies below 1% in his operations. Born in Bern, Switzerland, Theodor Kocher was the son…
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Roger Wolcott Sperry’s Split-Brain Research

Roger Wolcott Sperry’s Split-Brain Research

On August 20, 1913, American neuropsychologist, neurobiologist and Nobel laureate Roger Wolcott Sperry was born. Sperry is known for his work with split-brain research. in particular for his study of functional specialization in the cerebral hemispheres. He was responsible for overturning the widespread belief that the left brain is dominant by showing that several cognitive abilities were localized in the right brain. Roger Sperry was born in Hartford in 1913 and grew…
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Wilhelm Wundt – Father of Experimental Psychology

Wilhelm Wundt – Father of Experimental Psychology

On August 16, 1832, German physician, physiologist, and philosopher Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt was born. He is one of the founding figures of modern psychology and was the first person to ever call himself a psychologist. In 1879, Wundt founded the first formal laboratory for psychological research at the University of Leipzig. This marked psychology as an independent field of study. Wilhelm Wundt is the youngest child of a Palatinate Protestant pastor and…
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Sir Victor Horsley – A Pioneer in Neural Surgery

Sir Victor Horsley – A Pioneer in Neural Surgery

On April 14, 1857, English physiologist and neurosurgeon Sir Victor Horsley was born. Horsley was a pioneer in surgery on the brain and spinal cord. His best-known innovation is the Horsley–Clarke apparatus (developed together with Robert H. Clarke in 1908) for performing the so-called stereotactic neurosurgery, whereby a set of precise numerical coordinates are used to locate each brain structure. Victor Horsley was born in Kensington, London. He became active in the…
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William Harvey and the Blood circulation

William Harvey and the Blood circulation

On April 1, 1578, English physician William Harvey was born. Harvey made seminal contributions in anatomy and physiology. He was the first known to describe completely and in detail the systemic circulation and properties of blood being pumped to the brain and body by the heart. William Harvey first studied at Folkestone, then King’s School, Canterbury. Later he joined Gonville and Caius College in Cambridge. William Harney graduated as a Bachelor of…
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