By Isaac Asimov
In four hundred B.C., whilst Hippocrates wrote a ebook claiming that epilepsy, the “sacred disease,” used to be a average illness and never a visitation of demons, the technological know-how if biology can be acknowledged to have all started. given that then, curious naturalists have studied animals and plans, medical professionals hae sought solutions to very functional questions. The technology of biology has grown—slowly first and foremost, preventing and beginning back, and development within the final century to a crescendo that has now not but reached its peak.
This concise, authoritative booklet lines the intriguing improvement of the technological know-how of lifestyles, from the traditional Greeks throughout the huge fulfillment of Charles Darwin to the explosive progress of molecular biology that's leading to today’s nice breakthroughs in genetics and medication. Written by way of Isaac Asimov, affiliate Professor of Biochemistry at Boston college and writer of various books on technology, this can be a hugely readable, brilliant advent to the heritage and ideas of biology.
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An English botanist and chemist, Stephen Hales (1677-1761), was one of the ex- study. It gases with COMPOUNDS AND CELLS 47 He published a book in 1727, in which he described experiments by which he measured the rates of plorers. plant growth, and the pressure of sap, so that he sidered the founder of plant physiology. He also, is con- however, experimented with a variety of gases and was the first to recognize that one of them, carbon dioxide, contributed somehow nourishment of plants. In this he corextended) Van Helmont's view that was water alone out of which plant tissues were formed.
Moreover, when he traced these small vessels back to their a individually, coalescence into larger vessels, the latter proved to be one direction, arteries in the other. and veins were, therefore, indeed connected by a network of vessels too small to be seen with the unaided eye, as Harvey had supposed. These microscopic vessels were named "capillaries" (from Latin words meaning "hairlike," though actually they are much finer than hairs). This discovery, first reported in 1660, three years after Harvey's death, completed the theory of the circuveins in Arteries lation of the blood.
His town enemies among the medical his opinions. Paracelsus did ence, or e\en by that in Basel in 1527, his opinions as publicly as possible, of the books of Galen and Avicenna in the As is to posterity. own theories were not much Greek theories against which he railed so but it was a time when iconoclasm was neces- better than the furiously, sary- and valuable in itself. His loud irreverence against the ancients could not help but shake the pillars of orthodox thought and although Greek science kept its stranglehold on the European mind for a while longer, the hold was weakening perceptibly.
A Short History of Biology by Isaac Asimov