(Roughly) Daily

“If the left one don’t get you, then the right one will”*…

 

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Via GOOD: from the Black Death to the measles, rapidly spreading diseases have taken a toll on humanity for centuries.  Here’s a look at the biggest and deadliest pandemics ever.

* Merle Travis, “Sixteen Tons”

As we reach for the hand sanitizer, we might send biodegradable birthday wishes to German physiologist Theodor Schwann; he was born on this date in 1810.  In the course of his illustrious career, Schwann identified the role of microorganisms in putrefaction, formulated the basic principles of embryology (that the egg is a single cell that develops into a complete organism), identified “Schwann cells” in the peripheral nervous system, discovered pepsin, determined the organic nature of yeast, and coined the term “metabolism.”  But he is best remembered for defining the cell, the basic unit of living structure, in Mikroskopische Untersuchungen (1839)– and in so doing, laying the foundation for the cell theory, an accomplishment that has earned him the honorific “Father of Histology.”

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Written by LW

December 7, 2011 at 1:01 am

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