A Selected Chronological Bibliography of Biology and Medicine


Part 2A


c. 1810— 1857



Compiled by James Southworth Steen, Ph.D.

Delta State University


Dedicated to my loving family


This document celebrates those secondary authors and laboratory technicians without whom most of this great labor of discovery would have proved impossible.


Please forward any editorial comments to: James S. Steen, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, DSU Box 3262, Cleveland, MS 38733. jsteen08@bellsouth.net


c. 1810

Mary Anning (GB) was celebrated as the outstanding fossil collector of her time. Among the many fossils collected and prepared by her are the first ichthyosaur skeleton and the first plesiosaur skeleton known to the English community. The ichthyosaur fossil was probably discovered sometime between 1809 and 1811, when Mary was only 10 to 12 years old. And while Mary did find the majority of the remains, her brother had discovered part of the animal twelve months earlier. Most of Mary's finds ended up in museums and personal collections without credit being given to her as the discoverer of the fossils (1840). Note: Ichthyosaurs flourished c. 200-190M. Pleisosaurs flourished c. 203-66 M.



William Hyde Wollaston (GB) isolated cystic oxide (cystine) from unusual kidney stones (1187; 2132). Note: This was the second amino acid to be discovered.

Jöns Jakob von Berzelius (SE) named it cystine (Gk. cystine, bladder) (1931).

Karl Axel Hampus Mörner (SE) was the first to isolate cystine from a protein hydrolysate (animal horn) (1249).

Richard August Carl Emil Erlenmeyer, Jr. (DE) was the first to synthesize cystine (618; 619).


Louis Antoine Planche (FR) observed that extracts of plant roots would turn alcoholic solutions of guaiac resin a blue color. The agent responsible for this change was found to be water-soluble and thermolabile (1454; 1455). This represents an early account of enzymatic activity.


Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac (FR) found that grape juice preserved for over a year by the Appert method would upon opening ferment within a few days. An unopened control bottle of Appert’s grape juice remained unchanged.

Finding that bottles of Appert’s preserves showed no oxygen Gay-Lussac concluded that this gas must play a vital part in the fermentation process. He introduced some small and intact grapes into a bell jar standing over mercury. He filled the jar several times with hydrogen gas to displace any oxygen and he then ruptured the grapes by means of an iron rod and watched the effect. For twenty-five days no fermentation had taken place, but it soon occurred when he admitted into the bell jar some bubbles of oxygen. The oxygen introduced was soon proved to have disappeared while carbon dioxide was evolved. From this Gay-Lussac concluded that oxygen was necessary to start fermentation but not for its continuance. Grape juice, which had been preserved and poured into a fresh bottle, could be re-preserved by subsequent heating. These results obtained with grape juice were also found to apply to preserved meat, fish, and mushrooms (725).


Pierre André Latreille (FR) originated the invaluable notion of type species of a genus. This concept, quite new at the time, is particularly known from the Table des Genres avec l'Indication de l'Espèce qui leur sert de Type (1056). Note: Similarly, he favored the method of naming families after one of the constituent genera, rather than some defining feature of the group, implicitly designating a type genus for the family.


Robert Brown (GB) was the first to demonstrate that the gymnosperms (conifers, ginkgo, and cycads) are a group apart from the angiosperms (flowering plants) and distinguished from these in having naked ovules. He was the first to explain the floral morphology and pollination in the Asclepiadaceae (Milkweed family) (297).

Phillip Parker King (GB) quotes Brown, “It would entirely remove the doubts that may exist respecting the point of impregnation, if cases could be produced where the ovarium was either altogether wanting, or so imperfectly formed, that the ovulum itself became directly exposed to the action of the pollen…such, I believe, is the real explanation of the structure of Cycadeae, of Coniferae, of Ephedra, and even of Gnetum.” (990)


Gaspard Laurent Bayle (FR) pointed out that tubercles might be present in patients before symptoms appear and correlated tubercles with cavity formation. He described acute miliary tuberculosis, tubercular laryngitis, lymphadenitis and enteritis, and insisted that tuberculosis was a specific disease, not a condition brought on by another disease (87).


Franz Joseph Gall (DE-FR) and Johann Gaspar Spurzheim (DE) were the first to point out that the nerve tissue we call gray matter is important in higher thought processes while the white matter represents connecting nerves. They demonstrated that the cranial nerves issue from the medulla oblongata and not the cerebral hemisphere. They also promoted the belief that character traits and mental aberrations are organic, inborn, god given; espousing the idea that a careful study of the external appearance of the skull could be used to predict the talents and mental characteristics of the possessor (phrenology) (714; 715).


Thomas Copeland (GB) wrote the first English book on general colo-rectal surgery (423).



“ On laying bare the roots of the spinal nerves, I found that I could cut across the posterior fasciculus of nerves which took its origin from the posterior portion of the spinal marrow without convulsing the muscles of the back, but that, on touching the anterior fasciculus with the point of the knife, the muscles of the back were immediately convulsed.” Charles Bell (94)


Georges Léopold Chrétien Frédéric Dagobert Cuvier (FR) and Alexandre-Théodore Brongniart, Jr. (FR) concluded from their studies of sedimentary rock strata in the Paris Basin that the relative position of a layer is an indication of its relative age (293; 456; 457).


Lorenzo Romano Amedeo Carlo Avogadro (IT) proposed that two equal volumes of gases of any type, if kept at the same pressure and temperature, contain equal numbers of molecules. This became known as Avogadro’s law (57).


Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac (FR) and Louis Jacques Thénard (FR) determined the elementary composition of sugar for the first time (724).


Henri Braconnot (FR) isolated d-mannite, the sweet principle of manna, from Agaricus mushrooms. He claimed that it was non-fermentable (229; 230). The manna that is used as an agreeable food in the East, and as a purgative for children in the West is caused to flow from the Tamarix mannifera shrub, by the punctures of a small insect, Coccus maniparus.


Henri Braconnot (FR), working with mushrooms, discovered fungine (chitin), the earliest known polysaccharide (228).

Antoine Odier (FR) in his survey of the insect cuticle renamed fungine as chitine (meaning tunic in Greek) (1348). It is spelled chitin in German and English.

Charles Marie Benjamin Rouget (FR) isolated chitosan (1604).


Louis Odier (CH) discovered greatly enlarged and very painful nerves, which he named neuromes (neuroma) (1349).

William Wood (GB) observed and described neuromas in 24 amputation stumps (2133).


Caspar Wistar (US) wrote the first systematic treatise on anatomy to be published in North America (2121). His friend Thomas Nuttall (GB) named the wisteria vine for him.


Peter Cullen (GB) defined a case of splenitis acutus with unexplainable milky blood (447).

Alfred-Armand-Louis-Marie Velpeau (FR) described a 63-year-old florist who developed an illness characterized by fever, weakness, urinary stones, and substantial enlargement of the liver and spleen. Velpeau noted the blood of this patient had a consistency "like gruel” and speculated the appearance of the blood was due to white corpuscles (1885).

Alfred Francois Donné (FR) detected a maturation arrest of the white blood cells (532).

John Hughes Bennett (GB) used the term leucocythemia to describe this pathological condition (102).

John Hughes Bennett (GB) and Rudolph Ludwig Karl Virchow (DE) were the first to describe chronic myeloid leukemia; Virchow’s description was post-mortem (102; 1897).

Rudolf Ludwig Carl Virchow (DE) coined the term leukemia and was the first to describe the abnormal excess of white blood cells in patients with the clinical syndrome described by Velpeau and Bennett (1906). Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) or acute lymphoid leukemia is an acute form of leukemia, or cancer of the white blood cells, characterized by the overproduction of cancerous, immature white blood cells—known as lymphoblasts.


Elisha North (US) wrote an essay concerning the epidemic of spotted fever in New England.  This is the first book on cerebrospinal meningitis; in it North recommended the use of the clinical thermometer, not in general use until the time of Wunderlich (1334).


Gaspard Vieusseux (CH), in 1810, was the first to describe lateral medullary infarction, noting, "Vertigo, unilateral facial numbness, loss of pain and temperature appreciation in the opposite limbs, dysphasia [sic] and hoarseness, minor tongue involvement, hiccups (cured by taking up the habit of a morning cigarette) and a drooped eyelid." (1186)

Adolf Wallenberg (DE) provided a very detailed description of the clinical signs of lateral medullary infarction with accurate localization of the lesion in the lateral medulla supplied by the posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA). He later proved this at postmortem (2043-2045). This condition is often called Wallenberg’s syndrome.


John Syng Dorsey (US) successfully ligated the external iliac artery (535).



Karl Friedrich Gauss (DE) wrote Theoria Combinationis Observationum Erroribus Minimis Obnoxia [Theory of Least Squares] (723). This is basic to the statistical evaluation of data.


Joseph von Fraunhofer (DE), in 1812, invented an achromatic objective consisting of two different lenses in contact with one another. He and Pierre Louis Guinand (CH) developed ways to free optical glass of imperfections. They continued to improve lenses and prisms with additional inventions (910).


Joseph von Fraunhofer (DE) invented the spectroscope and discovered the 574 dark lines in the solar spectrum. These lines were later named for him. He also measured the wavelength of sodium light by means of diffraction grating (1945).


Konstantin Sigizmundovich Kirchhof; Gottlieb Sigismund Constantin Kirchhof (DE-RU) obtained the hydrolysis of starch to sugars in dilute acids (sulfuric, nitric, oxalic, etc.) (995).


Johann Jacob Paul Moldenhawer (DE) had the idea that vascular bundles are complex structures composed of xylem and phloem (1241).


Louis Nicolas Vauquelin (FR) discovered phospholipids while studying material extracted from brain tissue. He also noted that the medulla oblongata and the spinal cord contain more fatty material and less protein than grey matter (1883).


William Charles Wells (US-GB), in an often-ignored study, applied the principle of natural selection to the evolution of man. The application was limited to the question of how different skin colors arose (2081).

Patrick Matthew (GB) predates Charles Robert Darwin (GB) in the proposal of a theory of natural selection. In his book, On Naval Timber and Arboriculture, he wrote, "As nature, in all her modifications of life, has a power of increase far beyond what is needed to supply the place of what falls by Time's decay, those individuals who possess not the requisite strength, swiftness, hardihood, or cunning, fall prematurely without reproducing -- either a prey to their natural devourers, or sinking under disease, generally induced by want of nourishment, their place being occupied by the more perfect of their own kind, who are pressing on the means of subsistence. There is more beauty and unity of design in this continual balancing of life to circumstance, and greater conformity to those dispositions of nature which are manifest to us, than in total destruction and new creation. It is improbable that much of this diversification is owing to commixture of species nearly allied, all change by this appears very limited, and confined within the bounds of what is called species; the progeny of the same parents, under great differences of circumstance, might, in several generations, even become distinct species, incapable of co-reproduction." (1200)


Napoleon's army was attacked again by typhus and dysentery (the "bloody flux") during his invasion of Russia, both on the march eastward and again on the return, where disease was exacerbated by severe cold and starvation. It is estimated that only about 30,000 survived of the nearly 600,000 troops that began the campaign (1012).


René-Joachim-Henri Dutrochet (FR) was one of the first to place the rotifers in their own separate natural group, the class Rotifera (584). They are in the phylum Aschelminthes (or Nemathelminthes).


Kaspar Friedrich Wolff; Caspar Frederick Wolff) (DE-RU) described the embryonic development of the intestines in the chick (2128-2130).


Guillaume Dupuytren (FR) was the first to successfully excise the lower jaw, in 1812 (576).


Antonio Scarpa (IT) pinned an authoritative work on hernia, from which are derived the eponyms Scarpa's fascia and Scarpa's triangle of the thigh (1647).


Georges Léopold Chrétien Frédéric Dagobert Cuvier (FR) was the first to extend the system of classification to fossils. He suggested that fossils found in the area around Paris are thousands of centuries old. This casual observation pushed the age of the earth well beyond its commonly accepted limits. Cuvier also published a paper explaining that the fossil animals he studied bore no resemblance to anything still living. In short, Cuvier proposed the theory of extinction. He coined the word pterodactyl (wing-finger). For his discoveries related to fossils he is considered the founder of paleontology (449-451; 453; 455; 1614). Through the rigorous application of his correlation theory Cuvier was able to correctly identify entire animals from a few bones and demonstrate that these animals were indeed extinct, e.g. he identified pterosaurs as flying reptiles. His conclusions represented the foundation of modern paleontology, yet they would be largely ignored for many years (452).


The New England Journal of Medicine was founded (1128).


Proceedings of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Amsterdam was founded.



"But these are deeds which should not pass away,

And names that must not wither." George Gordon (Lord Byron) (762)


David Brewster (GB) suggested that viewing would be improved if the front element of a microscope’s objective lens could be immersed in the liquid in which the object of study was mounted. It is he who recommended that oil immersion would improve achromatic viewing (246).


Jöns Jakob Berzelius (SE) established that the elements in inorganic substances are bound together in definite proportions by weight (the law of constant proportions) (139; 140).


Bernard Courtois (FR) was the first to prepare iodine when he observed purple vapors rising from kelp ashes that he had acidified with sulfuric acid and heated. The purple vapors condensed on a cold surface, forming nearly black crystals (438). Note: He performed this experiment in 1811.

Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac (FR) reported that the substance he calls iode is likely an element (726). Later he is confident it is a new element (727).

Humphrey Davy (GB) tested the substance Courtois had discovered and pronounced it a new element, which he named iodine (479).


Michel-Eugène Chevreul (FR) was the first to report the participation of water during the saponification process (365).


Michel-Eugène Chevreul (FR) was the first to isolate the following acids: margaric (a mixture of palmitic and stearic acids), butyric, caproic, capric, and isovaleric (acide phocénique), along with stearic (stearine), palmitic, and oleic, the three most common and important constituents of fats and oils. He determined that spermaceti, the wax-like substance from the head of the sperm whale, when boiled with alkali, produced soap, later identified as potassium palmitate, but did not yield glycerol as a residue. The residue was insoluble in water but soluble in alcohol and ether. He called it cetin, which was later identified as cetyl alcohol. He was the first lipid specialist to discover the concept of fatty acids and clearly demonstrate that fats have the structure of ethereal salts and are a combination of glycerol and fatty acids, easily separated by saponification (364; 368).


Jean Vincent Félix Lamouroux (FR) provided an important advance in the study of the algae when he became the first to propose a system of classification into major taxa based in part on color. He proposed a general classification for the marine algae, which he divided into Fucaceae, Florideae, Dictyoteae, Ulvaceae, Alcyonideae, and Spongodieae. Except for the last two, these groups have been maintained in present classifications. He discovered two distinct types of reproduction among the Florideae 1) tubercles called seeds (cystocarps) and 2) capsules called tetrasporocysts. Lamouroux described many new genera of algae (1046; 1047).


Frederick Pursh; Frederick Traugott Pursh (DE) described plants from some forty European collections along with some brought back from "The Lewis and Clark Expedition", or "Corps of Discovery Expedition" (1804–1806) in his Flora Americae Septentrionalis (1503). He is honored by the genus Purshia (Rosaceae).


Augustin Pyramus de Candolle (CH), in his book Théorie Élémentaire de la Botanique, introduced the word taxonomy to mean the classification of plants based on their gross anatomy (489). He was the first to perceive the major trends of floral evolution in the angiosperms. In 1824, he initiated the monumental Prodromus Systematis Naturalis Regni Vegetabilis, which proposed to classify and describe every species of known seed plant including its ecology, phytogeography, and evolution. De Candolle produced the first seven volumes; the remaining 10 were completed under editorship of his son. His system of plant classification is largely in use today (490; 491).


John Hay (GB) gave an excellent account of a family exhibiting hereditary hemophilia (837).


Thomas Bateman (GB) described papular urticaria, calling it lichen urticus. He said that its first appearance was in the form of irregular inflamed wheals, so closely resembling the spots excited by the bites of insects as almost to deceive the observer. The inflammation subsides in a day or two leaving small, elevated, itching papules. The old wheals subside while new ones appear in succession until the whole body and limbs are spotted with papules which here and there become confluent in small patches. Both the wheals and the papules are accompanied by intense itching (82). Note: This condition, as of the year 2016, is considered to be a hypersensitive reaction to insect bites.


Francois Magendie (FR) and Gilbert Breschet (FR) observed that rabies could be induced in healthy dogs using the saliva from rabid humans and that it could be transmitted from carnivores to herbivores. Although they did this work together around 1813-1820 Magendie published in 1821 and Breschet waited until 1840 (61; 243; 1160).


Francois Magendie (FR) proved that the stomach is passive rather than active in vomiting. This was essentially correct; however, he did fail to observe the active role of the pyloric end of the stomach (1168).


Francois Magendie (FR) showed that the epiglottis is not necessary for swallowing, which disproved the accepted doctrine that the epiglottis was necessary to cover the glottis to prevent food from entering the trachea (1157).


Antonio Scarpa (IT) presented the first illustrations of arteriosclerosis (1645).


Felix Vicq d'Azyr (FR) discovered the claustrum, a thin layer of grey matter outside the external capsule of the brain, dividing it from the white matter of the insula (1890).


Henry M. Onderdonk (US), in 1813, successfully ligated the femoral artery (1355).



“ Tout m ́dicament d’ailleurs n’est pas ́galement bien indiqu ́ ` toute heure” (“All medicines are not equally indicated effective given at different hours of the day”) Julien-Joseph Virey (1912).


 Jean-Jacques Colin (FR), Henri-Francois Gaulthier de Claubry (FR), and Friedrich Strohmeyer (DE) independently discovered that iodine reacts with starch to form a blue color (403; 1789).

Francois-Vincent Raspail (FR) introduced the starch-iodine reaction into botanical microtechnique. He described the distribution of starch in flower, fruit, and embryo of the Gramineae. He also introduced the frozen section technique (69; 1523).


William Forsyth (GB), in 1802, first described the use of lime-sulfur against powdery mildew on fruit trees (689).

David Weighton (GB), in 1814, suggested a mixture of sulfur with lime water to treat mildew on fruit trees (2074; 2075).


Benjamin Collins Brodie (GB) reported, "Respecting the functions of the stomach, I divided these nerves [the vagi] in the neck of a dog, for the purpose of ascertaining the influence which they possess on the secretion of the gastric juice…. We may conclude that the suppression of the secretions…sufficiently demonstrate, that the secretions of the stomach and intestines are very much under the control of the nervous system." (287)


Karl Frederich Burdach (DE) observed that, "…in the frog, the little ovum freed from the ovary is carried to the far distant orifice of the oviduct; in birds, however, and in mammals, as in man, the tube is connected to the ovary and, having encircled that, takes that fluid into itself; this movement next is accomplished through the swelling of the tube and the filling of its vessels." He further noted, "The fetus just produced freely swims in the amniotic liquid" and "…the amnion, in fact, rolled around the umbilicus and investing the fetus, is seen to form the skin." (326; 1225) Amnion comes from the Greek amnos, meaning lamb; named no doubt, in some ancient sheepfold when the ewes were giving birth.


Julien-Joseph Virey (FR) envisioned biological rhythms to be innate in origin and controlled by living clocks entrained by periodic environmental changes, such as the day-night alternation in light and darkness. He also reported that the effects of drugs vary according to their administration time. But, above all, he collected and published quantified time series that demonstrated human circadian and annual mortality rhythms. Statistical analysis of Virey's data using modern time series methods confirms his deduction that human mortality exhibits rhythmicity (1563; 1912).


Robert C. Graham (GB) first described a clinical condition later to be called Leriche syndrome (768).

René Leriche (FR) described a constellation of symptoms in male patients, which became known as Leriche syndrome or aortoiliac occlusive disease. The syndrome consists of the following triad: (a) absent or diminished femoral pulses; (b) intermittent claudication with pallor, coldness and diffuse muscle atrophy of both the lower extremities; and (c) impotence. Leriche believed that segmental atherosclerosis caused this syndrome and proposed that restoration of the blood supply could be curative. He suggested in the 1920s that resection of the obliterated segment and repair with a vascular graft would be the ideal treatment for this syndrome (1084; 1085).

Jean Kunlin (FR) realized Leriche’s prediction when in 1947 he successfully performed the first end-to-side anastomosis using an autogenous venous graft (1034; 1035). Note: because of fibrotic conditions end-to-end anastomoses could not be done on the patient in the 1951 paper. Kunlin had no other choice but end-to-side implantations of the venous graft into the femoral artery above and below the resected area. Thus, the bypass graft procedure was born by serendipity.

Jacques Oudot (FR) was the first to resect the terminal aorta for the Leriche syndrome. He replaced the aorta with a preserved 24-day-old homologous aortic graft using end-to-end anastomoses. Six months later, because of thrombosis of the right iliac limb of the graft, Oudot placed a crossover graft from the left distal external iliac to the right external iliac—the first extra-anatomic bypass graft (1361).


Abraham Colles (IE) wrote a paper on treatment of fracture of the carpal extremity of the radius, which was so masterful that this fracture came to be known as a Colles fracture. He treated the fracture with tin splints to stabilize the wrist after closed reduction of the fracture (404).



"Why has not anyone seen that fossils alone gave birth to a theory about the formation of the earth, that without them, no one would have ever dreamed that there were successive epochs in the formation of the globe?" Léopold Chrétien Frédéric Dagobert Cuvier (454). See: Anaximander, c. 580 B.C.E. and Xenophanes c. 570-480 B.C.E.


William Prout (GB) speculated that the atomic weights of all the elements are exact multiples of that of hydrogen or half that of hydrogen (1488).


Jean Baptiste Biot (FR) showed that when organic compounds are liquid or in solution they might, in effect, rotate polarized light either clockwise or counterclockwise. He suggested that this was due to an asymmetry that might exist in the molecules themselves (161). This represents the origin of stereochemistry.

Jean Baptiste Biot (FR) and Jean-Francois Persoz (FR) gave the name dextrin to the sugar solution produced when starch is hydrolyzed with mineral acids because the resulting solution rotates polarized light to the right (162).


Heinrich August Vogel (DE) discovered that glucose reduces heavy metals dissolved in alkaline solution causing deposition of the metal and oxidation of the glucose. This phenomenon would later be used as the basis for several tests for sugars (1913).

Carl A. Trommer (DE) introduced alkaline copper sulfate solution as a sensitive test for glucose (1854).

Hermann Christian Fehling (DE) greatly improved on the sensitivity of Trommer’s test for glucose with his aqueous solution of copper sulfate, sodium tartrate, and sodium hydroxide (634).

Friedrich August Kekulé von Stradonitz (DE) interpreted this reaction to indicate that glucose is an aldehyde. Ref

Rudolf Fittig (DE) stated that the simple sugars contain aldehyde groups (669).

Heinrich Kiliani (DE) proved this to be correct (987).


Konstantin Sigizmundovich Kirchhof; Gottlieb Sigismund Constantin Kirchhof (DE-RU) preformed an experiment, which converted four parts of water, two parts of starch, and malt into a starch paste. This paste began to liquefy into sweet syrup. His results showed that gluten had the capacity to convert a larger quantity of starch into sugar. Thus, Kirchhoff laid the foundation for the discovery of amylase (994).


William Kirby (GB), William Spence (GB) and Agostino Bassi (IT) were among the first to suspect that fungi could infect insects (78; 79; 993). Note: William Kirby (GB) and William Spence (GB) wrote An Introduction to Entomology (first edition in 1815). This was the first modern entomology text (993).


Michel-Eugène Chevreul (FR) demonstrated that the sugar from the urine of a diabetic is identical with grape sugar (glucose). This was an important step in recognizing that diabetes is a disease of sugar metabolism (366).


Abraham Colles (IE) was the first to tie the subclavian artery (405).

Charles Aston Key (GB) successfully ligated the subclavian artery for aneurysm at the axilla (985).


Johann Friedrich Meckel (called the Younger) (DE) produced a teratology, which was the first comprehensive, analytical description of human congenital birth defects. He was one of the first to recognize that certain defects represent merely the persistence of anatomical conditions that are normal at an earlier stage of the embryo, e.g. cleft palate and ectopia cordis (abnormally superficial position of the heart). Other defects he attributed to local disturbances of growth during embryonic development (1210; 1212).


Francisco Romero (ES), in the opinion of some, became the first heart surgeon when, in 1801, he performed an open pericardiostomy to treat a pericardial effusion. The patient was a 35-year-old farmer named Antonio de Mira from whom five pounds of bloody fluid was drained after which he made a good recovery; going back to work in 4 months. Three years after the operation his only complaint was pain in the incision. Romero presented his work at the Society of the School of Medicine in Paris in 1815 (45; 1757).

Henry C. Dalton (US) sutured a pericardial wound. The operation took place on September 6, 1891 (461).

Daniel Hale Williams (US), on 9 July, 1893, treated a stab wound victim by sewing up a tear in the pericardium but leaving the heart muscle itself alone, allowing a small nick there — about one tenth of an inch in length — to heal on its own (2102). This does not qualify as open-heart surgery.


Benjamin Winslow Dudley (US), a remarkable surgeon in "rural" Kentucky, performed 225 lithotomies, the first 100 without death, successfully trephinated the skull in five patients, and successfully ligated the subclavian artery for axillary aneurysm and the common carotid for an intracranial aneurysm.

While Dudley was professor of anatomy and surgery in the medical department of Transylvania University in Lexington, it was considered equal to the best medical schools in the east. As a youth he managed to study with a local practitioner on the Kentucky frontier then graduate with an M.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania, in 1806. After a brief period of practice in Kentucky he raised the funds to send himself to Europe where he studied with many of the medical luminaries of his time before returning to Lexington, Kentucky (559; 1179).


Guillaume Dupuytren (FR) successfully ligated the external iliac, 1815 (577).


Jacques Lisfranc (FR) devised an operation for partial amputation of the foot at the tarsometatarsal articulation (1111).


Jean Etienne Dominique Esquirol (FR) distinguished between “petit mal” and “grand mal” (620).



John Vaughan Thompson (IE), in 1816, trailed a fine muslin hoop net in the seas off Madagascar to collect small life forms. See, Thompson, 1829.

John Cranch (GB) almost simultaneously used fine nets to collect small aquatic life forms during the James Kingston Tackey expedition to the river Zaire (Congo) (1068). Note: Thompson and Cranch were possibly the first to collect and describe plankton.


Jean Vincent Félix Lamouroux (FR) described marine hydrozoa and bryozoa (1047).


William Jackson Hooker (GB) wrote British Jungermanniae, which established hepaticology (the study of liverworts) as an independent discipline (897). He became director of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in 1841. An energetic director, he and his son, Joseph Dalton Hooker, oversaw a rapid growth in the garden's library and land holdings taking it to a world-famous status. Joseph Dalton Hooker became director in 1865.


William Prout (GB) showed that the urine of a boa constrictor contains 90 percent uric acid (1489).

William Prout (GB) discovered that uric acid reacts with ammonia to yield murexide, which has a violet color. This color reaction became the basis for a delicate test for uric acid (1490).


René-Joachim-Henri Dutrochet (FR) demonstrated the analogy between the fetal envelopes in ovipara and vivipara suggesting a unity of the main features in the development of animals (585).


Karl Ferdinand von Graefe (PL-DE), in 1816, and Philbert Roux (FR), in 1819, independently performed the first closure of congenital cleft soft palate (1772; 1952).


Marie-Jules-César Lelorgne de Savigny (FR) established the homology of the jaws with other appendages of all insects whether biting or sucking (498).

Martin Heinrich Rathke (DE) in a paper on the isopod, Asellus, then on many other invertebrates, recognized that antennae, jaws, and feet exhibit developmental homology (1537; 1539).


John King (US), in 1816, operated for abdominal pregnancy, saving both mother and child (989).



The first great cholera pandemic of the 19th century swept Asia, probably originating near Calcutta and spreading from there throughout Southeast Asia, Japan and China. The death toll from this outbreak is not known, however, based on the 10,000-recorded deaths among British troops, researchers estimate that hundreds of thousands across India succumbed to the disease. In 1820, 100,000 people died on the Indonesian island of Java alone. Although it spread as far as Southern Russia and the Middle East, an exceptionally cold winter in 1823-24 kept it from reaching Western Europe (1012). Note: Scholars usually refer to a wave of seven cholera pandemics, and generally describe them as occurring 1817-23, 1826-37, 1846-63, 1865-75, 1881-96, and 1902-23, and 1961-present (1219).



"Nature has neither core nor shell; she is everything at once." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1949)


Pierre-Jean Robiquet (FR) was the first to note the chemical nature of narcotine and isolate it in a pure state (1594).


Johann Baptist von Spix (DE) and Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius (DE) conducted zoological and botanical explorations of Brazil (1817–1820) (1756).


Francois Magendie (FR) isolated emetine (1159).

Edward Bright Vedder (US) was the first to demonstrate the value of emetine in the treatment of amoebic dysentery (1884).

Leonard Rogers (GB) established the clinical use of emetine in the treatment of amoebic dysentery (1597; 1598).


Pierre-Joseph Pelletier (FR) and Joseph-Bienaimé Caventou (FR) isolated and named chlorophyll (chlorophyll, Greek, green leaf) (1418).


Amos Eaton (US) wrote his Manual of Botany for the Northern States, which was an important predecessor of Gray's Manual (593).


Leopold Gmelin (DE) described the bile acids and developed the Gmelin Test for detecting the presence of bile pigments (1830). He was also the first to apply the names ester and ketone to two classes of organic compounds. His most notable contribution, however, was the Handbuch der Chemie, first published in a 2-volume version in 1817 and 1819 and later enlarged to 13 volumes. The work was translated into English as Handbook of Chemistry (19 vol., 1848-71) (738).


Thomas Bateman (GB) and Robert Willan (GB) first described and later assigned a name to molluscum contagiosum, a cutaneous and mucosal eruption of a contagious nature (83; 84).

William Henderson (GB) and Robert Paterson (GB) described the intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies now known as molluscum bodies or Henderson-Paterson bodies (302; 852; 1406).

Max Juliusberg (DE), Udo J. Wile (US), and Lyle B. Kingery (US) were able to extract filterable virus from lesions of molluscum contagiosum and show transmissibility (968; 2096).

Ernest William Goodpasture (US) later described the similarities of molluscum and vaccinia (758).


Henry Jacob Bigelow (US) compiled a survey of the medicinal plants of the United States. It was one of the first two books in America to include plates printed in color (153). Bigelow also co-authored the first national pharmacopoeia in 1820.


Alexandre John Gaspard Marcet (CH-GB) found xanthine in kidney stones—naming it xanthic oxide (1187).


Karl Friedridi Philipp Martius (DE) was the first to describe the hyphomycetes (1194).


Christian Heinrich Pander (LV), from his study of over a thousand chick eggs announced the trilaminar structure of the chick blastoderm, a terminology that he coined. He suggested that developing chick embryos contain three germ layers. The delamination of the blastoderm (young embryo) results in the formation of the mucous membrane (endoderm) and the serous membrane (ectoderm). The serous membrane undergoes delamination, giving rise to a third layer, the vascular membrane (mesoderm) (1383; 1384).


Francois Magendie (FR) wrote the first modern physiology textbook in which the importance of nitrogenous foods (protein) in the diet of mammals was demonstrated (1158).


James Parkinson (GB) wrote a little known medical monograph entitled Observations on the Nature and Cure of Gout, however, his Essay on the Shaking Palsy gained him immortality in the annals of medicine. He described what became known as Parkinson’s disease thus, “Involuntary tremulous motion, with lessened muscular power, in parts not in action and even when supported; with a propensity to bend the trunk forwards, and to pass from a walking to a running pace: the senses and intellect being uninjured” (1396; 1397).

Jean-Martin Charcot (FR) and Edme Félix Alfred Vulpian (FR), four decades later, added rigidity to Parkinson's excellent clinical description and attached the name la maladie de Parkinson [Parkinson's disease] to the syndrome (359; 360).

Edouard Brissaud (FR) and Henry Meige (FR) suggested that paralysis agitans (Parkinson’s) might be due to a vascular lesion in the substantia nigrans of the mid-brain (283).

Constantin Trétiakoff (FR) provided pathological evidence, which supported Brissaud’s suggestion (1848).

Charles Foix (FR) and Jean Nicolesco (FR) showed that the specific lesions in Parkinson’s disease are in the substantia nigra of the mid-brain (685; 686).

Herbert Ehringer (AT) and Oleh Hornykiewicz (AT) showed that brain dopamine is lower than normal in Parkinson's disease patients (609).

Walther Birkmayer (AT) and Oleh Hornykiewicz (AT) injected Parkinson’s disease patients with L-DOPA thereby producing a spectacular improvement of all motor deficits of the patients (166).

Oleh Hornykiewicz (AT) proved the existence of a nigro-striatal dopamine pathway in the human brain (906).

George Constantin Cotzias (GR-US), Paul S. Papavasiliou (US), and Rosemary Gellene (US) demonstrated the effectiveness of accommodating patients to large daily dosages of L-DOPA in the treatment of Parkinson's disease (435; 436).

Jan J. Korten (NL), Antoine Keyser (NL), Ed M.G. Joosten (NL), Fons J.M. Gabreëls (NL), and Eileen Critchley (GB) introduced the use of carbidopa (Sinemet) as a treatment for Parkinson's disease (4; 442; 1017).

Eric Olaf Backlund (SE), Per-Ola Granberg (SE), Bertil Hamberger (SE), Evert Knutsson (SE), Anders Martensson (SE), Göran C. Sedvall (SE), Ake Sieger (SE), and Lars Olson (SE) surgically transplanted parts of the adrenal medulla autologously into the brain of a patient with severe Parkinson's disease (60). The results have been promising.

Mihael H. Polymeropoulos (GR-US), Christian Lavedan (US), Elizabeth Leroy (US), Susan E. Ide (US), Anindya Dehejia (US), Amalia Dutra (US), Brian Pike (US), Holly Root (US), Jeffrey Rubenstein (US), Rebecca Boyer (US), Edward S. Stenroos (US), Settara Chandrasekharappa (IN-US), Aglaia Athanassiadou (GR), Theodore Papapetropoulos (GR), William G. Johnson (US), Alice M. Lazzarini (US), Roger C. Duvoisin (US), Giuseppe Di Iorio (IT), Lawrence I. Golbe (US), and Robert L. Nussbaum (US) discovered a mutation in the alpha-synuclein gene identified in families with Parkinson's disease (1465).


Thomas Bateman (GB) and Robert Willan (GB) described the nature of recurrent Herpes simplex virus infection accurately as "a restricted group of localized vesicles with a short, self-limited course." This publication was particularly important because it contained descriptions of herpes iris (now known as erythema multiforme) and eczema due to external irritation. It also contained descriptions of molluscum contagiosum (84).


Eugène Houssard (FR) described chronic subdural hematoma which he thought was of inflammatory origin (909). Chronic subdural hematoma had been recognized by Wepfer in 1657.


The first issue of the Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia was published. It is the first natural history journal from North America.



"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” Arthur Schopenhauer (DE) (1672)


Jöns Jakob Berzelius (SE) discovered selenium (141).


Pierre-Joseph Pelletier (FR) and Joseph-Biènaimé Caventou (FR) reported the isolation of pure strychnine from the beans of Strychnos ignatii (Saint Ignatius’s bean) and Strychnos nux vomica (1419; 1420).


Michel-Eugène Chevreul (FR) identified what he called cholestérine (cholesterol) (Gk. Chole, bile + stereos, solid) as an unsaponifiable fat (367).


Georg August Goldfuss (DE) coined the name Protozoa (Gk, protos, first, zoon, animal) but he did not restrict it just to the protozoa as we know them today (746).


Giovanni Battista Amici (IT) described circulating protoplasm in Chara cells (31).


Pieter de Riemer (NL) appears to have been the first to freeze tissues in order to permit fine sectioning and to use anatomical sections for anatomical illustration (496).


Thomas Nutall (GB), while in North America, worked on the Torrey and Gray Flora of North America, and three volumes of an updated version of F. Andrew Michaux's North American Sylva. His Genera of North American Plants and a Catalogue of the Species of the Year 1817 was the first of its kind prepared by an on-the-spot American botanist (949; 1344).


Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire (FR) wrote Philosophie Anatomique, in which he asked the question: "Can the organization of vertebrated animals be referred to one uniform type?" The answer for Geoffroy was yes: he saw all vertebrates as modifications of a single archetype, a single form. Vestigial organs and embryonic transformations might serve no functional purpose, but they indicated the common derivation of an animal from its archetype. Geoffroy spent much time drawing up rules for deciding when structures in two different organisms were variants of the same type -- in modern terminology, when they were homologous. He observed the way embryos develop in different animals and that the central nervous system of an insect lies along its belly while that of a human lies along its back. From this he theorized that they represented two lineages from a common ancestor (1623). This work provided important evidence, which Darwin used in his On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.


Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg (DE) while studying Syzygites megalocarpus (Sporodina grandis) described the fungal zygospore for the first time. This was the first recognition of sex in the fungi (603).


John Cheyne (GB) and William Stokes (IE) described what came to be called Cheyne-Stokes respiration. This is characterized by breathing with rhythmical variations in intensity, i.e., occurring in cycles (370; 1779).

Camille Biot (FR) described an abnormal pattern of breathing characterized by groups of quick, shallow inspirations followed by regular or irregular periods of apnea. In common medical practice, Biot's respiration is often clinically equivalent to Cheyne-Stokes respiration (160). Note: This breathing pattern is seen in medullary compression of the brain, the Biot sign.


Valentine Mott (US) was the first to ligate the innominate artery for aneurysm. The patient was a fifty-seven-year-old sailor at New York Hospital. The anesthesia administered was a drink containing seventy drops of tincture of opium. The patient survived for twenty-five days (1252).

Elias S. Cooper (US) removed the medial end of the clavicle and a portion of the upper end of the sternum to improve the exposure to the innominate artery, this being the first time this valuable maneuver was employed during ligation of the innominate. The patient was treated for a combined aneurysm of the common carotid and subclavian arteries. He survived for nine days postoperative (422).

Andrew Woods Smyth (US) was the first surgeon to report long-term survival after ligation of the innominate artery. The operation took place at the Charity Hospital in New Orleans on 15 May 1864. Dr. Smyth ligated the right common carotid and the innominate for an aneurysm of the right subclavian artery in a 32-year-old mulatto man. The patient survived for eleven years (1741).


Astley Paston Cooper (GB) successfully ligated the common carotid and the external iliac arteries for aneurysms. In 1817, he performed the first recorded case of ligation of the aorta for aneurysm. The patient's right leg remained viable, but the left leg was totally ischemic, livid, and cold, and the patient died 40 hours later. Cooper’s fascia (the fascia transversalis) and Cooper’s hernia (retroperitoneal hernia) are named to commemorate him. He developed widely followed methods of treating dislocations and fractures (415-421).


Guillaume Dupuytren (FR) was the first to successfully treat aneurysm by compression (574).



Theodor von Grotthuss; Theodor Christian Johann Dietrich von Grotthuss (DE) was the first to recognize that light can bring about some chemical reactions as it is absorbed by molecules (1953).

 John William Draper (GB-US) rediscovered that light can bring about some chemical reactions as molecules absorb it (543). The Draper-Grotthuss law is an expression of their discovery.


Nicolas Clement (FR) and Charles Desormes (FR) performed experiments between 1819-1824) which led to the introduction of the term calorie for the unit of heat (24). Their calorie was a kg-calorie (modern kcal). It was defined as the quantity of heat to raise a kg of water by 1-degree C. About 1929 this definition was superseded when a committee of the British Academy of Sciences proposed the g-calorie as an alternate unit of energy (1087).


Henri Braconnot (FR) boiled various plant products such as sawdust, linen, and bark with acid and from the process obtained glucose (231). This had previously been obtained by the boiling of starch with acid. See, Kirchhof, 1815.

It was easy to decide that the molecule of starch was built up out of glucose units and that in many plants there must be some nonstarch material that was also built up out of glucose units. It was this nonstarch material that he was breaking down.


Louis Jacques Thénard (FR) is credited with the discovery of hydrogen peroxide, the enzyme catalase, and being the first to analyze an enzymatic reaction quantitatively (1802).

Oscar Loew (US) is also credited with the discovery of catalase. See, Oscar Loew, 1901.

James Batcheller Sumner (US) and Alexander L. Dounce (US) crystallized catalase (1793).


Joseph Louis Proust (FR) was the first to isolate leucine. It came from among the fermentation products of milk. He called it oxyde caséique (1487).

Henri Braconnot (FR) isolated and named leucine (Gk. leukos, white) from muscle tissue and wool (232).

Gerardus Johannes Mulder; Gerrit Jan Mulder (NL) was the first to secure leucine in relatively pure form and assign to it a correct formula (1269; 1272). Leucine was proved to be aminoisocaproic acid in 1891.


Pierre-Joseph Pelletier (FR) and Joseph-Bienaimé Caventou (FR) isolated the alkaloids brucine and veratrine (1421).


Simon Rudolph Brandes (DE) isolated atropine in a very pure form (234).

Philipp Lorenz Geiger (DE) and Heinrich F. Mein (DE) purified atropine from belladonna (Atropa belladonna) roots and hyoscyamine from henbane (731; 1215). Atropine is used to treat thirty plus ailments from hay fever to the tremors of Parkinson’s disease (paralysis agitans). Belladonna gets its name from the fact that ladies used it in eye drops to make their eyes sparkle. It blocks acetylcholine in the musculature of the iris resulting in dilation.

Simon Rudolph Brandes (DE) isolated an impure sample of atropine, an alkaloid, from Atropa belladonna a member of the Solanaceae. He tested its effects on himself and birds (235).

 Alfred Ladenburg (DE) isolated the alkaloid hyoscine (scopolamine) from the Solanaceae. It is similar in structure to atropine and hyoscyamine and blocks acetylcholine (1042).


Louis Adelbert von Chamisso; Louis Charles Adélaiede de Chamissot (DE) used the phrase alteration of generations (metagenesis) when he described the life cycle of tunicates (benthic invertebrates) (1939).

Johannes Japetus Smith Steenstrup (DK) explained how alternation of asexual and sexual generations occurs among the coelenterates, trematodes, and tunicates (1767; 1769). He is commemorated by Steenstrupia Forbes, 1846; Onchnesoma steenstrupi Koren & Danielssen, 1875; Lepidophyllum steenstrupi Odhner, 1902; Melinnacheres steenstrupi Bresciani & Lützen, 1961; Prionospio steenstrupi Malmgren, 1867; Myxicola steenstrupi Krøyer, 1856; Mimonectes steenstrupii Bovallius, 1885; Hesione steenstrupii de Quatrefages, 1866.


Karl Asmund Rudolphi (SE-DE) was the first to describe dicroceliasis in man. This is an infection, usually of the biliary duct, by the trematode fluke Dicrocoelium dendriticum, which Rudolphi named (1612; 1613).

Arthur Looss (DE) discovered D. hospos (1122).

Wendell H. Krull (US) and Cortland R. Mapes (US) published the full life cycle in a series of papers from 1951-1953 detailing their observations and experiments. It was known that D. dendriticum affected sheep, but everything else was a mystery. The first link in the chain was the discovery of the first intermediate host, the land snail Cochlicopa lubrica (synonym: Cionella lubrica). Next came the discovery that the slime balls coughed up by the snails could be a potential method of transfer of the parasite. Shortly thereafter, the ant, Formica fusca was found to be the second intermediate host by which sheep were infected (1024).


Johann Gottfried Bremser (DE-AT) provided an accurate classification of Enterobius vermicularis (Oxyuris vermicularis), distinguishing it from other oxyurids and ascarids. Commonly called the pinworm, it is the etiologic agent of the the most pervalent nematode infection of humans in temperate climates, affecting mainly children less than 12 years of age (240).


Charles Turner Thackrah (GB) found that blood collected after flowing over tissues, say in an open wound, coagulated more quickly than if the blood had been drawn directly from the blood vessel (1799; 1800). This was the first reported evidence for what William Henry Howell (US) would name tissue factor and Pierre Nolf (FR) would name thromboplastic substance (911; 912; 1331).


John Bostock (GB) gave an excellent clinical description of hay fever (summer catarrh) (199).


René-Théophile-Hyacinthe Laënnec (FR) was the first to realize that damage in the lungs and small grey nodules scattered throughout the body are both manifestations of pulmonary tuberculosis. In 1816, he invented the stethoscope (Gk. the chest, to look at), an instrument whose use for listening to the chest was popularized by Nikolai Sergeievich Korotkoff (RU). Laënnec coined words like rales, bronchophony, pectoriloquy, and egophany. He described the symptomology, the clinical course, the physical findings, and the pathological anatomy of pneumonia, apoplexy of the lungs, gangrene, emphysema, cysts of the lung, tuberculosis, pleurisy, pleural effusion, pneumo-thorax, edema of the lungs, pulmonary tuberculosis, pulmonary abscess and gangrene, bronchiectasis, infarction, vesicular and bronchial breathing, amphoric and cracked-pot resonance, metallic tinkling, presystolic thrill which he described but misunderstood, and alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver which he described and christened. He was the first to recognize the unity of the tuberculosis condition, which had previously been thought to be several different diseases. He noted variations in the heart’s contractions with or without palpable pulse reflecting atrial fibrillation (1043-1045).


Karl Frederich Burdach (DE) named the globus pallelus or globus pallidus (pale clump) and the putamen (shell) and described in detail the fasciculus gracilis. He will be remembered as a neuroanatomist with his name associated as in Burdach’s fiber, fissure, nucleus, and tract. He named claustrum, brachium conjunctivum (superior cerebellar peduncle), and the cuneus. Finally, he localized vision in the posterior part of the brain and assigned the sensation of consciousness to the thalamic region of the brain (327).

William Benjamin Carpenter (GB) would take this idea further when he linked the thalamus with the cerebral cortex by saying, "The Sensory Ganglia constitute the seat of consciousness not merely for impressions on the Organ of Sense, but also for changes in the cortical substance of the cerebrum so that until the latter have reacted downwards upon the Sensorium, we have no consciousness either of the formation of ideas, or of any intellectual process of which these may be the subjects." (338)

George N. Thompson (US) and Johannes M. Nielsen (US) "concluded that the engramme system essential to crude consciousness is located where the mesencephalon, subthalamus, and hypothalamus meet." (1804)


Philbert-Joseph Roux (FR) performed the first staphylorrhaphy (surgical closure of a cleft palate) in 1819 (1607).


Guillaume Dupuytren (FR) successfully ligated the subclavian artery (575).


The American Journal of Science was founded.



Eleven physicians meet in Washington, D.C., to establish the U.S. Pharmacopeia, the first compendium of standard drugs for the United States. Only 217 drugs that met the criteria of “most fully established and best understood” were admitted.


Pierre-Joseph Pelletier (FR) and Joseph-Bienaimé Caventou (FR) isolated and purified the alkaloid colchicine, which they extracted from meadow saffron (Colchicum autumnale), also called autumn crocus (1422).

John Want (GB) discovered that colchic (colchicine) from Colchicum autumnalis was the secret ingredient in “medicinal water” used to treat gout (2058).

Alfred Houdé (FR), in 1884, obtained a crystallized preparation of colchicine (908).


Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge (DE) isolated an alkaloid stimulant from mocha beans and named it caffeine (1615).

Pierre-Joseph Pelletier (FR) isolated caffeine from coffee beans (1416).

Hermann Emil Fischer (DE) and Lorenz Ach (DE) synthesized caffeine (667).


Henri Braconnot (FR) isolated what he called sucre de gélatine (later named glycocolle, then glycine) by heating gelatin in the presence of dilute sulfuric acid. Initially he thought glycine was a sugar because of its sweet taste (232). This was the first instance in which a pure amino acid was obtained from a protein by acid hydrolysis. Glycine is also called aminoacetic acid.

Auguste Laurent (FR) determined the correct empirical formula for the amino acid glycine (1059).

William Henry Perkin (GB) and Baldwin F. Duppa (GB) synthesized glycine by treating bromoacetic acid with ammonia. This was the first amino acid to be manufactured (1426).

Robert Brainard Corey (US) and Gustav Albrecht (US) determined the structure of the amino acid, glycine. This was the first amino acid structure solved (425).


Frederick Christian Accum (DE), working in England, wrote a treatise in which he described the numerous kinds of food adulteration practiced at the time and the various methods available to detect them. This treatise had an impact on most of the civilized world and spawned a generation of books on the subject in England, the United States, and Europe. Ultimately, it resulted in the modern era of food regulatory statutes (8). Thomas Wakeley (GB), Member of Parliament and founder and editor of The Lancet, set up a sanitary commission whose findings led to the passage of the Adulteration Act and Sale of Food and Drugs Act.


Christian Friedrich Nasse (DE) formulated Nasse's law: hemophilia occurs only in males and is passed on by unaffected females (1306).

Johann Lukas Schönlein (DE) coined the term hemophilia (1670).


William Norris (GB) noted that fungoid disease (melanoma), a pigmented skin cell cancer, was especially prevalent in one family under study. This of course suggested a familial influence on the appearance of the cancer (1333).


Charles Robert Harington (GB) and George Barger (GB) determined the structure of thyroxine and synthesized it (815).


Martin Heinrich Rathke (DE) reported on the embryonic development of the genital and urinary organs (1530; 1535).


Robert Gooch (GB) described postpartum psychosis (756).



Stephen Elliott (US) authored the remarkable, A Sketch of the Botany of South Carolina and Georgia (614). He is commemorated by the genus Elliottia.


Johann Friederich Meckel (called the Younger) (DE) proposed that higher animals, during their development, pass through the stages of lower animals, through which periodical and class differences can be traced (1211).


Jean-Antoine Colladon (CH) observed what is now recognized as dominance when he crossed grey and white mice and found that their offspring were always either grey or white, but never intermediates. He continued these experiments as far as the third generation and it is evident that what he was doing was to make back-crosses between heterozygous grey mice and homozygous recessive white mice; but the absence of blending, itself a discovery, led him to conclude that grey mice and white mice were different species (487; 495). Some consider this the discovery of the law of hybridization.


Pierre-Fidèle Bretonneau (FR) proposed the general theory that different diseases are due to different specific causes. He said, “The specificity of diseases is proved by such a mass of facts, and there is probably no truth better demonstrated and more fruitful.” This concept is often referred to as the doctrine of etiological specificity. In 1821, he read a paper before the Paris Académie de Médecine in which he concluded that a sizable epidemic of throat distemper which occurred in and about Tours, France in 1819 was due to a specific disease, characterized by the formation of a false membrane in the respiratory tract. He asserted that croup, malignant angina, and scorbutic gangrene of the gums were all the same malady, a specific disease, for which he proposed the name diphtérite (diphtheritis), because of the unique membrane in the throat, clearly differentiating it from other afflictions of the throat. Diphtheritis is derived from two Greek words, one meaning skin or membrane and the other meaning inflammation. Later the designation was changed to diphtheria, the term by which the disease is known today. Bretonneau said, “it is vain to deny that contagion, if not the source of epidemics, is the source of most epidemics.” He also demonstrated the typical ulcers on Peyer’s patches in cases of typhoid fever and differentiated these from tuberculous lesions (244; 245). Pierre-Fidèle Bretonneau (FR) recorded the first successful use of tracheotomy in a case of diphtheria (1219).


Antonio Scarpa (IT) provides a classic description of sliding hernia, or hernia of the large bowel (1646).


Valentine Mott (US), in 1821, excised the right side of the lower jaw, after ligating the carotid artery (1253).


Charles Waterton (GB) opened the world's first nature reserve on the grounds of his estate at Walton Hall near Wakefield, England.


Le Journal de Physiologie Expérimentale was founded. It is the first periodical devoted exclusively to physiology (1179).



Marie Humbert Bernard Gaspard (FR) thoroughly investigated the process of putrefaction in animals. At this time, putrefaction was believed to be intimately associated with the development of septicemia, pyemia, putrid infection, and putrid intoxication. It was supposed that these conditions were due to the absorption of putrid substances into the blood stream because the injection of putrid matter into an animal invariably led to illness or death (720; 721). Note: The modern definition of putrefaction is the enzymatic decomposition of organic matter, especially proteins, by anaerobic microorganisms, with formation of malodorous substances such as indole, skatole, cadaverine, and putrescine. Pyemia is the disease state due to the presence of pyogenic microorganisms in the blood and the formation, wherever these organisms lodge, of embolic or metastatic abscesses. Septicemia is a severe bacteremic infection usually involving invasion of the bloodstream. Sepsis is the poisoning of an individual by products of putrefaction, or a severe toxic febrile state resulting from infection with pyogenic microbes, with or without septicemia.


Francois Magendie (FR) introduced to medicine the effects and uses of morphine, veratrine, brucine, piperine, emetine, as well as quinine, and strychnine (1161; 1164).


Herbert Mayo (GB) assigned the motor nerve fibers of the face muscles to the VIIth nerve, the facial nerve, and common sensibility to the Vth nerve, the trigeminus (1205).


Etienne Geoffrey Saint-Hilaire (FR), Detlev Arendt (DE), Katharina Nubler-Jung (DE), Scott A. Holley (US), P. David Jackson (US), Edward Michael de Robertis (US), Yoshiki Sasai (US), Lu Bin (US), F. Michael Hoffmann (US), and Edwin L. Ferguson (US) provided evidence that there was an inversion of the dorsoventral axis during animal evolution. A conserved system of extracellular signals provides positional information for the allocation of embryonic cells to specific tissue types both in Drosophila and vertebrates; the ventral region of Drosophila is homologous to the dorsal side of the vertebrate. Developmental studies are now revealing some of the characteristics of the ancestral animal that gave rise to the arthropod and mammalian lineages, for which De Robertis and Sasai proposed the name Urbilateria (43; 44; 497; 893; 1622). 


Pierre Salomon Ségalas d'Etchepare (FR) found that polyuria follows an injection of urea (1704).

Friedrich Wöhler (DE) was the first to introduce the idea that the role of the kidney is to keep in equilibrium the blood content of water and of those substances, which appear in the urine. He observed that the blood is alkaline while the urine is acid; the urine becomes alkaline after the ingestion of the salts of organic acids; the solutes of the urine are excreted independently of one another; and an excess of solute in the urine entails an increased excretion of water (2122). This work is the origin of the concept of osmotic diuresis.

Charles Chossat (FR) found a connection between urinary water excretion and the excretion of “animal substances,” that is, those containing nitrogen (371).

Friedrich G. Goll (CH), Karl Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig (DE), and Max Hermann (AT) showed that urine flow could be stopped by lowering the blood pressure by either bleeding, compression of the renal artery, stimulation of the vagus, or by cutting the spinal cord and that diuresis results from a rise of blood pressure (751; 870).

Charles Robert Richet (FR) and Robert Mustard-Martin (FR) revealed that: intravenous lactose, saccharose, levulose, and dextrose each caused the immediate appearance of the sugar in the urine, followed by an increase in urine flow within the first minute (1582; 1583); the polyuria was dependent on the amount of sugar that was injected and not on its concentration (1584).

Charles Eduard Hédon (FR) and Jean Arrous (FR) discovered that the diuretic response to the intravenous injection of the same weight of various sugars is proportional to their molar concentration (843).

Emile Charles Achard (FR) and Joseph Castaigne (FR) developed a urinary test using methylene blue dye to examine kidney function. The criterion used was to find the percentage of dye, injected subcutaneously, that showed up in the urine within a 24-hour period (9).

Hermann Strauss (DE), Georges Fernand Isidore Widal (FR), André Lemierre (FR), and Adolphe Javal (FR) concluded that edema is due solely to the urinary retention of sodium chloride and introduced the low sodium diet for congestive heart failure (1786; 1787; 2089-2092).

Leo Ambard (FR) provided a way to globally evaluate renal function by using the ratio plasma urea/urine urea output. This Ambard's Constant is the initial step of the concept of clearance (30).


Karl Friedrich Burdach (DE), in 1822, named the cingular gyrus (the collosal convolution) and distinguished lateral and medial geniculate (knee -like bends) (327).


Jean Zuléma Amussat (FR) was one of the inventors of lithotripsy (33).


James Carson (GB) discussed the value of induced pneumothorax for the treatment of a diseased lung (340).

Carlo Forlanini (IT) proposed that ablation of the lung or artificial pneumothorax could be a positive contribution to the therapy of phthisis (tuberculosis) (688).

William Cayley (GB) used artificial pneumothorax induced by pleural incision to treat intractable hemoptysis (347).


Samuel Jackson (US) mentions what later became known as Korsakoff’s psychosis in a review of the peripheral neuritis of alcoholism (954).

 Sergei Sergeievich Korsakoff; Sergei Sergeyevich Korsakov (RU) emphasized the association of alcoholic polyneuropathy with a specific pattern of mental disturbance— Korsakoff’s psychosis— as follows: "This mental disorder appears at times in the form of sharply delineated irritable weakness of the mental sphere, at times in the form of confusion with characteristic mistakes in orientation for place, time and situation, and at times as an almost pure form of acute amnesia, where the recent memory is most severely involved, while the remote memory is well preserved . . . Some have suffered so widespread memory loss that they literally forget everything immediately.” This syndrome is characterized by a severe memory defect, especially for recent events, for which the patient compensates by confabulation (1015). Korsakoff wrote on paranoia (paranoia hyperphantastica as he described it in his textbook) and classified psychiatric illnesses (1016). Known as a humanitarian, he improved conditions in mental institutions. He was the first great psychiatrist in Russia. He is considered a moral genius, as were Philippe Pinel (FR) and Jean-Martin Charcot (FR).


Alexandre-Francois Ollivier (FR) produced experimental hospital gangrene by autoinfection (1351).


Storks injured by arrows (termed as pfeilstorch in German) traceable to African tribes were found in Germany in 1822 and constituted some of the earliest evidence of long distance migration in European birds (808).


Jean-Baptiste-Julien d' Omalius d'Halloy (BE) first used the term Terrain Cretace (Cretaceous Period) to describe chalk and greensand of Northern France (1353; 1354). The Cretaceous is usually noted for being the last portion of the Age of Dinosaurs, but that does not mean that new kinds of dinosaurs did not appear then.


William Daniel Conybeare (GB) and William Phillips (GB) named the Carboniferous Period in their book Outlines of Geology of England and Wales (413).


William Buckland (GB) published an account of how ancient hyenas lived and fed, in Kirkdale cave near Kirkbymoorside in the Vale of Pickering, North Yorkshire, England. Bones in the cave included hippopotamus (the farthest north any such remains have been found), elephant, and the remains of numerous cave hyenas and their coprolites. This is one of the first descriptions of living habits based on fossil evidence (316). Note: Material covering the bones dates them at c. 125 K BP. Note: The word archaeologists now use for fossil feces – coprolites – is a word invented by Buckland.


Gideon Algernon Mantell (GB), as an amateur paleontologist, discovered and described from Cretaceous England many fossilized animals including: Megalosaurus, Iguanodon, Pelorosaurus, the first discovered brachiosaur, and Hylaeosaurus (1183; 1184).


The German scientific society Versammlungen Deutscher Naturforscher und Ärzte was founded at Leipzig.



Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner (DE) discovered that powdered platinum greatly accelerates certain chemical reactions (522).

Jöns Jakob von Berzelius (SE) was to later name this phenomenon katalytische kraft (catalytic power) (1933-1936). The term is coined on page 243 of the 1836b article. See, Fulhame, 1794


Joakim Frederik Schouw (DK) wrote Grundzüge einer Allgemeinen Pflanzengeographie in which he divided the vegetation of Europe into twenty-two botanical regions, and, thereby became a co-founder of scientific phytogeography (1673).


John Vaughn Thompson (IE) first discovered the nature of crustacean larvae between 1823 and 1826. By observing the transformation of a zoea into a 10-legged megalopa and the metamorphosis of swimming cyprids into benthic barnacles, Thompson not only clarified the taxonomic affinities of barnacles (originally considered baby geese, then molluscs) and zoeae (previously a distinct genus of uncertain affinity), but also paved the way for further work on invertebrate larvae (1806; 1808).


Thomas Stewart Traill (GB) made the first attempt to determine the fat content of human blood. He found 4.5% of liquid fat in his sample (1843). Audubon named the Traill's Flycatcher after him.


Herbert Mayo (GB) discovered that the optic tubercles and the crura of the brain give the pupillary reflex when the stump of the optic nerve is irritated (1206).


Alexandre John Gaspard Marcet (CH-GB) gave the earliest description of a case of what would later be called alcaptonuria. It was in a male infant 17 months of age. The child’s diaper was stained a deep purple color immediately after birth. The urine turned black soon after being voided and exposed to the air. It exhibited rapid blackening with alkalies and a failure of acids to restore the original color (1188).


Léon Rostan (FR) suggested that cerebral softening might be caused by defective arterial supply to the brain. He said, "…this change in the brain seems often to be a senile degeneration, showing great similarity to the gangrene of old age. As in the latter disease cerebral softening appears to be a disorganization in which the vessels designed to bring blood and life to the affected organs are ossified…by the process of old age." He pointed out that cerebral softening may be confined to the cortex of the brain and that this malady is accompanied by loss of memory, loss of voluntary movement, mental derangement, senile dementia, and finally by complete coma (1603).


Charles-Édouard Brown-Séquard (FR) proved that cerebral activity is dependent on oxygen pro