Considerate quanto bene v'apra la porta per farvi entrar alla participazion di quella onoratissima cognizione, senza la quale il saper computare e misurare e geometrare e perspettivare non è altro che un passatempo da pazzi ingeniosi.

Giordano BRUNO

Table of Contents

The Roman Empire and after
Seventeenth century
The Enlightment
Origin of life
Symbiosis, immunology
Blood groups
Metabolism, macromolecules



After the capture of Constantinople by the Turks

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These pages represent a biased choice of dates relevant to biology, obtained by compiling a great many different sources, often using the original texts and not the WWW; the information collected here does not use Wikipedia which, by construction, relies on a process akin to a vote, and changes over time in order to reflect some kind of a popular anonymous consensus about knowledge. Care has been taken to check information and rewrite it when needed; direct access links to the original sources is provided whenever possible; however date records still contain many errors; the links are chosen to be as diverse as possible, they do not engage the responsability of the author. Note however that many WWW links are generally unstable, so that many might be obsolete despite regular checks.

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29 may 1453 At a time when the luminous period of Islamic science and philosophy finishes to be tragically destroyed, Constantinopolis is captured by the Turks, ending the era of a united Europe from West to East, and starting the development of modern Europe, centered on the Western countries, with the end of the Medieval Ages and a general reappraisal of the Greek philosophy, shifting from emphasis on Aristotle to emphasis on Plato. This is a transition period where Latin and French are slowly replaced by English (with a large corpus, borrowed from Latin and Greek) in Science. French (Anglo-Normand) remains the language of power and aristocracy in England and Scotland until ~1400, while Latin is the only language of Philosophy and Science. Both are replaced by vernacular English, shifting Science from the realm of clerical research to that of aristocrats or bourgeois people interested in collecting objects and developing philosophical reasoning independently of the Church. This attitude is essential in the exploration of the world, that culminates in the discovery of the New World a few decades later.

1470 Lorenzo de Medici (Firenze 1449 - Firenze 1492) the magnificent ruler of Firenze, creates a School for talented artisans, where one studies geometry, grammar, philosophy and history, supporting Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.

1485 Girolamo Savonarola (Ferrara, 1452 - Firenze, 1498) a Dominican friar from the convent of San Marco begins to harangue the Florentines with prophetic language of the Apocalypse.

1489 Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499) who restores the study of Plato writes an influential book on the nature of life: De vita libri tres in which he relates the world soul to the human soul.

1492 Leonardo da Vinci (Firenze 1452 - 1519), both artist and mechanician (painting and mechanics were often taught together in those times) draws many varieties of human anatomic figures, in particular the famous Man of Vitruve.

1496 Giovanni Arcolani (Ioannis Herculani) (ca. 1390 -1458) teaches medicine in Bologna and in Padova after the teaching of Rhazes and Avicenna. He publishes an Expositio in primam sen quarti Canonis Avicenne. He seems to be the first to have introduced gold to fill dental caries.

1515 Alessandro Achilini (1463 - Bologna, 1512), sometimes named "the second Aristotle" publishes works in the domain of anatomy, in parallel with his work on movement.

1518 Jacopo Berengario da Carpi (~1460 – 1530) publishes his Tractatus de fractura calve sive cranei a carpo editus where he discusses prognosis, diagnosis and treatment, as well as the technique of craniotomy, after a polemic raised by the treatment of Laurent de Medici who had cranial fracture after a battle.

1522-1523 Berengario publishes the first detailed anatomic description of the human body in a series of illustrations, Isagogae breves per lucide ac uberrime in anatomiam humani corporis, correcting the basal knowledge still based on arabic medicine obsolete for a long time already.

1526 Girolamo Frascatoro (Verona, 1483 or 1478-1553) both physician and mathematician, describing an epizootic disease that was probably foot and mouth disease. He publishes De contagione et contagionis morbis in which he separates between two forms of contagion; direct contagion between persons as in leprosy and phthisis and indirect contagion transmitted by seminaria, germs transported by air, clothes and usual objects of daily life. These seminaria are specific for a specific disease; they have a kind of antipathy for the persons they contaminate. This remarkable intuition of what was to become microbial infections took unfortunately very long before infectious agents were explicitly identified.

1540 Nicolaus Copernicus (Niclas Kopernik) (Thorn, 1473 - Bologna, 1543) works on his major contribution to Science, published by George Joachim Rheticus in this Narratio prima of the new solar system (printed in Dantzig). Copernicus states that the Earth is not the centre of the Universe but revolves around the Sun.

~ 1543 Jacob Sylvius (Jacques Dubois) (Paris 1478 - 1555) author of many books on French grammar, begins to study medicine in his fifties and discovers many new anatomical features of man in his In Hippocratis et Galeni physiologiae anatomicam isagoge.

1543 Andreas Vesalius (Bruxelles 1514 - 1564) publishes the most up to date version of human anatomy: De humani corporis fabrica (On the fabric of the human body) followed by a compendium (Epitome).

1549 Caspar Hartung vom Hoff (?-?) publishes Ein Frembdes und wunderbarliches Kunstbüchlein, allen Malern ... hochnützlich zu gebrauchen that creates the Philosophal Stone, an essential Alchemist document: "Viens donc mon bien-aimé, laisse-nous étreindre et engendrer un fils qui ne ressemblera pas à ses parents, car sa tête rouge sera, noirs ses yeux, et blancs ses pieds."

ca 1550 Leonhart Fuchs (1501 - Tübingen 1566) maintains a Hortus Medicus where he cultivates a variety of medicinal plants in Tübingen.

1551 Translation into English (posthumous) of Thomas Morus (1478-1535) DE OPTIMO STATU REIPUBLICAE DEQUE NOVA INSULA UTOPIA (written in Latin, and first translated into French, english translation).

1551-1558 Konrad Gesner (Zürich 1516 - Zürich, from plague 1565) publishes the four immense folio volumes of his Historia Animalium. He is remarkable by his introduction of illustrations as a means to enhance the quality of description of the various objects of knowledge, in particular animals.

1553 Edward Wotton (Oxford, 1492 - 1555), faithfully following Aristotle in De differentiis animalium libri decem, eliminating however most of the fabulous animals of Antiquity, describes the use of many animal products as medicines.

1553 Miguel Servet y Reves (Michael Servetus) (Villanueva 1509/1511 - burnt at stake, Geneva 1553), who wrote Christianismi restitutio is condemned by the court of Geneva under the advice of several Protestant Churches. After having written De trinitatis erroribus: Dialogi de Arinitate he practicised anatomy with Vesalius in Paris, being an adversary of Calvin spiritualist physiology. For him, the blood has its seat in the liver and veins, the spiritus vitalis in the heart and the arteries, and the spiritus animalis which is a ray of light is situated in the brain and in the nerves. The vital spirit is communicated by the heart to the liver which through the veins provide material to the spirit which is formed by the union of the finest components of the blood with the inhaled air. This takes place in the lungs then to the right heart chambers, purged of soot through exhalation, then mixed with inhaled air and purified to the left heart chambers. He proves that, contrary to general opinion (Galen's theory), this passage is indirect (through the lungs) and not direct from the heart chambers. This work has unfortunately been destroyed but the ideas pervaded the contemporary thought. Servetus is burnt at the stake as a heretic for denying the Trinity.

1554 Guillaume Rondelet (Montpellier, 1507 - Montpellier, 1556) in his treaty Libri de piscibus marinis, describes all possible kinds of aquatic animals, including worms, molluscs and other marine invertebrates ("pisces" means clearly much more than "fish"). Many specimen were described after dissection and compared with each other (in particular the form of the branchiae).

1555 Rondelet further elaborates his work on aquatic animals in Universae aquatilium historiae pars altera, cum veris ipsorum imaginibus.

1555 Andreas Vesalius criticizes Galen in the second edition of his seven volume work detailing human anatomy, De Fabrica.

1555 Pierre Belon (Cérans près Le Mans 1517 - murdered by highwaymen 1564) after studies in Paris and Germany collects material through Greece, Turkey, Syria and Egypt. On his return publishes La Nature et diversité des poissons and L'Histoire naturelle des estranges poissons marins, avec la vraie peincture & description du daulphin, & de plusieurs autres de son espèce. In these works he mixes up many different species of "fish": not only whales and seals but also custaceans, molluscs, the hippopotamus and beavers or otters! All are among the animals which can be eaten during the Catholic fast, but one finds also the chameleon there, with no understandable relationship with water! However one finds interesting clustering of common features in this work. He later publishes a new treaty, L'Histoire de la nature des oyseaux, avec leurs descriptions et naïfs portraicts retirez du naturel, where the clusters are highly similar to those recognized today, based on their habits, but also on their anatomy. This makes his work one of the first instances of comparative anatomy, neglected until Buffon and Cuvier entirely renewed the domain.

1559 Mateus Realdo Columbus (Cremona, 1516 - Padua, 1559) publishes De re anatomica, libri XV as a successor of Vesalius, six years after the work of Servet with exactly the same theory, but certainly much more experiments than thought in the latter work.

1562 Bartolommeo Eustacchi (San Severino da Mariano ? - Roma 1574) in his Opuscula anatomica investigates the auditory organ (De auditus organis; hence "Eustachian tube", published in Venice) blood circulation and dental development in the embryo.

1562 Gabriele Fallopio (1523 - 1565) reports Observationes anatomicae (in particular sex organs, hence the name of the ovarian Fallopian tubes).

1563 Joannes Wierus (Grave, 1515 - 1588), who may beconsidered as the founder of psychiatry is an opponent to prosecution of witches. In his book De praestigiis daemonum et incantationibus ac beneficiis libri sex Wier considers them as victims of the devil, who poses false images in their minds, which they consider as being real. The victims are often sick and sometimes under influence of drugs. Wier believes in demonic possesions and opposes deceiving monks and magicians, who use superstitious means to cure people. He opposes the use of clerical means as monotonous recited exorcisms, lustral water, paschal candle, stole, pilgrimages etc. and the use of magic conjurations, amulets, magic deeds and such. His therapy, similar to beliefs in many traditional medicines, is based on making a sick body healthy. Via England and the Netherlands his ideas stay alive and have their influe nce later-on. In fact Wier claims a place for the doctor in legal and religious affairs to judge the imputability of an involvedvictim. In suspicion of demonic possession, or when somebody confesses impossible deeds in court a natural disease has to be excluded before a person is punished by law, or exorcised by a priest. This view is still extant in Western legal systems.

ca 1565 Gerhard Dorn (ca 1530 Mechelen - Frankfurt am Main 1584), a disciple of Paracelse writes against the discovery of the Philosophal Stone his Aurora Philosophorum. He tries to convert the four elements into the original One World unity of Unus Mundus.

1568 Costanzo Varolio (Bologna 1543 - Bologna 1575) produces a detailed description of the central nervous system and in particular of the structure now known as "pons Varolii".

1571 Francesco Patrizi (Cherso 1529 - 1597) discusses Aristotelian physics in his Discussionum peripapeticarum tomi primi, libri XIII. He develops the idea of the coincidence between the infinite potential and the infinite created, in contradiction with Nicolaus Cusanus.

1575 Ambroise Paré (Bourg-Hersant 1510 - Paris 1590) son of a barber and surgeon of four successive kings and of the Duke of Rohan describes in Le Livre des Monstres what he thinks is the mark of events in pregnant women in anomalies of embryos and newborn infants (De la petite vérole royale et vers des petits enfants et de la lèpre).

1578 Laurent Joubert (1529-1583) from the University of Montpellier publishes the secrets of physicians in French: Erreurs populaires au fait de médecine et de santé, which starts a violent attack against him.

1578 Julien Le Paulmier (Agneaux lès Saint Lô, France 1520 - Caen, 1588) publishes a treaty on contagious diseases, including venereal diseases and plague, De morbis contagiosis libri septem. He is also known for a treaty on cider an wine (De vino et pomaceo, translated from Latin into Traité du vin et du sidre, in 1589), showing a common interest with what Pasteur was to resurrect three centuries later. The link however is not to the cause of the diseases, but the idea that health is strongly related to what we eat or drink (as in present day fashion for 'natural' ways of life).

1579 Girolamo Fabrizio (Fabricius ab Aquapendente) (1537- Padua 1619), successor of Fallopio, Fabricius publicly demonstrates the valves in the veins of the limbs in 1579. He subsequenlty writes treatises on the evolution of the egg and the embryo in birds and reptiles, mammals and sharks; studies animal psychology (cries); develops a first stage of comparative anatomy; and discovers the veinous valves (through binding the limbs of live humans) which are clearly at variance with the Galen theory of circulation but he does not understand what this meant (this was understood by his pupil Harvey).

1580 Giordano Bruno (Nola 1548 - burnt at stake 1600), like Cusanus, maintains the subjectivity of mental observations and combines the atomist fragmentation of the world with the neo-platonic ideas of the unity of matter. He publishes his Clavis Magna on the art of Memory.

1580 Bernard Palissy (~1510 - 1590) states in his book on Des eaux et fontaines, métaulx, selz, pierres, terres, esmaulx et feuz, de l'or potable, du mithridat et thiriaque that pierres figurées (the name then given to fossiles) are the remains, often petrified, of ancient living organisms which were found at the bottom of seas, where we still find them.

1580 André du Breil (? - ?) publishes a long summary of medical practice in the XVIth century, giving many concrete examples in his La police de l'art et science de médecine, contenant la réfutation des erreurs, & insignes abus qui s'y commettent pour le jourd'huy: très utile et nécessaire à toutes personnes, qui ont leur santé & vie en recommandation. He tries to combat charlatans, and in particular the school of Paracelse.

1584 Matteo Ricci (Macerata, 1552 - Beijing, 1610) (re) introduces science in China (in particular mathematics and trigonometry) by publishing the first map of China, which is the first time for the Chinese to see their position in the world.

1585 The Oeuvres complètes of Ambroise Paré are published.

1587 Giovanni Pico Della Mirandola (Jean François Pic de la Mirandole) (Mirandola, 1463 - Firenze, 1494) describes gold transmutation experiments in his De Auro Libri Tres. Opus sane aureum in quo de Auro tùm aestimando, tum utendo ingeniosè et doctè disseritur (Ferrare, Victorius Baldinus)

1587 The De serpentium natura from Konrad Gesner is published posthumously.

1588 Andrea Cesalpino (Arezzo 1519 - Roma 1603) pioneer in the discovery of the circulation of the blood Quaestionum peripateticarum, libri V: tries to prove that the veins originate in the heart, not in the liver as proposed by Galen and proves that the heart is the centre of the circulation system (with the brain, as in Aristotle as a cooling device) and maintains with Columbus that the change of chambers in the heart occurs after passage through the lungs, and he proposes for that the word "circulatio".

1589 Posthumous publication of Theophrastus Philippus Aureolus Bombastus von Paracelsus (Paracelse) (1493-1541) Bücher und Schriften, where herecommends the use of specific products to fight diseases.

1591 François Viète (Fontenay-le-Comte 1540 - Paris 1603) publishes In artem analyticam isagoge, using letters as symbols for quantities, both known and unknown. His Algèbre nombreuse (arithmetics and number theroy) and subsequently his Algèbre spécieuse (use of unknowns in equations) entirely renovate algebra.

1596 Johannes Kepler (Weil der Stadt 1571 - Regensburg 1630) publishes the Mysterium Cosmographicum where he defends Copernicus ideas.

1596 The botanist Caspar Bauhin (1550-1624) in his Sinonimia botanica recognizes 6,000 species of plants and groups them by a combination of characters, so that grasses, mints, legumes, etc. are classed together.

1599 Ulisse Aldrovandi (Bologna, 1522 - Bologna, 1605) inspired by Gesner (including in the way he introduces illustrations) publishes his Ornithologia, hoc est  de avibus historiae, libri XII (in fact fourteen large folio volumes).

1600 In his treatise De formato foetu – the first work of its kind – Fabricius compares the late fetal stages of different animals and gave the first detailed description of the placenta.

1603 Santorio Santorio (Capodistria, 1561 – Venezia, 1636) studies metabolism and transpiration in a quantitative manner, introducing the experimental method in medicine.

1603 Fabricius publishes the first accurate description, with detailed illustrations, of the veinous valves in De Venarum Ostiolis, believing that the valves' function was to retard the flow of blood to enable the tissues to absorb nutriment.

1605 Francis Bacon (London 1561 - London 1626) who is an admirer of Democritus writes The two Books of Francis Bacon of The Proficience and Advancement of Learning Divine and Humane, to the King which is a rare attempt to think philosophically in English at a time when philosophy is mostly expressed in Latin. This treaty endeavours to establish that Science is not contrary to Scripture and progresses along its own lines of consistency. Bacon also begins to establish that, in Science, the figure of the author is not imporant, because the progress of knowledge precisely supposes a gradual effacement of the figure of the authors of discoveries (inventio). And Bacon demonstrates that placing too much emphasis on the person of authors is an impediment in the development of Science. Also he insists on the fact that progress in Science can only perpetuate if one builds on what is already acquired, needing for example, the development of libraries. He is, of sort, the father of the idea of data banks, and of the work of curators.

1612 In De formatione ovi et pulli Fabricius erroneously states that the sperm did not enter the ovum, but stimulated the generative process from a distance.

1612 Pierre Arnauld (? - ?) translates the mysterious alchemist Arthephius (perhaps the XIIth century al-Tughra'i) Trois traitez de la philosophie naturelle non encore imprimez. Sçavoir le secret livre du très ancien Philosophe Artephius, traitant de l'Art occulte et transmutation Metallique. Together with the work of a mysterious greek priest, Synesios. Chez Guillaume Marette, Paris.

1620 In his Instauratio Magna Novum Organum Bacon makes explicit the analogy between the great voyages of discovery and the explorations leading to the advancement of learning.

1624 Galileo Galilei (Pisa 1564 - 1642) who has created the scientific method using experiments with material bodies studies the regularities of laws governing movement, and, at the same time, discovers in the Universe a variety of irregularities not predicted by the vision of the Ancient sun spots, Jupiter's moons. He writes his famous Dialogue: Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo. His motto is "to measure what can be measured and to make measurable what cannot be measured".

1624 Pierre Gassendi (Champtercier 1592 - Paris 1655) discusses Aristotle logics in the first book of his Exercitationes paradoxicae adversus Aristoteleos. The second book is published posthumously in1658.

1625 Giuseppe degli Aromatari (Assisi ~1587 - Venezia 1660) in his Disputatio de rabie contagiosa cui praeposita est epistola de generatione plantarum ex seminibus, proposes that the foetus of birds is preformed in the egg. He also discusses about the origin and propagation of rabies.

1627 Gasparo Aselli (Cremona 1581 - Milano 1626), professor of anatomy and surgery at the University of Pavia, publishes De lactibus sive lacteis venis where his gives the first thorough description of the central lymphatic network. His book is also the first anatomic book in colours (four chiaroscuro woodcuts).

1628 William Harvey (Folkestone 1578 - 1657) publishes Exercitatio de motu cordis et sanguinis in animalibus after having studied in Cambridge then Padua. This treaty on circulation is printed at Frankfurt am main in a quarto volume of seventy two pages summarizing his work since 1616. He establishes the correct route of the blood circulation and the difference between arteries and veins, with the role of the lungs, as already seen by Servet and Columbus. His most original finding is that blood is not created in the liver but recycled. For this he makes a simple calculation, measuring the amount of blood in the heart and counting sixty five heart beats per minute: this would mean that in less that a minute more than ten pounds of blood has to be created. This is obviously impossible. He compares the orientation of the circulation in veins and arteries, by severing them parallel to each other, and showing from where the blood is coming. Finallly the heart is a muscular organ which drives circulation, and not an inflatable device. could not find capillaries nor the connection with the food supply. and adheres to the ancient principles of vital spirits

1629 Jean Bonnart (?-?) publishes a book of pharmaceutical recipes: La Semaine des médicaments, observée ès chef-d'œuvres des Maistres Barbiers, Chirurgiens de Paris. Où est sommairement tracté des vertus, proprietez, & usages des Plantes, Mineraux, Animaux, des Parties & excremens d'iceux, avec le moyen de s'en servir. This treaty stresses the difference between drugs and food. It makes a classification organized as a dictionary, and details their preparation and usage. Rollin Baraignes, Paris

1630 Jean Rey (Le Bugue, France, c.1582/3 - c. 1645) publishes his Essays sur la Recherche de la cause pour laquelle l'Estain & le Plomb augmentent de poids quand on les calcine. This work contains essential observations, within the theory of phlogiston to explain why metals may increase weight when they are calcinated. In particular he tries to refute the theory of phlogiston in this context.

1634 Théodore Turquet de Mayerne (Genève, Suisse, 1573 - Chelsea, England, 1655) publishes a treaty on insects: Theatrum Insectorum. The introduction is by himself but the true author of the treaty is unknown.

1637 René Descartes (La Haye 1596 - Stockholm 1650), known for his famous "je pense donc je suis: Cogito ergo sum" describes life as purely mechanical, building up on Harvey's theory of the heart and circulation and summarizes his philosophy in his Discours de la Méthode (english translation).

1640 Albaro Alonso Barba (1569 - ?) publishes his Arte de los metales en que se enseña el verdadero beneficio de los de oro, y plata por açogue, where he describes in details the process of amalgamation. The importance of this work rests in the emphasis placed by Barba on laboratory controls, as well as integration of all required processes together. As this book was widely known and translated it must have had a considerable background influence on the development of experimental practice.

1642 Blaise Pascal (Clermont-Ferrand 1623 - Paris 1662) constructs an Arithmetic Machine, which is a first step towards automatic computing.

1643 Creation of the Académie Royale Française.

1645 Marc Aurelio Severino (1580-1656) who studied humanities under Campanella (an opponent of Aristotle and a victim of political and scientific persecution) publishes a Zootomia Democritea comparative anatomy of animals (chapters Tetrapodographia and Ornithographia). He dies of plague in 1656?

1648 Johannes Baptista Van Helmont (1579 - 1644) publishes an important study of medicinal plants,Ortus medicinae.

1651 Harvey's Exercitationes de generatione animalium makes the aphorism "Omne animal ex ovo"famous. It also discusses spontaneous generation and metamorphosis (example of insects) from reconstitution of parts (cf Empedocles) and proposes that the pupa is the insect egg...

1651 Thomas Hobbes (Westport 1588 - 1679) who since 1640 was residing in Paris, safer than England for philosophers, publishes in London his major work The Leviathan on the organisation of political systems; describing the state as a living organism.

1652 Thomas Bartolin (Copenhagen 1616 - Copenhagen 1680) publishes a remarked anatomical study De lacteis thoracicis.

1653 Annibal Barlet (?-?) publishes a practical course in chemistry, Le vray et methodique cours de la physique resolutive, vulgairement dite chimie. Representé par Figures generales & particulieres. pour connoistre la theotechnie ergocosmique, C'est à dire, L'Art de Dieu en l'ouvrage de l'univers, where he describes the preparation of pharmaceutical chemicals and processes (calcination, dissolution, sublimation, digestion, etc.) N. Charles, Paris.

1656 Michal Piotr Boym (Lemberg (Lwow), 1612 - border between Tonkin and Guangxi, 1659) publishes a flora of China (Flora sinensis). Later on he introduces Chinese medicine in Europe, in particular analysis of the pulse (Clavis medica ad Chinarum doctrinam de pulsibus, published posthumously in 1686).

1656 Hobbes refutes arguments against his previous libel on the role of chance in the definition of liberty, Of Liberty and Necessity in The Questions concerning Liberty, Necessity, and Chance.

1656 Thomas Wharton (1614 - 1676) publishesAdenographia the first treatise devoted exclusively to the glands.

1658 Jan Swammerdam (1637-1680), using one of the first microscopes, is probably the first person to observe and describe red blood cells.

1678 The jesuit Athanasius Kircher (Geisa, 1601 or 1602,- Roma, 1680) uses a microscope to study the blood of plague victims. He identifies moving animalcules in the blood of patients (probably the same objects as those seen earlier by Swammerdam, certainly not the plague bacillus) and supports the theory of contagium vivum derived from Frascatore intuition, according to which animalcules transmit the disease.

1659 Francis Glisson (1597-1677) provides a thorough description of the anatomy of the liver in Anatomia hepatis. The envelope of the liver is still know as Glisson's capsule.

1661 Marcello Malpighi (Crevalcuore (Bologna), 1628 - Roma 1694), Professor of Medicine in Bologna creates microscopical anatomy. He then goes to Messina, returning to Bologna to demonstrate the structure of the lungs where he discovers capillaries, the network of fine vessels that connect the arteries and the veins. He describes many anatomical structures at the microscopical level.

1661 Jean Pecquet (Dieppe 1622 - Paris 1674), fondateur de l'Académie Royale, publishes experiments in anatomy where he substantiates Harvey's results on circulation: Experimenta nova anatomica.

1662 Lorenzo (Laurentio) Bellini (Firenze 1643 - Pisa 1704), Anatomist and Physician, Professor of Philosophy and Anatomy in Pisa describes what is known a Bellini's Tubules - of the kidney; Bellini's Ducts - orifices of the tubules in his Exercitationes anatomicae duae de structura et sus renum.

1662 Creation of the Royal Society of the Promotion of Natural Knowledge in London on the model of the Académie Royale Française.

1662 John Graunt (1620-1674) publishes his Natural and Political Observations mentioned in a following Index and made upon the Bills of Mortality, where he makes the first elaborate demographic studies of mortality in Britain. He tries to identify the causes of death, an approach then not followed by people registering death (who used, rather, to consider age only).

1664 Niels Steensen (Sténon) Nicolaus Steno(nis) (Copenhagen, 1638 - Firenze, 1686) publishes a major anatomy study: De musculis et glandulis.

1664 Thomas Willis (1622-1675) gives a first complete description of the anatomy of the brain in Cerebri Anatome, cui accessit Nervorum description et usus and coins the word neurology.

1665 Richard Lower (Bodmin 1631 – London 1691) performs the first recorded blood transfusion in animals. With a crude syringe made of goose quill and bladder, created by the architect Christopher Wren, he connects the jugular vein of a dog he has bled to the neck artery of second dog, resuscitating the former.

1665 Robert Hooke (1635 - 1703) publishes a compendium of illustrations and description of what can be seen through the microscope, Micrographia. This comprised sponges, wood, seaweed, leaves, hair, feathers, fly wings, eggs of silkworm, mites (including a flea and a louse) as well as the first microbe, a mold (which he named a microscopical mushroom).

1666 The autodidact Edme Mariotte (Dijon, ~1620 - Paris, 1684) discovers the blind spot in the eye and describes the corresponding experiments in Observations sur l'organe de la vision. Unfortunately he wrongly assumes that the choroid, not the retina, perceives light.

1667 In June, Jean-Baptiste Denis (Paris ca 1640 - 1704) transfuses a teenage boy suffering from a persistent fever with nine ounces of lamb's blood. He attaches the lamb's carotid artery to a vein in the boy's forearm. It is reported that the patient did not suffer any negative consequences (this is quite unlikely). Denis uses the procedure on several other patients, until the death of Antoine Mauroy, whom Denis transfuses twice with calf's blood in December. On November 23, before the Royal Society in England, Drs. Richard Lower and Edmund King give Arthur Coga, an indigent former cleric, a transfusion of several ounces of sheep's blood for a fee of 20 shillings. It is said that the patient recovers nicely. Later events suggest the contrary.

1669 Sténon publishes in Florence remarkable considerations on geology in Prodrome d'une dissertation sur le solide contenu naturellement à l'intérieur d'un solide, tracing back elements of the history of the Earth's crust, by comparing strata with and without fossil remains.

1669 Lodewijk Huyghens (1631 - 1699) in a letter to his famour brother Christiaan discusses how one can evaluate the life expectancy at birth in human populations.

1670 Denis sues Antoine Mauroy's widow in 1668 for slandering his reputation. The case precipitates the French Parliament's ban on all transfusions involving humans. Similar actions follow in England and Rome.

1670 Agostino Scilla (Messina, 1639 - Roma, 1700) in La Vana Speculazione Disingannata dal Senso, describes fossil organisms from Calabria and remarks that well inside land one finds traces of species inhabiting the sea.

1670 Benedict Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) learned in the work of Jewish and Arabic theologians writes a philosophy of his own where he advocates tolerance Tractatus Theologico-Politicus.

1671 Jacques Rohault (1618-1672) publishes his influential Traité de Physique, in which he develops the experimental and conceptual ideas of Descartes.

1671 Paolo Boccone (Palermo 1633 - Palermo 1704) publishes in Paris his Recherches et observations naturelles with many observations in natural history, and in particular on plants and toxicology.

1672 Thomas Willis publishes further work on the nervous system in De anima brutorum, quae Hominis vitalis ac sensitiva est. Exercitationes, etc.

1672 Nehemiah Grew (Coventry 1641 - London 1712), botanist and physician uses the microscope to give a thorough description of plants inThe Anatomy of Vegetables.

1672 Regnier de Graaf (Schoonhaven 1641 - Delft 1673), a former student of Francis de la Boe Sylvius and of Diemerbroeck in Leyden describes the organs now known as Graafian Follicles - folliculus oophorus vesiculosus.in.De mulierum organis generatione (Opera ominia, Leyden, 1677; London, 1678).

1674 Unaware of the work of Swammerdam and Malpighi, Antony van Leeuwenhoek (Delft 1632 - 1723), a linen draper fascinated by microscopy, provides a more precise description of red blood cells, approximating their size, "25,000 times smaller than a fine grain of sand." From then on, he sends notes to the London Royal Society on a regular basis about his observations.

~1675 Johann Joachim Becher (Speyer, 1635 - London, 1682) a professor of medicine and an alchemist supporting the theory of the four elements exchanging fire during transformations, creates a vessel that still is named after his surname, the becher.

1676 Leeuwenhoek, using microscopes of his fabrication, discovers what was later known to be bacteria in pepper-water infusion. Being astonished by the sheer number of these beings, Leeuwenhoek asks for the testimony of eight credible persons to confirm his observation.

1676 Francis Willughby (Fr Willughbeii) (1635 - 1672) publishes a general description of birds in Latin (Ornithologia) later translated as The Ornithology of Francis Willughby by John Ray (Braintree 1627 - 1705).

1677 Johann Conrad Peyer (Schaffhausen 1653- Schaffhausen, 1712) publishes his Exercitatio anatomico-medica de glandulis intestorum, earumque usu et adfectionibus after having studied under Duverney in Paris. He later is Professor of Logic, Rhetoric and Medicine. He is know for his description of the Peyer's Patches - noduli lymphatici aggregati and Peyer's Nodules - noduli lymphatici solitarii.

1678 In contrast to Sténon and Scilla, Kircher tries to reconcile the existence of fossil species found in sediments with the description of the Deluge in the scriptures (Mundus subterraneus).

1679 JJ Wepper (?-?) gives a first description of what was to be known as duodenal glands by his son in law Brunner.

1680 Claude Perrault (Paris 1613 - Paris 1688) known as the builder of the east façade of Le Louvre publishes his Essais de Physique where animism is pregnant.

1681 Denis Papin (1647 - 1712 ?) invents the principle of the autoclave. His book is published in french the following year: La manière d'amollir les os, et de faire cuire toutes sortes de viandes en fort peu de temps et à peu de frais; avec une description de la Machine dont il faut se servir à cet effet, ses propriétés & ses usages, confirmez par plusieurs Expériences. This machine was later on used to make a moving steaming machine.

1682 Andreas Cleyer (1634 - 1697/1698) first physician of the Company of Indies, publishes a treaty of Chinese anatomy and acupuncture: Specimen medicinae sinicae sive opuscula medica ad mentem sinensium. It is likely that this work is in fact due to the jesuit Michal Boym.

1682 William Petty (1623 - 1687) in Another Essay in Politikal Arithmetick, Concerning the Growth of the City of London: with Measures, Periods, Causes and Consequences thereof, tries to evaluate the doubling time of the growth of a city. He extrapolates to the size of the Earth and shows that with the 320 million people then thought to occupy the Earth, exponential growth could not be sustainable. He also attempts to evaluate the size of the population in Noah's time (he finds one million people).

1685 Giovanni Alfonso Borelli (Napoli 1608 - Roma 1679) publishes De motu animalium which starts the practice of mechanical medicine. He explains the muscular movement and shows that they shorten when they contract. In addition he studies blood circulation, the movements of lungs, analyses the brain; the liver and the kidneys and studies nutrition.

1685 Raymond Vieussens (Vigan, ~1635 - Montpellier 1715) who later described the left ventricle of the heart and the course of coronary blood vessels publishes Neurographia universalis.

1685 Jan Swammerdam publishes in Utrecht his Histoire générale des Insectes.

1686 John Ray publishes Francis Willughby'sgeneral account of marine animals in De Historia Piscium libri quatuor, Totum opus recognovit, coaptavit, supplevit, librum etiam primum et secoundum integros adjecit J. Raius.

1686 Robert Boyle's (1627 - 1691) Opera omnia quorum extant summarize the many factets of the work of this important experimentalist physicist, impressed by the theory of the Atomists.

1686 Nicolas Venette (1622 - 1698) publishes La Génération de l'Homme, ou Tableau de l'amour conjugal, considéré dans l'état du mariage, where he analyses human progeny, with the view that marriage should be organized in such a way as to favour the "best" features of human nature (i.e. the obvious characters of human phenotype, such as physical strength). This paves the way for eugenics theories two centuries later.

1687 Marcello Malpighi's Opera omnia are published.

1687 Johann Konrad Brunner (Diessenhofen, Switzerland 1653 - Mannheim, 1727) after having studied under Duverney in Paris becomes Professor of Anatomy at Heidelberg and later in Strassburg. He discovers Brunner's Glands - glandulae duodenales, published in his Descriptio de glandulis in duodeno intestino detectis and in Physiologica de glandulis duodeni cogitata.

1687 Isaac Newton (Woolsthorpe 1642 - London 1727) writes (in latin) his Principia Mathematica. His next work Optiks (1704), will be written in English.

1688 Francesco Redi (1626-1697) makes an experiment showing that if one protects meat deposited on a table with a gauze the worms which use to develop there no longer appear, showing that this type of life requires contact with living flies and is not spontaneous.

1691 Clopton Havers (1650/1655 - Essex, 1702) publishes in London his work on bones, Osteologia Nova. A London physician, he qualified in Utrecht in 1685 in which year he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society. Described Haversian canals - spaces in the compact tissue of bone: Haver's Lamellae - bony septa surrounding the canals.

1691 John Ray in The Wisdom of God Manifested in the Works of Creation tries to justify some of the notion of the distinction between genus and species, stemming from Porphyrus tree.

1693 Edmund Halley (1656 - 1742) establishes that evaluating mortality requires consideration of closed populations (no migrations) and stationnary (no yearly increase). He calculates the chances of death for all ages (from the figures of the city of Breslau).

1693 John Ray publishes in London his Synopsis methodica Animalium Quadrupedum et Serpentii generis where he denies spontaneous generation of animals and tries some comparative anatomy to group animals together.

1697 Georg Ernst Stahl (Ansbach, 1660 - Berlin, 1734), the originator of the phlogiston theory, formulates the theory of fermentation in his treatise Zymotechnia Fundamentalis seu Fermentationis theoria generalis; he puts forward a primitive concept which later led to that of enzymes (note the use of the Greek root ζυμος, yeast), catalyzers of biochemical reactions.

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