Science Birthdays, September 9

Today is the birthday of Luigi Galvani, born in 1737, he discovered that the muscles of dead frog’s legs twitched when subjected to a spark, beginning the study of bioelectricity.  Today bioelectricity is used in medicine to study the electrical patterns and signals of the nervous system.  Actually Galvani, a skilled comparative anatomist was trying to prove that a frog’s testicles were in its legs.  Frogs do not have testicles in their legs.  He died in 1798 at age 61.

Goerg Dehmelt, born in 1922, co-discovered the ion trap technique. This technique was used for making high precision measurements of the electron g-factor. He is 90.

Warwick Kerr, born in 1922 is noted for his studies on the sex determination of bees. He is 90.

Daniel Gajdusek, born in 1923, received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work on kuru, the first human prion disease known to be infective. He died in 2008 at the age of 85. By the way, he was a convicted child molester and spent a year in prison for it.

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