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Foundations

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image: The Neuron Doctrine, circa 1894

The Neuron Doctrine, circa 1894

By | November 1, 2013

Santiago Ramón y Cajal used a staining technique developed by Camillo Golgi to formulate the idea that the neuron is the basic unit of the nervous system.

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image: The Leprosy Bacillus, circa 1873

The Leprosy Bacillus, circa 1873

By | October 1, 2013

A scientist’s desperate attempts to prove that Mycobacterium leprae causes leprosy landed him on trial, but his insights into the disease’s pathology were eventually vindicated.

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image: Lords of the Fly, circa 1910

Lords of the Fly, circa 1910

By | September 1, 2013

In a cramped lab overflowing with fruit flies, Thomas Hunt Morgan and his protégés made the discoveries that laid the foundations of modern genetics.

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image: Sketching out Cell Theory, circa 1837

Sketching out Cell Theory, circa 1837

By | August 1, 2013

How a dinner-table conversation between two biologists led to the formulation of the theory that cells are the building blocks of all living organisms.

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image: Side-Chain Theory, circa 1900

Side-Chain Theory, circa 1900

By | July 1, 2013

Paul Ehrlich came up with an explanation for cellular interactions based on receptors, earning a Nobel Prize and the title "Father of Modern Immunology"—only to have his theory forgotten.

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image: The Elixir Tragedy, 1937

The Elixir Tragedy, 1937

By | June 1, 2013

A mass poisoning of 105 patients treated with an untested medication spurred Congress to empower the US Food and Drug Administration to monitor drug safety.

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image: Flying Frog, 1855

Flying Frog, 1855

By | May 1, 2013

Alfred Russel Wallace, Darwin’s unheralded codiscoverer of the theory of evolution by natural selection, found inspiration in the specimens he collected on his travels.

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"White-Blooded" Icefish, 1927

By | April 1, 2013

A bizarre group of Antarctic fishes lost their red blood cells but survived to tell their evolutionary tale, revealing a fundamental lesson about the birth and death of genes.

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image: A Sea Dragon Revealed, 1823

A Sea Dragon Revealed, 1823

By | March 1, 2013

A sharp-eyed fossil prospector and self-taught paleontologist, Mary Anning discovered several extraordinary Mesozoic marine reptiles.

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image: Cholera Confusion, circa 1832

Cholera Confusion, circa 1832

By | February 1, 2013

As cholera first tore through the Europe in the mid-19th century, people tried anything to prevent the deadly disease. Then science stepped in.

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