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image: A Visionary’s Poor Vision, 1685

A Visionary’s Poor Vision, 1685

By | October 1, 2014

William Briggs’s theory of optic nerve architecture was unusual and incorrect, but years later it led to Isaac Newton’s explanation of binocular vision.

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image: Illustrating Alchemy, 18th Century

Illustrating Alchemy, 18th Century

By | September 1, 2014

As the science of chemistry developed, public perceptions of alchemists shifted from respect to ridicule.


image: Tiger Hunt, 1838–1840

Tiger Hunt, 1838–1840

By | August 1, 2014

Zoologist John Gould undertook a financially risky expedition to document the birds of Australia—and found some unique mammals in a perilous situation.


image: Imaging Intercourse, 1493

Imaging Intercourse, 1493

By | July 1, 2014

For centuries, scientists have been trying to understand the mechanics of human intercourse. MRI technology made it possible for them to get an inside view.


image: Wheat Whisperer, circa 1953

Wheat Whisperer, circa 1953

By | June 1, 2014

The Green Revolution of the 20th century began with Norman Borlaug’s development of a short-statured, large-grained wheat.


image: H.M.’s Brain, 1953–Present

H.M.’s Brain, 1953–Present

By | May 1, 2014

A temporal lobectomy led to profound memory impairment in a man who became the subject of neuroscientists for the rest of his life—and beyond.


image: Palade Particles, 1955

Palade Particles, 1955

By | February 1, 2014

Electron microscopy led to the first identification of what would later be known as ribosomes.


image: Fantastical Fish, circa 1719

Fantastical Fish, circa 1719

By | January 1, 2014

A collection of colorful drawings compiled by publisher Louis Renard sheds light on eighteenth-century science.

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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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