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» history and culture

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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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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: 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: Slices of Life, circa 1872

Slices of Life, circa 1872

By | January 1, 2013

A master of topographical anatomy, Christian Wilhelm Braune produced accurate colored lithographs from cross sections of the human body.

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image: Poetry and Pictures, circa 1830

Poetry and Pictures, circa 1830

By | November 1, 2012

On the bicentennial of his birth, Edward Lear is celebrated for his whimsical poetry and his stunningly accurate scientific illustrations.

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image: Life on the Ocean Floor, 1977

Life on the Ocean Floor, 1977

By | September 1, 2012

The discovery of deep-sea hydrothermal vents along the Galápagos Rift revealed a biological Garden of Eden.

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image: Painting the Protein Atomic, 1961

Painting the Protein Atomic, 1961

By | August 1, 2012

Irving Geis’s revolutionary painting of sperm whale myoglobin illuminated the nascent field of protein structure.

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image: The First Australopithecus, 1925

The First Australopithecus, 1925

By | July 1, 2012

The discovery of the 2.5-million-year-old Taung Child skull marked a turning point in the study of human brain evolution.

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