Golgi: A Biography of the Founder of Modern Neuroscience

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Oxford University Press, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 490 pages
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Written by one of the most important specialists in the life of Golgi, this book is a complete biography of Camillo Golgi, one of the most prominent European researchers between the19th and 20th centuries, a period of dramatic scientific development. The life of Golgi was an extraordinary intellectual adventure in three major fields of biology and neuroscience, namely neuroscience, the emerging cell biology, and the new science of medical microbiology.
In 1873, Golgi published the description of a revolutionary histological technique which allowed, for the first time, to visualize a single nerve cell with all its ramification which could be followed and analyzed even at a great distance from the cell bodies, the so-called "black reaction" (later named the "Golgi method"). This invention provided the spark to a truly scientific revolution which allowed the morphology and the basic architecture of the cerebral tissue to be evidenced in all its complexity, thus contributing to the foundation of the modern neuroscience. It has been written that, in the same way Galileo Galilei was able to find new stars observing with his telescope any sky region, Golgi was able to find new nervous structures and nerve cells by applying his black reaction to any brain region. Finally, the details of the most complex structure in the known universe, the brain, could be characterized.
Along with being a prominent political figure who deeply influenced the Nineteenth century development of science in Italy, Golgi also strongly contributed to the development of cell biology with the discovery of one of the major organelles of the cell, the "internal reticular apparatus" (later named the "Golgi apparatus" or the "Golgi complex" or simply "the Golgi") and to medical microbiology with his description of the human malaria parasitic development inside the red blood cells (Golgi cycle).
One of the giants of medicine, Golgi is too often forgotten in the contemporary history of science and medicine. Paolo Mazzarello's new book allows a glimpse into the fascinating life of Golgi. Mazzarello also provides a complete bibliography of Golgi and the secondary literature on him up to now for the curious reader.

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Contents

He Who Studies German Is a Traitor
7
The Histological Path to the Secrets of the Brain
35
Globules Granules and Fibers
82
Copyright

9 other sections not shown

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About the author (2010)


Paolo Mazzarello, MD, PhD, is Professor of History of Medicine at the University of Pavia, Italy. He is the author of five books on history of Medicine and science in Eighteenth and Nineteenth century. He has written for Nature, Endeavour and Trends in Neuroscience.

Hometown: Mornese (prov. Alessandria, Italy)

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