Muller's Lab

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Oxford University Press, USA, Mar 22, 2007 - Medical - 336 pages
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Many structures in the human body are named after Johannes Muller, one of the most respected anatomists and physiologists of the 19th century. Muller taught many of the leading scientists of his age, many of whom would go on to make trail-blazing discoveries of their own. Among them were Theodor Schwann, who demonstrated that all animals are made of cells; Hermann Helmholtz, who measured the velocity of nerve impulses; and Rudolf Virchow, who convinced doctors to think of disease at the cellular level. This book tells Muller's story by interweaving it with those of seven of his most famous students. Muller suffered from depression and insomnia at the same time as he was doing his most important scientific work, and may have committed suicide at age 56. Like Muller, his most prominent students faced personal and social challenges as they practiced cutting-edge science. Virchow was fired for his political activism, Jakob Henle was jailed for membership in a dueling society, and Robert Remak was barred from Prussian universities for refusing to renounce his Orthodox Judaism. By recounting these stories, Muller's Lab explores the ways in which personal life can affect scientists' professional choices, and consequently affect the great discoveries they make.
 

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Contents

1 Müllers Net
3
The Training of Jakob Henle and Theodor Schwann
42
3 Emil du BoisReymond as a Scientific and Literary Creator
76
The Training of Hermann von Helmholtz
111
5 Rudolf Virchows Scientific Politics
132
The Mentoring of Robert Remak
165
7 Ernst Haeckels Evolving Narratives
190
Remembering and Dismembering a Scientist
224
Abbreviations
237
Notes
239
Bibliography
293
Index
305
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Laura Otis is Associate Professor of English, Hofstra University. In 2000, she was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship for her interdisciplinary studies of literature and science.

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