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December 31 Science History

Science History of December 31

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Learn about the history of science by reading about the significant scientific events that took place on this day in history.

1937 - Avaram Hershko was born.

Hershko is a Hungarian-Israeli biochemist who shares the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Aaron Ciechanover and Irwin Rose for the discovery of the the ubiquitin protein in cells. Ubiquitin functions as a waste removal protein and quality control during cell division by attaching itself to unwanted proteins.

1905 - Alexander Stepanovich Popov died.

Alexander Stepanovich Popov (1859 - 1905)
Popov was a Russian physicist who was the first to use an antenna to transmit and receive radio waves. Russians consider him the inventor of radio. Popov was more interested in atmospheric phenomenon and designed his device to detect the radio noise given off by lightning strikes.

1719 - John Flamsteed died.

John Flamsteed (1646 - 1719)
Flamsteed was an English astronomer and the first Astronomer Royal. The Astronomer Royal is a post in the British Royal Household charged with charting stellar positions to aid navigation and the determination of longitude. He was also charged with building the Greenwich Observatory. Flamsteed himself equipped the observatory with instruments from his own pocket which would become a key element of a feud between himself, Issac Newton and Edmund Halley over ownership of the star catalog he produced.

1514 - Andreas Vesalius was born.

Andreas Vesalius (1514 - 1564)
Wikimedia Commons
Vesalius was a Flemish physician and anatomist who is considered the father of the study of human anatomy. His book, De humani corporis fabrica (On the Workings of the Human Body) was the standard anatomy reference text for generations. The book was comprised of detailed woodcut plates of the human body in various stages of dissection and poses to illustrate relative positions of organs and structures.
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