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February 6 Science History

Science History of February 6


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

2002 - Max Ferdinand Perutz died.

Perutz was an Austrian biochemist who shares the 1962 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with John Kendrew for their research into the structure of hemoglobin and globular proteins. He employed x-ray crystallography to determine the structure of hemoglobin, the protein responsible for transporting oxygen in blood.

1991 - Salvador Edward Luria died.

Luria was an Italian-American microbiologist who shares the 1969 Nobel Prize in Medicine with Max Delbrück and Alfred Hershey for their work on the genetic structure of viruses. Together with Delbrück, they discovered that genetic inheritance in bacteria statistically follows Darwinian principles over Lamarckian principles. Viral resistance could be passed on to future generation without the virus being present.

1973 - Ira Sprague Bowen died.

Bowen was an American astrophysicist who discovered the green lines in nebula spectra were due to ionized oxygen and nitrogen at low pressure and not some undiscovered element. The spectra from nebulae was previously attributed to an unknown element called nebulium.

1971 - Alan Shepard plays golf on the Moon.

Astronaut Alan Shepard plays golf on the Moon.
Astronaut Alan Shepard used a makeshift six-iron to hit a pair of golf balls during the Apollo 15 mission. In spite of swinging one handed, he claimed the second ball went "miles and miles and miles" due to the lower lunar gravity and lack of air resistance. It was later estimated to only go 200 to 400 yards, but still a decent hit for one hand.

1898 - Rudolf Leuckart died.

Rudolf Leuckart (1822 - 1898)
Leuckart was a German zoologist who was a pioneer in parasitology. He researched tapeworms and trichinosis. He also discovered the tapeworm Taenia saginata only infects cattle and Taenia solium only infects pigs.

1892 - William Parry Murphy was born.

Murphy was an American physician who shares the 1934 Noble Prize in Medicine with George Minot and George Whipple for their work on the treatment of anemia. Whipple showed that anemic dogs who were fed liver improved their condition, actually reversing the condition. Minot and Murphy used this research to successful treat pernicious anemia.

1886 - Element germanium discovered.

Germanium is a gray-white element with a metallic luster.
Gibe, wikipedia.org
Clemens Alexander Winkler discovered the element germanium which was predicted by Mendeleev's periodic table.

1894 - Eberth Edwin Klebs was born.

Eberth Edwin Klebs (1834 - 1913)
Klebs was a German physician and bacteriologist who is known by his research into the bacterial theory of infection. He discovered the bacillus that causes diphtheria with Friedrich August Johannes Löffler. Diphtheria is an contagious upper respiratory disease that affects the tonsils, pharynx and nasal cavities that causes a low fever and diminished motor control and loss of sensations.

1804 - Joseph Priestley died

Joseph Priestley (1733 - 1804)
Wikimedia Commons

Priestly was an English theologian and natural philosopher who isolated a gas he called dephlogisticated air, known today as the element oxygen. He discovered other 'airs' or gasses such as nitrous air (nitric oxide), alkaline air (ammonia), vitriolic acid air (sulfur dioxide) and diminished nitrous air (nitrous oxide).

1802 - Charles Wheatstone was born.

Charles Wheatstone (1802 - 1875)
Samuel Laurence
Wheatstone was a British scientist who developed a method to determine electrical resistance called the Wheatstone bridge. He also invented the Playfair cipher that was used by the British well into World War I to encrypt messages. He also determined that electricity had a 'speed' and was not instantaneous.

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