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January 11 Science History

Science History of January 11


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

1991 - Carl David Anderson died.

Anderson was an American physicist who was awarded half the 1936 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of the positron. The positron is an antimatter particle that is a positively charged electron. He also discovered with Seth Neddermeyer the muon particle. Muons are subatomic particles 207 times more massive than an electron.

1988 - Isidor Isaac Rabi died.

Rabi was a German-American physicist who was awarded the 1944 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of nuclear magnetic resonance. NMR is where magnetic nuclei in a magnetic field are exposed to an electromagnetic pulse and absorb energy from the pulse and radiate the energy back out. The energy radiated out depends on the magnetic field and quantum magnetic properties of the nuclei.

1924 - Roger Guillemin was born.

Guillemin is a French-American physiologist who shares half the 1977 Nobel Prize in Medicine with Andrew Schally for their discoveries about peptide hormone production in the brain. He isolated and synthesized three hormones produced in the hypothalamus region of the brain. These hormones control the activities of other hormone-producing glands in the body.

1922 - Insulin used to treat diabetes for the first time.

These are crystals of insulin.
Leonard Thompson, a 14 year old Canadian boy received the first injection of insulin to treat his diabetes. He developed an allergic reaction to the treatment, but recovered from his diabetic shock. The allergic reaction was later shown to be caused by an impurity in the insulin batch. He continued to take insulin injections for 13 more years until he died of pneumonia. Before insulin injections, diabetes was a certain killer within a few weeks after initial detection.

1884 - Theodor Schwann died.

Theodor Schwann (1810 - 1882)
Henry Smith Williams/The Story of Nineteenth-Century Science (1904)
Schwann was a German physiologist who defined the basic unit of animal tissue structure was the cell and helped begin the study of cell biology. He proved the cellular origin of fingernails, tooth enamel and feathers. He also discovered the digestive enzyme pepsin and coined the term 'metabolism' to describe the chemical reactions in living organisms necessary to stay alive.

1753 - Hans Sloane died.

Hans Sloane (1660 - 1753)
Wikipedia Commons
Sloan was an English physician who amassed a large collection of books, samples of plants and animals and many other curiosities that became the basis of The British Museum. Upon his death, his collection was offered intact to the British government for the sum of £20,000 for his heirs. Parliament jumped at the offer and created the British Museum to house the collection in 1753.

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