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January 21 Science History

Science History of January 21


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

1926 - Camillo Golgi died.

Camillo Golgi (1843 - 1926)
Nobel Prize Foundation
Golgi was an Italian cytologist who shares the 1906 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his research into the nervous system. He discovered that if you used silver compounds to stain microscope slides of nerve tissue, new and unseen structures could be seen. This technique also showed the individual neurons in the brain.

1912 - Konrad Emil Bloch was born.

Bloch was a German-American biochemist who shared the 1964 Nobel Prize in Medicine with Feodor Lynen for their discoveries concerning the biosynthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol. Bloch discovered that acetic acid was a major contributor to the natural formation of cholesterol. Both men discovered how the body creates and regulates fatty acids and cholesterol.

1892 - John Couch Adams died.

John Couch Adams (1819 - 1892)
Adams was a British mathematician and astronomer who first predicted the existence of the planet Neptune to explain the irregularities of the orbit of Uranus. He submitted his calculations to the Cambridge Observatory who did nothing with the information. Another astronomer, Urbain Le Verrier calculated at the same time the same orbit of a theoretical planet to the Berlin Observatory. Berlin quickly found Neptune withing 1° of the theoretical position. After they announced their discovery, Cambridge dusted off Adams' work and tried to take credit, but they both have credit today.

1847 - Joseph-Achille Le Bel was born.

Joseph-Achille Le Bel (1847 – 1930)
Le Bel was a French chemist who was a co-founder of stereochemistry. He was investigating the polarization of light when reflected off of organic compounds. He theorized a molecule in which four different atoms or groups were linked to a carbon atom could exist as mirror images of each other. He published his theory independently of Jacobus van’t Hoff, who was also working on stereochemicial molecules.

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