AnAtomy By the Decade ?· Italian physician and scientist Camillo Golgi develops a novel technique for…

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  • AnAtomyIntroductIonGermany, the late 1880s. The work of European anatomists such as Wilhelm His who studied neural crest cell migration and developed hypotheses that inspired the neuron doctrine is growing in significance and scope. Advances in laboratory techniques are giving rise to exciting new discoveries and theories in the field of anatomy. Reports of these developments are reaching far outside Europe, attracting the attention and igniting the curiosity of scientists halfway around the world.

    The late nineteenth century saw the science of anatomy gain a new circle of influence as more American researchers traveled to Europe to learn from pioneers such as Wilhelm His. In Germany, the American students of His and Carl

    Ludwig included Franklin Paine Mall, William H. Welch, and Charles S. Minot. These and other American scientists were participating in the stream of discovery and,

    feeling the influence of their scientific forebears, realized the need for more anatomy research facilities and publication venues in America.

    This brief timeline highlights some of the events that influenced the history of the American Association of Anatomists. It also singles out some of the people whose scientific contributions have shaped the modern science of anatomy: gross anatomists, histologists, embryologists, cytologists, philosophers, doctors, scientists, advocates, surgeons, anthropologists, paleontologists, chemists, image engineers, inventors, students, teachers, authors discoverers all.

    n 1868discovery of neural crest cells

    Wilhelm His identifies the structure that would later become known as the neural crest. It consists of a migratory population of cells loosely referred to as the 4th germ layer, given the incredible diversity of cell and tissue types to which it gives rise. Neural crest cells are essential for jaw and craniofacial variation, peripheral nervous system development and development of other tissues. Evolution of these cells helped facilitate the radiation and adaptation of vertebrates into new environments.

    n 1873Golgi methodItalian physician and scientist Camillo Golgi develops a novel technique for staining nervous tissue in 1873. Golgi initially calls it the black reaction (la reazione nera), but it becomes better known as the Golgi stain or Golgi method.

    Golgi staining was improved upon by the Spanish pathologist, histologist, and neuroscientist Santiago Ramn y Cajal, who used the technique to make a number of novel discoveries about the organization of the nervous system. Ramn y Cajals work in neuroanatomy would inspire the birth of the neuron doctrine.

    Of the Golgi method, Ramn y Cajal said: I expressed the surprise which I experienced upon seeing with my own eyes the wonderful revelatory powers of the chrome-silver reaction and the absence of any excitement in the scientific world aroused by its discovery.

    By the Decade

    I defend the following postulate as an indisputable principle: that each nerve fiber originates as a process from a single cell. This is its genetic, nutritive, and functional center; all other connections of the fiber are either indirect or secondary.

    Wilhelm His

    The ancient science of anatomy has been perpetuated and extended during the many centuries of its existence by great men who have dedicated their lives to it. The list is a long one for the development of the science has been slow and progressive from the earliest ages to the present time; we find in it on the one hand, some of the greatest who have ever lived - Aristotle, Vesalius - on the other, the names of those who rank as leaders of a generation, Bichat, His.

    Franklin Paine Mall

    1888-1889Joseph Leidy

    First AAA President

    Wilhelm His

    Camillo Golgi

    A human neocortical pyramidal neuron stained via Golgi method. Notice the apical dendrite extending vertically above the soma and the numerous basal dendrites radiating lateral-lypene from the base of the cell body.

    n 1886the neuron doctrineBy 1886 Wilhelm His theorizes that each nerve fiber stems from a single nerve cell, an idea that was essential to the development of the neuron doctrine which states that the neuron, or nerve cell, is the basic unit of the nervous system.

    n 1887Franklin Paine mall helps establish anatomy as a science in America

    Franklin Paine Mall conducts his early work in Europe, first in the laboratory of Wilhelm His and then with Carl Ludwig. In less than two years of study, Mall ascertained the endodermal origin of the thymus gland.

    Malls scientific focus and aptitude for research were extraordinary. Before he was middle-aged he also demonstrated the vascular patterns of organs; discovered the vasomotor nerves of the portal vein; clarified the structure of organs with his concept of structural units; delineated the laws of growth of the nervous system; followed the development of certain organs to the adult state; and laid the foundations for the study of the pathology of embryos.

    According to his biographers, Mall was instrumental in establishing anatomy as a science in the United States. At

    Johns Hopkins University, he was able to organize a department of anatomy that would reflect his view of the science (The study of anatomy begins with the cell, ends with the entire individual, and includes man. ) and realize what he saw as the fields potential (A subject like anatomy, taught for many centuries, has recently been made a new science through the studies in embryology and histology.)

    n 1888AAA foundedThe American Association of Anatomists is founded September 17, 1888, at Georgetown University. Joseph Leidy, the founder of American paleontology,served as the first president.

    Portrait of Franklin Paine Mall.

    Johns Hopkins anatomy building. Students dissecting in lab under Franklin Mall.

    Joseph Leidy

    American Association of Anatomists | Celebrating 125 years of Teaching and Research

    A portrait of Andreas Vesalius.

    The background image on the left

    side of the panel is an anatomical

    engraving from Vesalius Opera

    omnia anatomica and chirurgica.


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