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Vol. 343 ,
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
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- About Us
A Trick of the Eye
17 December 1997 8:00 pm
Jan Purkinje, a histologist and physiologist whose findings led to important insights into how the body works, was born on this day in 1787. Purkinje is famous for explaining visual phenomena: the Purkinje effect describes how blue objects appear brighter than red objects in dimmer light. And Purkinje's images are the threefold reflections seen in the eye of another person, caused by an object reflecting from the cornea's surface and both sides of the lens.
Purkinje also discovered the large nerve cells with numerous dendrites in the cerebellum. He was the first to identify unusual muscle fibers in the membrane lining the heart, now known to conduct the pacemaker stimulus. He was also the first to spot the sweat glands by sight, not smell. In his spare time, Purkinje improved techniques for preparing tissue samples, using a microtome--an instrument that slices tissues into very thin samples.
[Source: Roy Porter, Ed. The Biographical Dictionary of Scientists, Second Edition. Oxford University Press. 1994.]