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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...
- 6 March 2014 1:04 pm , Vol. 343 , #6175
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The Body Electric
9 September 1999 6:00 pm
Today is the 262nd anniversary of the birth of Luigi Galvani, an Italian anatomist known for his discovery of electrical conductivity in animals. Galvani made the chance observation, described in 1791, that a frog will twitch if laid out for dissection on a table with a generator. He then showed that convulsions could be produced by connecting the frog to a lightning conductor during stormy weather, and whenever the frog formed part of a circuit containing one or more pieces of metal. Galvani spurred a vigorous debate about whether the electricity resided in the animal, as he supposed, or in the metals, as Allessandro Volta proposed. Volta was proved correct in 1800 when he discovered the voltaic cell.
[Source: Trevor I. Williams, Ed., A Biographical Dictionary of Scientists (John Wiley & Sons, New York, ed. 3, 1982).]