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Michael Servetus

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  • Book Review
  • Biology
  • Literature
  • Medicine


BOOK REVIEWS beating against the vessel walls. Lancisi includes dilatation and hypertrophy of the heart in his work, and here some of his comments have the same sophistication that one might expect of a modern pathologist describing the detailed post-mortem findings of a case of heart failure. The history of medicine is a complex discipline, but one of its most fascinating aspects is discovering for oneself in the record of the past a first-rate mind using well-developed natural senses. Therein lies the reward for the reader of Lancisi's work on aneurysms. The translation and annotations of Mrs. Wright are excellent. FRANK D. GRAY, JR. ABRAHAM TREMBLEY OF GENEVA; SCIENTIST AND PHILOSOPHER, 1710- 1784. By John R. Baker. London, Edward Arnold & Co., 1952. xix + 259 pp., 52 illustrations. $7.50. This book retrieves from obscurity a biologist who achieved important observations and discoveries. He described with precision the reproduction of the polyp Hydra and of related primitive organisms. He learned that from their fragments can be regenerated complete bodies-multiplication by division. He proved asexual reproduction of polyps by budding. He first observed cell division. He successfully and permanently grafted animal tissues. He was an artist, a skilled teacher, an interesting friend. His description of the regeneration of polyps, it may be added, caused a major stir in the Academie Royale des Sciences and the Royal Society, won him the latter's Copley Medal, and attracted the literary barbs of Smollett, Fielding, Goldsmith, and Voltaire. Professor Baker, a distinguished cytologist, writes with thoroughness and respect for detail. Statements are carefully documented. An excellent series of drawings and photographs has been assembled by the author. The book is interesting, clear, and well organized. A bibliography and index are appended. THOMAS R. FORBES MICHAEL SERVETUS. A translation of his geographical, medical and astrological writings with introductions and notes. By Charles Donald

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