By Laura Otis

Many constructions within the human physique are named after Johannes Muller, some of the most revered anatomists and physiologists of the nineteenth century. Muller taught a number of the top scientists of his age, lots of whom may move directly to make trail-blazing discoveries in their personal. between them have been Theodor Schwann, who validated that each one animals are made from cells; Hermann Helmholtz, who measured the speed of nerve impulses; and Rudolf Virchow, who confident medical professionals to think about disorder on the mobile point. This publication tells Muller's tale by means of interweaving it with these of 7 of his most famed students.Muller suffered from melancholy and insomnia even as he was once doing his most vital clinical paintings, and should have dedicated suicide at age fifty six. Like Muller, his such a lot trendy scholars confronted own and social demanding situations as they practiced state-of-the-art technological know-how. Virchow was once fired for his political activism, Jakob Henle was once jailed for club in a dueling society, and Robert Remak used to be barred from Prussian universities for refusing to give up his Orthodox Judaism. through recounting those tales, Muller's Lab explores the ways that own lifestyles can impact scientists' specialist offerings, and therefore impact the nice discoveries they make.

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111 While Müller cared intensely for all of his projects, from blood chemistry to sea urchin development, each was a means to an end. Throughout his career, he chose topics that promised to reveal the organizing principles of life. In his doctoral research of 1822, while watching the opposing movements of insects’ legs, Müller was seeking an overarching plan of which every living being Müller’s Net 21 formed a part. He had begun this quest for patterns after his early training in nature philosophy, and it remained fundamental to his scientific outlook.

What counted was the live individual and its relation to members of other species. From the mid-1830s onward, the project that consumed most of Müller’s energy and attention was the classification of marine life. In the late 1830s, he developed new classificatory systems for the myxinoids (hagfishes) and plagiostomes (cartilaginous fishes such as sharks and rays). In the 1840s, he continued this work with studies of the cyclostomes (lampreys) and ganoid (scaly) fishes. ”130 Müller was particularly intrigued 24 Müller’s Lab by echinoderms, spiny animals with radial symmetry such as sea urchins and starfish.

Müller’s Net 9 tion in one animal alone, preferring to compare the ways that different organisms solved physiological problems. His 1826 study, On the Comparative Physiology of Vision in Men and Animals, explained the mechanism of human binocular vision but also contained a long section on the structure of insect eyes. In this book, Müller first expressed his law of specific sense energies. Through his comparative studies of nervous systems, he had realized that sensory receptors are not passive receivers of outer stimuli, since the same external event (a mechanical pinch, for example) affects different sensory organs in different ways and can be perceived as light, sound, or pain.

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