Monday, September 27, 2010

Lazzaro Spallanzani

Lazzao Spallanzani
Lazzaro Spallanzani (1729 - 1799) Italian biologist of varied interests, who did important experiments in animal reproduction, human physiology, origin of life, and also other fields like volcanoes and weather and natural history. He was also a Catholic priest, and an indefatigable traveler and collector. His experiments on biogenesis, and the spontaneous origin of life paved way for Louis Pasteur's final and complete denunciation of the debate. Spallanzani was the first to carry out artificial insemination on a dog, and he proposed that for fertilization to occur, both sperm and ovum are essential. He was also the first to describe echolocation in bats, and carried out experiments on digestion, suggesting that digestion was more chemical in nature than just mechanical trituration. Louis Pasteur highly regarded the work of Spallanzani and had his portrait, along with that of Agostino Bassi, in his office. Spallanzani died of bladder cancer, and his bladder was removed by his colleagues and admirers for study after his death, and displayed at a museum in Pavia, where it remains to this day. It is one of the most famous preserved body parts in history.


Post a Comment