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History of Biology

Prehistory
• Around 200,000 BC • Started to accumulate information about the behavior of plants and animals in their environment while foraging. Developed cultivation or crops and domestication of wild animals

Beginnings of Ancient Biology
5th-4th BC Began with the work and thought of Aristotle. He is the ―Founding Father of Biology‖ Asked the question: ―What is life?‖ His student Theophrastus attempted to classify and describe plants.

Biology enters a period of relative decline
• In the profoundly Christian centuries of the European Middle Ages the prevailing mood is not conducive to scientific enquiry. God knows best, and so He should - since He created everything.

• Galen demonstrated that living arteries contained blood through dissection of apes and pigs.

A new birth of investigation in biology
• Illustrated books • Anatomical drawings of Leonardo Da Vinci. • Otto Brunfels: Herbarum vivae eicones (Living images of plants)

A new birth of investigation in biology • In 1540 Vesalius gives a public demonstration of the inaccuracies of Galen‘s anatomical theories, which are still the orthodoxy of the medical profession.

Andreas Vesalius (Dec. 31, 1514-October 15, 1564)

•In 1543 Vesalius published his revolutionary book De humani corporis fabrica (On the Structure of the Human Body). Seven volumes in total on the structure of the human body.

• It was the most accurate and detailed anatomical text ever to have been produced.

• By a long series of dissections (from dogs and pigs down to slugs and oysters), and by a process of logical argument, Harvey is able to prove that the body contains only a single supply of blood; and that the heart is a Harvey and the circulation of the muscle pumping it blood: AD 1628 round a circuit.

William Harvey (April 1, 1578 – June 3, 1657)
 Was an English physician who is credited with being the first in the Western world to describe correctly and in exact detail the systemic circulation and properties of blood being pumped around the body by the heart.

Beginnings of Modern Biology
• In the early 17th century, the micro-world of biology was just beginning to open up.

Antoine Van Leeuwenhoek (October 24, 1632 – August 30, 1723)

•Invented the Microscope •in 1674 he discovered infusoria (protists in modern zoological classification) •in 1676 he discovered bacteria, (e.g. large Selenomonads from the human mouth)

Leeuwenhoek‘s first microscope

• in 1677 he discovered spermatozoa • In 1682 he discovered the banded pattern of muscular fibers.

Systematizing, naming and classifying dominated natural history throughout much of the 17th and 18th centuries.

Carolus Linnaeus
(May 13, 1707 – January 10, 1778)

•The Father of Modern Taxonomy •Linnaean taxonomy; the system of scientific classification

• Linnaeus's prime contribution to taxonomy was to establish conventions for the naming of living organisms that became universally accepted in the scientific world--the work of Linnaeus represents the starting point of binomial nomenclature.

Robert Brown
(December 21, 1773–June 10, 1858) •He recognized and named the nucleus as a constant constituent of living cells in most plants, and

•Improved the natural classification of plants by establishing and defining new families and genera.

• He described the Brownian Movement—a natural continuous motion

Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, Chevalier de Lamarck
(August 1, 1744 – December 18, 1829)

An early proponent of the idea that evolution occurred and proceeded in accordance with natural laws. •Remembered primarily for a theory of "inheritance of acquired characters", called "soft inheritance" or Lamarckism.

Charles Darwin (12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882)

•Theory of evolution by natural selection •The Origin of Species

• His discovery remains the foundation of biology, as it provides a unifying logical explanation for the diversity of life.

Francis Galton (16 February 1822 – 17 January 1911)

•Founded biometrics as the approach to genetics •Galton was instrumental in the formulation of 'eugenics', which seeks to improve the human stock and prevent the degeneration of genetic potential.

Gregor Johann Mendel (July 20, 1822 – January 6, 1884)

•The inheritance of characteristics is governed by pairs of discrete elements derived from each parent.

• These parental elements pass into the germ cells of the offspring without influencing each other; this is the law of segregation.

Louis Pasteur
(December 27, 1822 – September 28, 1895)

Founded the science of microbiology and immunology and proved that most infectious diseases are caused by micro-organisms.
•He created the first vaccine for rabies

• He was best known to the general public for inventing a method to stop milk and wine from causing sickness - this process came to be called pasteurization.

Twentieth century biological sciences
• Ecology and environmental science • Classical genetics, the modern synthesis, and evolutionary theory • Biochemistry, microbiology, and molecular biology • Biotechnology, genetic engineering, and genomics • Molecular systematics and genomics

Our own Biologists
Most of the scientists we know are Europeans and Americans. I bet a lot of us have a hard time naming a single Filipino scientist. Many Filipino scientists have made major contributions to science and technology, but most of them do not get the publicity and credit that they so rightfully deserve.

Dr. Claire R. Baltazar
1st Filipina Entomologist
•1st Filipina entomologist to publish a book (Philippine Insects) that became the 1st authoritative text on Philippine insects • ―Mother of Philippine Entomology‖

Her numerous publications on Philippine insects especially on the Philippine Hymenoptera are very significant to science for they lay the groundwork for future biological control in the Philippines.

Dr. Magdalena C. Cantoria

Cantoria focused her research efforts on the morphology, physiology and biochemistry of drug plants. She has done basic studies on the pharmacognosy of agar, rauwolfia, datura, mint and Piper species.

Dr. Solita Camara-Besa
•1st Filipina to specialize in Biological Chemistry •1st Filipina to do a nationwide serum cholesterol survey

Her papers gave an idea of the importance of fats and cholesterol in the epidemiology of atherosclerosis among Filipinos.

Dr. Eduardo Quisumbing

Dr. Quisumbing was author of taxonomic and morphological papers, many of which deal with orchids, including ‗Medicinal plants in the Philippines‘ (Manila 1951).

Saccolabium quisumbingii has been named in his honor. He was recipient of the Distinguished Service Star (1954) for outstanding contribution to the field of systematic botany

Dr. Emerita V. De Guzman

An outstanding contribution of Dr. de Guzman is her series of work on the growth and development in vitro of the makapuno coconut embryo.

As a result of this effort, she has revolutionized the old ratio of the makapuno-bearing nuts in the tropics which produce only 3-5 makapuno nuts in every receme bearing 14-19 nuts. Dr. de Guzman produced 100% all makapuno-bearing in the receme.

Dr. Pedro B. Escuro
•Filipino scientist, Pedro Escuro isolated nine rice varieties.

•Filipino scientist, Doctor Pedro Escuro is best known for his isolation of nine "seed board" rice varieties that provided for their commercial release.