Ivan Pavlov

Ivan Pavlov was a Russian scientist whose work bridged the disciplines of physiology and psychology. Although he was by training a doctor, his most significant contribution lay in the field of behavioral psychology. After working as an experimental researcher, Pavlov became head of the department of physiology at Russia’s Institute of Experimental Medicine. Pavlov received…

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Discovery of Phosphorus

German alchemist Hennig Brand discovered phosphorous in 1669 when he strongly heated the residue left by the evaporation of urine. He observed the striking blue-green light that is emitted by phosphorus vapour when it comes in contact with air. The urine residue contained organic compounds and phosphate. When it was heated, the organic compounds were…

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It’s Raining What?

As a youngster growing up in England, I often heard the expression, “It’s raining cats and dogs.” Well, it is surprising what falls from the sky! There are many authentic reports of frogs, crabs, snails, fish and even maggots coming down with the rain. In 1990, a Japanese sailing boat was sunk by a falling…

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Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

Remember the little rhyme from childhood, “Twinkle, twinkle, little star.  How I wonder what you are”?  Well, many stars do twinkle because their brightness changes with time. For example, a star called Algol in the constellation Perseus periodically fades to half its normal brightness.  This cycle occurs about every three days.  Algol stays dim for…

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Francis Collins

Dr. Francis Collins is the Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute. He obtained a PhD in physical chemistry and a medical degree specializing in internal medicine. Dr. Collins pursued further research and studies in human genetics at Yale University. This academic blend has enabled him to become a pre-eminent researcher in the field…

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The Pain of Being a Redhead

Pain evokes different responses in different people.  We are still trying to understand fundamental questions about which systems in the brain modulate pain perception.  We’re also seeking to understand why different cultural and ethnic groups, react to pain in different ways. One interesting new finding is that people with red hair are more susceptible to…

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