Today in Science History

From Today in Science History:

William Henry Hudson (Born 4 Aug 1841; died 18 Aug 1922). English (born in Argentina of American parents) author, naturalist and ornithologist. His interest in nature started in his youth when he studied the local flora and fauna in Argentina, where he was born of American parents. After moving to England (1869) he published onithological works including Argentine Ornithology (1888-1899) and British Birds (1895). He followed these with popular books on the English countryside, including Hampshire Days (1903) and Afoot in England (1909). His work helped foster the back-to-nature movement of the 1920s to 1930s, and he was a founder member of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

John Tradescant, the Younger (Born 4 Aug 1608; died 22 Apr 1662). British botanist and gardener who was appointed by King Charles I as Keeper of his Majesty’s Gardens, Vines, and Silkworms at Oatlands Palace in Surrey, where he continued the work of his father John Tradescant the Elder (c.1570-1638). Together, they were among the earliest English botanists. After his apprenticeship, John Tradescant the Younger became a freeman of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners (1634). Three years later, he went to Virginia on a botanical collection expedition (1637-38) “to gather up all raritye of flowers, plants, shells.” His father had served similarly for the king from 1630, travelling abroad several times to bring back new plant species. The son succeeded to the post at Oatland Palace upon his father’s death in 1638.

Walther Flemming (Died 4 Aug 1905; born 21 Apr 1843). German anatomist who was the first to observe and describe systematically the behaviour of chromosomes in the cell nucleus during normal cell division (mitosis, a term he coined in 1882). Thus, he was a founder of cytogenetics as a branch of science to study chromosomes, the cell’s hereditary material. Flemming coined other terms: spireme, aster, chromatin, achromatin, monocentric and dicentric phases. Chromatin (Gr. chroma = colour) referred to certain fragments of the cell nucleus that took on a strong colour from the dyes he used during microscopic study. Flemming did not know of Mendel’s work, so 20 years passed before the genetic implications were realized. Chromosomes, formed from cromatin, were named in 1888 by Waldeyer-Hartz.

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