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Not to be confused with army general Theodore Schwan.

Theodor Schwann

Theodor Schwann
Born 7 December 1810
Died 11 January 1882
Known for Cell Theory
Schwann Cells
Influences Johannes Peter Müller

Theodor Schwann (7 December 1810 – 11 January 1882) was a German physiologist. His many contributions to biology include the development of cell theory, the discovery of Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system, the discovery and study of pepsin, the discovery of the organic nature of yeast, and the invention of the term metabolism. He died on Jan. 11, 1882, 2 years after his retirement, in Cologne.

Contents

Vitalism and germ theory

Schwann was the first of Müller's pupils to break with vitalism and work towards a physico-chemical explanation of life. Schwann's rediscovery of the cell came when he was paying particular attention to the cytoplasm of a plant cell, and noticed its jelly-like consistency. He went on to view animal cells, and noted that they had different properties. Müller also directed Schwann's attention to the process of digestion, which Schwann showed in 1837 to depend essentially on the presence of a ferment he called pepsin. Schwann also examined the question of spontaneous generation, which led to its eventual disproof. In the course of hieriments, he discovered the organic nature of yeast. In fact, the whole germ theory of Pasteur, as well as its antiseptic applications by Lister, can be traced to Schwann's influence.

Theory

Once, when Schwann was dining with Matthias Jakob Schleiden (who in 1837 had viewed and stated that new plant cells formed from the nuclei of old plant cells) in 1837, the conversation turned on the nuclei of plants and animal cells. Schwann remembered seeing similar structures in the cells of the notochord (as had been shown by Müller) and instantly realized the importance of connecting the two phenomena. The resemblance was confirmed without delay by both observers, and the results soon appeared in his famous Microscopic Investigations on the Accordance in the Structure and Growth of Plants and Animals, in which he declared that "All living things are composed of cells and cell products."[1] Thus cell theory was definitely constituted. In the course of his verification of cell theory, in which Schwann traversed the whole field of histology, he proved the cellular origin and development of the most highly differentiated tissues including nails, feathers, and tooth enamel.

His generalization became the foundation of modern histology, and in the hands of Rudolf Virchow (whose cellular pathology was an inevitable deduction from Schwann) placed modern pathology on a truly scientific basis.

References

  1. ^ Schwann, Theodor (1839). Microscopic Investigations on the Accordance in the Structure and Growth of Plants and Animals. Berlin. http://vlp.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/library/data/lit28715/index_html?pn=7.   (English translation by the Sydenham Society, 1847)

Further reading

  • Aszmann, O. C. (May 2000). "The life and work of Theodore Schwann". Journal of reconstructive microsurgery (United States) 16 (4): 291–5. ISSN 0743-684X. PMID 10871087.  
  • Florkin, M. (September 1958). "Episodes in medicine of the people from Liège: Schwann & the stigmatized". Revue médicale de Liège 13 (18): 627–38. ISSN 0370-629X. PMID 13591909.  
  • Florkin, M. (September 1957). "1838; Year of crisis in the life of Théodore Schwann". Revue médicale de Liège 12 (18): 503–10. ISSN 0370-629X. PMID 13466730.  
  • Florkin, M. (March 1957). "Discovery of pepsin by Theodor Schwann". Revue médicale de Liège 12 (5): 139–44. ISSN 0370-629X. PMID 13432398.  
  • Florkin, M. (November 1951). "Schwann as medical student". Revue médicale de Liège 6 (22): 771–7.  
  • Florkin, M. (October 1951). "Schwann at the Tricoronatum". Revue médicale de Liège 6 (20): 696–703. ISSN 0370-629X. PMID 14883601.  
  • Florkin, M. (May 1951). "The family and childhood of Schwann". Revue médicale de Liège 6 (9): 231–8. ISSN 0370-629X. PMID 14845235.  
  • Lukács, D. (April 1982). "Centenary of the death of Theodor Schwann". Orvosi hetilap (Hungary) 123 (14): 864–6. ISSN 0030-6002. PMID 7043357.  
  • Watermann, R. (January 1973). "Theodor Schwann accepted the honorable appointment abroad". Medizinische Monatsschrift (Germany, West) 27 (1): 28–31. ISSN 0025-8474. PMID 4576700.  
  • Watermann, R. (December 1960). "Theodor Schwann as a maker of lifesaving apparatus". Die Medizinische Welt 50: 2682–7. ISSN 0025-8512. PMID 13783359.  

External links

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Theodor Schwann
File:Schwann
Theodor Schwann
Born 7 December 1810
Neuss
Died 11 January 1882
Known for Cell Theory
Schwann Cells
Influences Johannes Peter Müller

Theodor Schwann (7 December 1810, Neuss – 11 January 1882) was a German physiologist. His many contributions to biology include the development of cell theory, the discovery of Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system, the discovery and study of pepsin, the discovery of the organic nature of yeast, and the invention of the term metabolism.

Contents

Vitalism and germ theory

He was the first of Müller's pupils to break with vitalism and work towards a physico-chemical explanation of life. Schwann's rediscovery of the cell came when he was paying particular attention to the cytoplasm of a plant cell, and noticed its jelly-like consistency. He went on to view animal cells, and noted that they had different properties. Müller also directed Schwann's attention to the process of digestion, which Schwann showed in 1837 to depend essentially on the presence of a ferment he called pepsin. Schwann also examined the question of spontaneous generation, which led to its eventual disproof. In the course of his experiments, he discovered the organic nature of yeast. In fact, the whole germ theory of Pasteur, as well as its antiseptic applications by Lister, can be traced to Schwann's influence.

Theory

Once, when Schwann was dining with Matthias Jakob Schleiden (who in 1837 had viewed and stated that new plant cells formed from the nuclei of old plant cells) in 1837, the conversation turned on the nuclei of plants and animal cells. Schwann remembered seeing similar structures in the cells of the notochord (as had been shown by Müller) and instantly realized the importance of connecting the two phenomena. The resemblance was confirmed without delay by both observers, and the results soon appeared in his famous Microscopic Investigations on the Accordance in the Structure and Growth of Plants and Animals, in which he declared that "All living things are composed of cells and cell products."[1] Thus cell theory was definitely constituted. In the course of his verification of cell theory, in which Schwann traversed the whole field of histology, he proved the cellular origin and development of the most highly differentiated tissues including nails, feathers, and tooth enamel.

His generalization became the foundation of modern histology, and in the hands of Rudolf Virchow (whose cellular pathology was an inevitable deduction from Schwann) placed modern pathology on a truly scientific basis.

References

  1. ^ Schwann, Theodor (1839). Microscopic Investigations on the Accordance in the Structure and Growth of Plants and Animals. Berlin. http://vlp.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/library/data/lit28715/index_html?pn=7.  (English translation by the Sydenham Society, 1847)

Further reading

  • Aszmann, O. C. (May 2000). [Expression error: Unexpected < operator "The life and work of Theodore Schwann"]. Journal of reconstructive microsurgery (United States) 16 (4): 291–5. doi:10.1055/s-2000-7336. ISSN 0743-684X. PMID 10871087. 
  • Florkin, M. (September 1958). [Expression error: Unexpected < operator "Episodes in medicine of the people from Liège: Schwann & the stigmatized"]. Revue médicale de Liège 13 (18): 627–38. ISSN 0370-629X. PMID 13591909. 
  • Florkin, M. (September 1957). [Expression error: Unexpected < operator "1838; Year of crisis in the life of Théodore Schwann"]. Revue médicale de Liège 12 (18): 503–10. ISSN 0370-629X. PMID 13466730. 
  • Florkin, M. (March 1957). [Expression error: Unexpected < operator "Discovery of pepsin by Theodor Schwann"]. Revue médicale de Liège 12 (5): 139–44. ISSN 0370-629X. PMID 13432398. 
  • Florkin, M. (November 1951). [Expression error: Unexpected < operator "Schwann as medical student"]. Revue médicale de Liège 6 (22): 771–7. 
  • Florkin, M. (October 1951). [Expression error: Unexpected < operator "Schwann at the Tricoronatum"]. Revue médicale de Liège 6 (20): 696–703. ISSN 0370-629X. PMID 14883601. 
  • Florkin, M. (May 1951). [Expression error: Unexpected < operator "The family and childhood of Schwann"]. Revue médicale de Liège 6 (9): 231–8. ISSN 0370-629X. PMID 14845235. 
  • Haas, L. F. (January 1999). [Expression error: Unexpected < operator "Neurological stamp. Theodore Schwann (1810-82)"]. J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiatr. (England) 66 (1): 103. ISSN 0022-3050. PMID 9886465. 
  • Hayashi, M. (1992). [Expression error: Unexpected < operator "Theodor Schwann and reductionism"]. Kagakushi kenkyu. Journal of the history of science, Japan (Japan) 31 (184): 209–14. ISSN 0022-7692. PMID 11639601. 
  • Kiszely, G. (April 1983). [Expression error: Unexpected < operator "Theodor Schwann"]. Orvosi hetilap (Hungary) 124 (16): 959–62. ISSN 0030-6002. PMID 6343953. 
  • Kosinski, C. M. (December 2004). [Expression error: Unexpected < operator "Theodor Schwann"]. Der Nervenarzt (Germany) 75 (12): 1248. doi:10.1007/s00115-004-1805-5. PMID 15368056. 
  • Kruta, V. (1987). [Expression error: Unexpected < operator "The idea of the primary unity of elements in the microscopic structure of animals and plants. J. E. Purkynĕ and Th. Schwann"]. Folia mendeliana (Czech Republic) 22: 35–50. ISSN 0085-0748. PMID 11621603. 
  • Lukács, D. (April 1982). [Expression error: Unexpected < operator "Centenary of the death of Theodor Schwann"]. Orvosi hetilap (Hungary) 123 (14): 864–6. ISSN 0030-6002. PMID 7043357. 
  • Watermann, R. (January 1973). [Expression error: Unexpected < operator "Theodor Schwann accepted the honorable appointment abroad"]. Medizinische Monatsschrift (Germany, West) 27 (1): 28–31. ISSN 0025-8474. PMID 4576700. 
  • Watermann, R. (December 1960). [Expression error: Unexpected < operator "Theodor Schwann as a maker of lifesaving apparatus"]. Die Medizinische Welt 50: 2682–7. ISSN 0025-8512. PMID 13783359. 

External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

Medical warning!
This article is from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica. Medical science has made many leaps forward since it has been written. This is not a site for medical advice, when you need information on a medical condition, consult a professional instead.

THEODOR SCHWANN (1810-1882), German physiologist, was born at Neuss in Rhenish Prussia on the 7th of December 18 o. His father was a man of great mechanical talent; at first a goldsmith, he afterwards founded an important printing establishment. Schwann inherited his father's tastes, and the leisure of his boyhood was largely spent in constructing little machines of all kinds. He studied at the Jesuits' college in Cologne and afterwards at Bonn, where he met Johannes Muller, in whose physiological experiments he soon came to assist. He next went to Wiirzburg to continue his medical studies, and thence to Berlin to graduate in 1834. Here he again met Muller, who had been meanwhile translated to Berlin, and who finally persuaded him to enter on a scientific career and appointed him assistant at the anatomical museum. Schwann in 1838 was called to the chair of anatomy at the Roman Catholic university of Louvain, where he remained nine years. In 1847 he went as professor to Liege, where he remained till his death on the 11th of January 1882. He was of a peculiarly gentle and amiable character, and remained a devout Catholic throughout his life. It was during the four years spent under the influence of Muller at Berlin that all Schwann's really valuable work was done. Muller was at this time preparing his great book on physiology, and Schwann assisted him in the experimental work required. His attention being thus directed to the nervous and muscular tissues, besides making such histological discoveries as that of the envelope of the nerve-fibres which now bears his name, he initiated those researches in muscular contractility since so elaborately worked out by Du Bois Reymond and others. He was thus the first of Miller's pupils who broke with the traditional vitalism and worked towards a physico-chemical explanation of life. Muller also directed his attention to the process of digestion, which Schwann showed to depend essentially on the presence of a ferment called by him pepsin. Schwann also examined the question of spontaneous generation, which he greatly aided to disprove, and in the course of his experiments discovered the organic nature of yeast. In fact the whole germ theory of Pasteur, as well as its antiseptic applications by Lister, is traceable to his influence. Once when he was dining with Schleiden in 1837, the conversation turned on the nuclei of vegetable cells. Schwann remembered having seen similar structures in the cells of the notochord (as had been shown by Muller) and instantly realized the importance of connecting the two phenomena. The resemblance was confirmed without delay by both observers, and the results soon appeared in his famous Microscopic Investigations on the Accordance in the Structure and Growth of Plants and Animals (Berlin, 1839; trans. Sydenham Society, 1847). The cell theory was thus definitely constituted. In the course of his verifications of the cell theory, in which he traversed the whole field of histology, he proved the cellular origin and development of the most highly differentiated tissues, nails, feathers, enamels, &c. His generalization became the foundation of modern histology, and in the hands of Rudolf Virchow (whose cellular pathology was an inevitable deduction from Schwann) afforded the means of placing modern pathology on a truly scientific basis.

An excellent account of Schwann's life and work is that by Leon Fredericq (Liege, 1884).


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Simple English

[[File:|thumb|right|Theodor Schwann]] Theodore Schwann (December 7, 1810January 11, 1882) was a German scientist who isolated and named the enzyme pepsin. He was also responsible for founding modern biology, and the idea of the cell being the foundation of living organisms. To him cells were very important because they made up all living things.


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