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Lazzaro Spallanzani
Please vote to return to collections (Voting Results will appear on Right Sidebar).
    (January 10, 1729-February 12, 1799)
    Born in Scandiano, Italy
    Experiments contributed to the downfall of preformationism, which stated that organisms developed from miniature versions of themselves
    Also conducted experiments on gastric juice in foodstuffs, leading to the theory of acid fermentation
    First to perform in vitro fertilization with frogs and an artificial insemination with a dog
    Credited with the classification of tardigrades, one of the hardiest extremophiles in the world
    Other studies included fossils, the reproduction system, and volcanic rocks
    Wrote 'Dissertazione sopra i corpi marino-montani then presented at the meeting the Accademia degli Ipocondriaci di Reggio Emilia' (1755), 'Essay on microscopic observations regarding the generation system of Messrs. Needham and Buffon' (1765), 'Dissertation on the Physiology of Animals and Vegetables' (2 vols, 1780), 'Experiences to Serve the History of the Generation of Animals and Plants' (1786), and 'Viaggi alle due Sicilie ed in alcune parti dell'Appennino' (1792)
    Ordained as a priest (1762)
    Elected Fellow of the Royal Society (June 1768) and foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (1775)
    Chair of natural history at the University of Pavia (1769-February 11, 1799)
    Died from bladder cancer in Pavia
    Bladder studied by colleagues and displayed in a museum in Pavia
    He humiliated a jealous colleague by planting a fake specimen of a composite 'species' for him to 'discover.'
    His theory of biogenesis wasn't comprehensive enough, so he didn't succeed in completely disproving spontaneous generation.
    Scientists during his time ridiculed his theory that bats can navigate without sight.
    He believed that germs were created by God.
    To be fair, the jealous colleague had tried to discredit him by falsely accusing him of stealing university specimens for his personal collection.
    His experiments continued to disprove the widespread belief spontaneous generation, which stated that certain organic matter can came from inorganic matter.
    He was popular with his students and colleagues.
    He enriched the University of Pavia museum by filling it with his findings from his journeys throughout the Mediterranean.

Credit: Big Lenny

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