Biology in History

Historical Events

Historic Publication

1859-11-24 English naturalist Charles Darwin publishes "On the Origin of Species" radically changing the view of evolution and laying the foundation for evolutionary biology

Historic Publication

1952-08-14 Alan Turing's ground-breaking paper on mathematical biology “The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis” is published [1]

  • 1954-06-07 1st microbiology laboratory dedicated (New Brunswick NJ)

Historic Publication

1979-09-21 Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Lewontin publish influential paper (cited more than 4,000 times) "The Spandrels of San Marco and the panglossian paradigm", introducing idea of "spandrels" into evolutionary biology

  • 2013-07-27 First Przewalski’s horse (whose wild populations were believed extinct in 1969) is born via artificial insemination at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute as part of a worldwide effort to rebuild the wild herds
  • 2016-04-11 Updated "Tree of Life" published in "Nature Microbiology" by scientists from Berkeley University in California
  • 2016-09-08 Giraffe DNA study published in "Current Biology" reveals there are 4 species not just 1, as previously assumed

Brainless Jellyfish that Sleeps

2017-09-21 Discovery of the first brainless animal that sleeps, the jellyfish Cassiopea, research published in "Current Biology" by Caltech scientists

  • 2018-02-16 More than 100,00 orangutans killed in Borneo since 1999 according to study published in "Current Biology"
  • 2019-05-16 New DNA research showing bedbugs are older than humans - 115 million years old and outlived dinosaurs, published in "Current Biology"
  • 2019-12-19 Earliest fossilized trees, 386 million years old, found at a quarry in Cairo, New York, study published in "Current Biology"

Famous Birthdays

  • 1746-04-23 Félix Vicq-d'Azyr, French physician and anatomist (discover the theory of homology in biology), born in Valognes, Normandy, France (d. 1794)
  • 1875-06-20 Othenio Able, Austrian artist, fossil creator and founder of paleobiology, born in Vienna, Austria (d. 1946)
  • 1900-11-08 Albert F. Frey-Wyssling, Swiss botanist and pioneer of submicroscopic morphology and the discipline of molecular biology, born in Küsnacht, Switzerland (d. 1988)
  • 1927-01-13 Sydney Brenner, South African biologist known for his contributions on the genetic code and molecular biology (Nobel Laureate 2002), born in Germiston, Transvaal, South Africa

Famous Deaths

AristotleAristotle (384-322 BC)

0322-03-07 BC Greek philosopher and polymath known as the father of logic, biology and zoology, dies at around 61 or 62

  • 1794-06-20 Félix Vicq-d'Azyr, French physician and anatomist (discover the theory of homology in biology), dies at 46
  • 1946-07-04 Othenio Able, Austrian artist, fossil creator and founder of paleobiology, dies at 71
  • 1973-08-16 Selman Waksman, Ukrainian-American microbiologist (Nobel 1951-ingenious, systematic and successful studies of the soil microbes that led to the discovery of streptomycin), dies at 85
  • 1988-08-30 Albert F. Frey-Wyssling, Swiss botanist and pioneer of submicroscopic morphology and the discipline of molecular biology, dies at 87