Schwann, Theodor

born Dec. 7, 1810, Neuss, Prussia
died Jan. 11, 1882, Cologne, Ger.

German physiologist.

He founded modern histology by recognizing the cell as the basic unit of animal structure. A year after Mathias Jacob Schleiden, a colleague Schwann knew well, advanced the cell theory for plants, Schwann extended it to animals. While investigating digestive processes, he isolated a substance responsible for digestion in the stomach, the first enzyme prepared from animal tissue, and named it pepsin. He studied muscle contraction and nerve structure, discovering the striated muscle in the upper esophagus and the myelin sheath covering nerve cells. He coined the term metabolism, identified the role played by microorganisms in the decomposition of organic matter, and formulated the basic principles of embryology by observing that the egg is a single cell that eventually develops into a complete organism.

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▪ German physiologist
born Dec. 7, 1810, Neuss, Prussia
died Jan. 11, 1882, Cologne
 German physiologist who founded modern histology by defining the cell as the basic unit of animal structure.

      After studying medicine in Berlin, Schwann assisted the physiologist Johannes Peter Müller (1834–38). In 1836, while investigating digestive processes, he isolated a substance responsible for digestion in the stomach and named it pepsin, the first enzyme prepared from animal tissue. While professor of physiology at the Catholic University of Leuven (Louvain), Belg. (1839–48), he observed the formation of yeast spores and concluded that the fermentation of sugar and starch was the result of life processes. He knew Mathias Schleiden (Schleiden, Mathias Jacob) well, and a year after the latter, working at University of Jena, advanced the cell theory for plants, Schwann extended it to animals in his Microscopical Researches into the Accordance in the Structure and Growth of Animals and Plants (1839).

      At the universities of Leuven and Liège, in Belgium (1849–79), he also investigated muscular contraction and nerve structure, discovering the striated muscle in the upper esophagus and the myelin sheath covering peripheral axons, now termed Schwann cells. He coined the term metabolism for the chemical changes that take place in living tissue, identified the role played by microorganisms in putrefaction, and formulated the basic principles of embryology by observing that the egg is a single cell that eventually develops into a complete organism. His later years were marked by increasing concern with theological issues.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • SCHWANN Théodor — (1810 1882) (retrato): fisiológo alemán, célebre por sus estudios sobre la estructura y función de las células animales y vegetales que le llevaron a demostrar que ambos tipos de células compartían muchas propiedades. Son conocidas sobre todo las …   Diccionario médico

  • Schwann, Theodor — • German physiologist and founder of the theory of the cellular structure of animal organisms; b. at Neuss, 7 December, 1810; d. Cologne, 11 January, 1882 Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Schwann,Theodor — Schwann (shvän), Theodor. 1810 1882. German physiologist and pioneer histologist who described the cell as the basic structure of animal tissue. * * * …   Universalium

  • Schwann, Theodor — ► (1810 82) Fisiólogo y anatomista alemán. Se ha dado su nombre a la cubierta mielínica de las fibras nerviosas (vaina de Schwann). * * * (7 dic. 1810, Neuss, Prusia–11 ene. 1882, Colonia, Alemania). Fisiólogo alemán. Fundó la histología moderna… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Schwann , Theodor — (1810–1882) German physiologist Born at Neuss in Germany, Schwann was educated at the universities of Bonn, Würzburg, and Berlin where he obtained his MD in 1834. He worked with Johannes Müller in Berlin from 1834 until 1838 when he moved to… …   Scientists

  • SCHWANN, THEODOR —    German physiologist, born at Neuss; made several discoveries in physiology, and established the cell theory (1810 1882) …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Schwann — Theodor …   Scientists

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  • Theodor Schwann — Theodor Schwann, Lithographie von Rudolf Hoffmann, 1857 Theodor Schwann …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Theodor Schwann — Theodor Schwann, né le 7 décembre 1810 à Neuss et mort le 11 janvier 1882 à Cologne est un physiologiste, histologiste et cytologiste allemand …   Wikipédia en Français

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