Posted on December 29, 2014
I wouldn't go so far as to call this doctor and scientist “Mr. Urine,” but Carl Ludwig did develop the modern theory about the formation of urine!
Ludwig (who was born in Germany on this date in 1816) figured out that urine was formed by a filtration process in the kidneys, and then he modified his own theory to come up with the more complex understanding of urine formation that still stands today.
But there was a lot more to Ludwig's physiological contributions. He invented ways to measure blood pressure and blood flow, he invented a device to separate gases from blood, and he was the first to keep animal organs alive outside the body. He even researched anesthesia. He won numerous awards and is credited by scholars as having contributed to our understanding of every body system other than our sensory systems (sight, hearing, etc.).
But there's more. Ludwig was a professor and a great teacher. He founded a school: the Physiological Institute at the University of Leipzig.
And of course you know what I'm going to say next:
There's more. Way more. Ludwig (along with several others he discussed science and medicine with in Berlin) rejected the idea that had existed forever that biology had its own special laws and forces. That living things were completely different from nonliving things in their “vital force” – and that the physical and chemical laws that applied in other scientific endeavors had no bearing on biology.
Instead, Ludwig and his friends tried to understand the complexities of living things by looking at those laws of physics and chemistry.
And of course, they were right.
- Find out how urine is formed through this Crash Course You Tube video.
- Here is a much-shorter, simpler, and cornier info-video about the urinary system, for young kids.
- Have you ever seen Urinetown: The Musical?
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