Claude Bernard, French physiologist

Claude Bernard, French physiologist

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Caption: Claude Bernard (1813-1878), French physiologist and pioneer of experimental medicine and physiological chemistry. Bernard's discoveries were wide-ranging, and many depended on his skill in vivisection, using mainly dogs and rabbits. Bernard was the founder of the principle of the internal environment, the ability of animals to regulate their internal temperature, acidity and osmotic pressure. This concept was later expanded by Walter Cannon (1971-1945) as 'homeostasis'. Bernard also described the liver's function in regulating blood sugar levels, and the preferential affinity of haemoglobin to oxygen and carbon monoxide, rather than carbon dioxide.

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