Rudolf Virchow, German pathologist

Rudolf Virchow, German pathologist

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Caption: Rudolf Virchow (1821-1902), German pathologist and anthropologist. Virchow was a skilled pathologist. He was the first to recognise leukaemia and also described many other conditions such as thrombosis, embolism and inflammations. In the 1850s, he took up Schwann and Schleiden's cell theory and applied it to pathology. He believed that diseases originated within cells and saw them as a continuous change in the cells rather than as a result of an invasive agent as proposed by the germ theory of Pasteur. He was also an enthusiast for anthropology and archaeology. He worked on the 1879 dig to discover the site of Troy. He became famous later in his career for apparently acrimonious clashes with Haeckel on human evolution and free thought. This artwork dates from 1870.

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