GEORGE BERNARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GEORGE BERNARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Heart. Engraving of lungs and pop-up human heart from the first European physiology textbook, Rene Descartes' De Homine (1662). The heart (at centre) has flaps, one of which has been lifted to reveal the left ventricle. Blood vessels to (A) and from (D) the heart are seen along with the aortic arch (B), trachea (E) and oesophagus (G). The lungs are on either side of the heart. Descartes (1596-1650) was a French philosopher and mathematician. He based De Homine on the concept of a human machine made by God to be almost identical to a real person. This meant he could explain the body mechanically without being restr- icted by contemporary religion and physiology.
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