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Lazzaro Spallanzani, Italian Biologist

Lazzaro Spallanzani, Italian Biologist


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Lazzaro Spallanzani (January 10, 1729 - February 12, 1799) was an Italian Catholic priest, biologist and physiologist who made important contributions to the experimental study of bodily functions, animal reproduction, and essentially discovered echolocation. His research of biogenesis paved the way for the investigations of Louis Pasteur. Spallanzani researched the theory about the spontaneous generation of cellular life in 1768. His experiment suggested that microbes move through the air and that they could be killed through boiling. He discovered and described animal (mammal) reproduction, showing that it requires both semen and an ovum. He was the first to perform in vitro fertilization, with frogs, and an artificial insemination, using a dog. He was the pioneer of the original study of echolocation. In 1780 he published, Dissertationi di fisica animale e vegetale, wherein he first interpreted the process of digestion.

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