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Francesco Redi
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Scientist
    (February 18, 1626-March 1, 1697)
    Born in Arezzo, Italy
    Known as the 'founder of experimental biology' and as the 'father of modern parasitology'
    Challenged the theory of spontaneous generation through an experiment with meat in jars proving that maggots come from the eggs of flies
    Widely believed to have introduced the controlled experiment, in which he conducted two tests that are mostly identical except for one factor that causes different results in each experiment
    Discovered that snake venom must enter the bloodstream in order to be deadly and that its source is two small bladders covering the snake's fangs
    Documented about 180 parasite species by drawing them and recording where they were found
    Came up with the quote 'omne vivum ex vivo', meaning 'All life comes from life'
    Obtained doctoral degrees in medicine and philosophy from the University of Pisa (1647)
    Served as physician to Ferdinand II and Cosimo III of the Medici family
    Member of the Academy of Experiment in Florence (1657-1667)
    Wrote 'Observations on Vipers' (1664), 'Experiments on the Generation of Insects' (1668), 'Observations on Living Animals that are in Living Animals' (1684), 'Bacchus in Tuscany' (1685), 'Arianna Inferma', and his 'Letters'
    Died in his sleep in Pisa
    Namesake of the Redi Award, the most prestigious award in toxinology, given by the International Society on Toxinology since 1967
    He became physician to the Medici partly because of his father, who once served as their physician.
    Even though his experiment on flies and maggots disproved spontaneous generation, he still believed it was applicable in some cases, such as gall flies and intestinal worms.
    There was a debate on whether or not he started a family, with Leigh Hunt believing that he married and had one son, and Mab Bigelow believing that he never married.
    His last name sounds like 'ready'.
    His scientific discoveries started a series of experiments that eventually debunked spontaneous generation.
    He managed to avoid incurring the Catholic Church's wrath by presenting his views in a way that wouldn't raise their eyebrows too much.
    He helped promote the Tuscan language, such as supporting the preparation of a Tuscan dictionary.
    He suffered from epilepsy later in life.
    'Bacchus in Tuscany' is considered one of the finest works of 17th Century Italian poetry.

Credit: Big Lenny


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