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New PDF release: William Harvey and the Mechanics of the Heart

By Jole Shackelford

ISBN-10: 0195120493

ISBN-13: 9780195120493

William Harvey is the riveting tale of a seventeenth-century guy of medication and the clinical revolution he sparked together with his awesome discoveries approximately blood flow in the physique. Jole Shackelford strains Harvey's existence from his early days in Folkstone, England, to his examine of medication in Padua via his upward thrust to courtroom health practitioner to King James I and King Charles I, the place he had the chance to behavior his learn in human biology and body structure. Harvey's lecture notes convey that he believed within the function of the center in flow of blood via a closed approach as early as 1615. but he waited thirteen years, until eventually 1628, to put up his findings, while he felt safer at introducing an idea counter to ideals that were held for centuries. A revealing examine the altering social, non secular, and political views of the time, William Harvey records how one man's originality helped introduce a brand new approach of engaging in clinical experiments that we nonetheless use this present day.

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Sample text

It is all guesswork, but not baseless—"for I have tryed it in a sheep," he wrote. Clearly, this amount of blood cannot be manufactured fast enough from what we eat to supply the heart, nor can it be used up that quickly for the body's nutrition. The logical consequence, according to Harvey, is that the blood must be going somewhere that does not entail its destruction, and coming from somewhere that does not require its manufacture. In other words, it must be recirculated. Having presented a strong argument for the circulation of blood, Harvey now needed to describe how it circulates directionally—to demonstrate its path though the body.

49 William Harvey in the arm -was a common treatment for a variety of medical conditions and was even recommended as a means of preventing disease. By using this diagram, Harvey was quietly appealing to the common experiences of every physician and probably of most patients, too. This feature of Harvey's book, his appeal to direct observation and personal experience, ensured that his ideas would not be dismissed until they had been tried and retried across Europe, and made it one of the foundation texts for a profound change in the "way science was conducted.

He was a physician at St. Bartholomew's Hospital; an active member of the College of Physicians, where he also lectured twice a week; a consulting physician to the king; and he probably maintained some sort of private practice. During this time he was eagerly investigating the nature of the heart and the vascular system, trying to make sense of certain features that the traditional medical theories did not adequately explain. He asked questions such as why the veins were larger nearer the heart, when they were thought to originate in the liver, or why the "vein" that served the lungs seemed much too large to be merely providing them nourishment and, moreover, had a structure more like an artery than a vein.

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William Harvey and the Mechanics of the Heart by Jole Shackelford

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