Biology from 1862-1929
Louis Pasteur: Pasteur was a French Chemist who is widely known now as the father of “pasteurization.” However, Pasteur is also known in the world of biology for his work confirming the cell theory of disease through his extensive work in microbiology. He is also credited as being one of the founders of bacteriology, alongside co-founders Ferdinand Cohn and Robert Koch.
Gregor Mendel: Mendel was a priest and scientist particularly concerned with the study of genetics. Most specifically inheritance of recessive and dominant traits. Mendel studied inheritance genetics in pea plants and established laws based on his findings. These laws were named after Mendel. However, Mendel’s work was denied during his lifetime and not rediscovered until Hugo de Vries and Carl Correns in the 20th century. Both men prompted interest in the subject, and Mendel’s work was finally recognized and given the research it deserved. Genetic work is still being done for which we can thank Mendel.
Walter Sutton: Sutton was an American biologist who gained prestige as the scientist who published The Chromosome in Heredity in 1903 which stated that Mendel’s law of inheritance could be applied to cellular chromosomes. Conducting exeperiments with grasshopper chromosomes, Sutton proved this theory along with a German biologist who studied independently of Sutton, but reached the same conclusion. That scientist was Theodor Boveri.
Theodor Boveri: Working independently of Walter Sutton, Boveri reached the same theory of chromosomal inheritance in his work with sea urchins. His worked showed that the order of chromosomes determined the development of an embryo. However, before that, in 1888, Boveri discovered the Centrome and is also famous for this addition to science.
Niels Bohr: In 1913 Bohr published his model for atomic structure which placed protons and neutrons within the nucleus and with electrons orbiting around them in many different orbits. He later received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1922. Bohr introduced the principle of “complementarity,” a principle stating that items could have several properties. Bohr also went on to work on the Manhattan project in New Mexico, USA. Bohr was a sort of consultant who wanted to take part in the project in an attempt to keep an eye on the nuclear arms race. The element Bohrium is named after Neils Bohr in honor of his life and work with atoms and physics.
Phoebus Levene: Levene was a biochemist who analyzed DNA. Not only did he find that DNA contained adenine, guanine, thymine, cytosine, deoxyribose, and a particular phosphate group. This came in 1929 after his discoveries of Ribose in 1909. With the DNA analysis he also noted that DNA was made up of strings of “nucleotides” (a name he coined for the phosphate-sugar based units).
After the philosophical and original scientific questioners Socrates, Hippocrates, and Aristotle began a world of scientific inquest.
Galileo Galilei: Galilei is best known for creating the first microscope by adapting his telescope for the viewing of microscopic items.
Robert Hooke: Hooke developed the “Law of Elasticity.” In this law he described the variation of tension within an elastic spring. These findings were published in 1665 in a book called Micrographia. Micrographia contained a number of observations made with a microscope and telescope. Hooke also ventured to add in some original biological ideas. These and Hooke’s work constructing microscopes also made a name for him in science, however, Hooke’s main strong point was his “discovery” of the cell. In this he coined the term “cell” and observed various cells through his handcrafted microscopes.
Antony Van Leeuwenhoek: Van Leeuwenhoek developed the first microscope, and in 1676 Van Leeuwenhoek observed water up close and noticed small organisms. These were the first bacteria to be observed. He also went on to observe the circulation of blood corpuscles in capillaries.
Matthias Schleiden and Theodor Schwann: Schleiden was a German botanist who, with Schwann, founded the cell theory. It was Matthias Schleiden who studied plants and theorized the composition of plants as having many different cells within them. He studied plants cell via a microscope and published Contributions to Phytogenesis in 1838. This piece brought out his theory. Schwann was another German botanist who also specialized in several other scientific fields. He discovered “Schwann cells” in the peripheral nervous system. He also discovered “pepsin,” a stomach cell that functions to degrade proteins into peptides. Schwann coined the term metabolism and worked on the theories on the organic nature of yeast. His work is cited by many other scientists as the basis of their work.
Charles Darwin amp; Alfred Wallace: Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace are connected by corresponding scientific ideas on natural selection. Darwin was an English born and raised naturalist who, in 1859, published his book Origin of Species. This book outlined his theory of evolution. However, this book wasn’t released before anything else of its type was. In fact, Alfred Wallace, another British naturalist and scientist, wrote a paper on the idea of natural selection in 1858. This paper was actually read by Darwin and presented sometime later to the Linnean Society, a society on the study and research of taxonomy.
Rudolf Virchow: Virchow is credited with a great deal of medical biological studies. However, in biology he is best known for publishing work on a theory in 1858 stating that the cell originates only from existing cells. In medicine he was the first to recognize the disease leukemia, coin the term embolism during work with blood clots, and he discovered “Virchow’s node” as an early sign of malignancy in the stomach and lungs.
Gene Roddenberry is known as a titan of science fiction because of his greatest creation, Star Trek. Whether you were a fan of the show or its subsequent movies, Lost Universe is a good point to jump onto the worlds created by the Star Trek creator.
The Lost Universe comic was based on a concept Roddenberry formulated. It also features character creation and development by his daughter Majel Barret Roddenberry, who played Lwuxana Troi on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Lost Universe issue was written by Lawrence Watt-Evans, penciled by James Callahan, and inked by Aaron McCellan.
It is obviously similar to Star Trek, but it also seems to draw on other stories like Battlestar Galactica in terms of how it is handled.
The story is of the space farers Dr. Grange (a man) and Penaltra (a woman), who go to Grange’s home planet of Malay and find that it has changed drastically. Grange has a family there and he immediately is worried.
When they land on the planet, they find that Grange’s family farm has been overrun by forest. They do find the farm deep within the forest, but there is no evidence of life or clues to where the family went. Grange insists on finding them, but, though she doesn’t say it to Grange, Penaltra cares little about finding them.
Penaltra is more interested in what happened to the planet of Malay.
Soon Grange is attacked by a man-bat like beast in a scene that shows great promise with the action elements pulled into cohesion with the storyline. Penciler Callahan’s shows his ability to put together a good action moment.
Grange is familiar with the beasts, and calls them Payeru, but says they had previously been a peaceful group.
The mystery behind Grange’s past locks the next parts of the story, as he isn’t even sure of much of it.
“Malay has gone mad,” Grange says. “And how could so much change so fast?”
Grange isn’t sure of what happened, but he intends to find out.
The comic has more action than characterization, which contradicts many first issues of series that have origin stories.
The panels are well placed for a title from a small publisher, showing the comic was taken seriously from the outset. The panels show much of the characters at just the right times.
Still, much more could have been done with the artwork.
The story itself is sound, and, though the dialogue isn’t up to modern standards like from writers Garth Ennis or Warren Ellis, it does fit in the mold of an old Star Trek episode.
In the end, the first issue of Lost Universe is an important work from the mind of Gene Roddenberry.