Francesco Redi
Italian Scientist
Born 1626 - Died 1697

Known mostly for his work in the number of questions of his time surrounding zoology, botany, chemistry, anatomy embryology and toxicology.

His first work,published in 1664, when translated from Italian, was Observation On Vipers. It was a sudy of the toxiicty, origin and the mode of injection of snake venom.

His most famous work, again when translated from Italian was Experiments On The Generation of Insects. It was to become a landmark in the history of modern science. In it, Redi disproved the theory of insects' spontaneous generation, or abiogenesis. He did this by introducing a a new method for scientific research.

The method, which is still in use in experimental biology to this day, consisted of repeating the same experiments in different ways, modifying only one parameter at a time. Redi prepared eight jars with different kinds of meat, four of which were left open and four were sealed. The outcome was not open to debate. In the first four jars (open), flies laid eggs, generated maggots and later became flies. In the second set of jars (sealed), the meat decomposed but did not generate any living organisms. Moreover, Redi inroduced another variation into this experiment in order to exclude the possibility that the maggot's life cycle could be affected by their being in sealed jars. He repeated the same experiment with two other series of jars, allowing air, but no flies to enter the test jars. He covered the jars with a filter in order to allow the air but no flies. This experiment disproved the theory that insects could spontaneously generate.

His work ended unfinished with a treatise entitled Observations On Living Animals Found Within Living Animals. This explored the fields of paraxitology and comparitive anatomy

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