Jan Ingenhousz was a Dutch doctor and plant physiologist who was born in Breda on Dec. 8, 1730 and died on September 7, 1799. He trained as a doctor in England, then became doctor to Empress Maria Theresa of Austria. He first studied physics and invented equipment to generate static electricity in 1766. However, he is best recognized for his groundbreaking studies of photosynthesis, which began in 1779. He was the first to realize that green leaves, when exposed to light, take up carbon dioxide and release oxygen.

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