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William Harvey


            Many men of the enlightment contributed to the world of science. One man who dedicated all of his time to scientific research was William Harvey. William was from England and his education consisted of medical colleges and universities. His studies gave us a look into the human body and affects how we see it today. William's groundbreaking achievements were his theories on the circulatory system, the scientific method and embryology.
             After Harvey received his medical education at Cambridge and the University of Padua, he became physician to high-ranking royalty. This is where he got his money to fund his projects and research on the circulatory system. After his dissection of animals He was able to describe how the blood flowed and how the heart pumped. He published his 72-page book, De Motu Cordis, which was printed in Latin. This book showed Harvey's theory on how blood was pumped throughout the body. At this time, doctors believed older, more primitive theories on the circulatory system. Galen said the blood was produced in the liver and only passes once through the heart. The blood was then consumed through the tissues. Food was converted into blood and to the body. Harvey proved Galen wrong with his 72-page book. Harvey counted the pulse and estimated the blood that was going through the heart with each beat. He found out that it puts out three times our body weight each hour. This meant you would have to eat a lot if you followed Galen views. Harvey also stated that the right side of the heart received the used blood and sends it to the lungs to be refreshed. Blood flowed one side of the heart to the other through the lungs not the septum. Harvey was able to prove all of this, expect one small piece of the puzzle. He didn't know how the blood from the arties returns to the veins. He guessed that there were capillaries that made the connections. When the new microscope lenses were invented four years after his death, his theories on capillaries were proven correct.


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