Pavlov's Dogs and Schrödinger's Cat: Scenes from the living laboratory (Popular Science)

Pavlov's Dogs and Schrödinger's Cat: Scenes from the living laboratory (Popular Science)

Rom Harré

Language: English

Pages: 336

ISBN: 019923857X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


From the sheep, dog, and cockerel that were sent aloft in Montgolfier's balloon to test the air over Paris, to the famous clone Dolly the Sheep and the Darwinian finches of the Galapagos, Pavlov's Dogs and Schrödinger's Cat offers a fascinating and enlightening look at the use of plants and animals--including humans--in scientific experiments. Rom Harré here provides a fresh and fascinating perspective on research, setting aside moral reflection to simply examine the history of how and why living creatures have been used for the purposes of discovery. Ranging over five centuries, the book uncovers many extraordinary stories, including tales of the people involved, to many curious incidents and episodes, and the occasional scientific fraud. From Gregor Mendel's use of pea plants to explore heredity, to Barry Marshall's use of himself as the experimental animal in his helicobacter experiments (he survived) and even the use of an imaginary cat in Schrödinger's famous thought experiment, the reader discovers here a perspective on scientific work he or she has never encountered before--the concept of the "living laboratory."

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characteristic would become more and more visible by the accumulation of minute changes generation after generation. Dawkins’s biomorphs are the products on the computer screen of the realization of a function with 9 variables. A sequence begins with a being of some primitive form generated by giving numerical values to each of the 9 variables. Just as the DNA strands realize the genes of a certain species of beings, a biomorph genome is a set of 9 numerical values assigned to the 9 variables in

both periods is important because we think we know some of the changes in the distribution of plants and animals that preceded each and what happened afterwards. If we could detect similar changes occurring now we would have some data for making predictions about how the current warming will turn out, particularly for the organic world, including ourselves. By cataloguing the kinds of molluscs that now inhabit the colder Eastern side and the warmer Western shores of Greenland and comparing them

all and other primatologists in which young chimpanzees are closely observed as they grow up in the care and company of family members. Harlow did carry out another series of experiments independently of the surrogate mother studies, in which infant monkeys were deprived of various aspects of normal simian family life. Various incurable social and psychological defects emerged in the animals as they entered adult life. The work carried out in Harlow’s numerous experiments can be represented as

Perhaps the heart could be removed completely from the patient’s body for delicate surgical work and replaced when the repair work was done. This is the procedure known as ‘auto-transplantation’. Dogs were already in regular use at Stanford University Medical School for training surgeons. The workplace was an illequipped annex with cement sinks and a leaking roof. Undeterred by the dismal environment Lower and Shumway continued their use of dogs as experimental apparatus, pilot plants for the

physically impossible? Most of my colleagues are unwilling to declare outright disbelief in its possibility, however unsatisfactory the Pons and Fleischmann claims proved to be. Chapter 10 Inventing Novel Beings: An Imaginary Cat and Virtual Life Forms We do not always have to use real pieces of equipment to do experiments. Sometimes it is enough to imagine a situation and think out what might be the outcome of manipulating the things with which we have populated it. Some of the greatest

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