Science History

Girolamo Fracastoro (also known as Hieronymus Fracastorius), was born in 1478 in Verona, at that time still part of the Republic of Venice, to a noble family. He studied at Padua University, where he graduated in 1502. At the same University, he was assigned the chair of Logic and Philosophy.

His teacher was the doctor-philosopher Pietro Pomponazzi and his study colleagues were Andrea Navagero, who became a noted historian, along with Pietro Bembo and Gaspare Contarini, both of whom became Cardinals.

Medicine was his passion but he was also a humanist and a scientist, he was interested in astronomy, mathematics, physics, botany, geology, geography, and even composition of verses. He was contemporary and friend to Nicolaus Copernico (Copernicus).

Arsenic poisoning did not kill Napoleon in Saint Helena, as affirmed by a new meticulous examination performed at the laboratories of the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) in Milano-Bicocca and Pavia, together with the University of Milano-Bicocca and the University of Pavia.

The physicists performing the study used a small nuclear reactor used exclusively for research purposes at the University of Pavia, applying techniques that were created for the project known as “Cuore” (“Heart”), which is being developed at the INFN’s national laboratories in Gran Sasso.

The research, published in the journal “Il Nuovo Saggiatore”, was performed on hair samples that had been taken during different periods of Napoleon Bonaparte’s life, from when he was a boy in Corsica, during

The English Reformation spurred a fundamentalist approach to Bible reading, according to new research by a Harvard professor.

“Evangelical reading habits after 1525 were disciplinary, punishing and even demeaning,” says James Simpson, Donald P. and Katherine B. Loker Professor of English in Harvard University's Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

In 1525, Protestant reformer William Tyndale translated the Bible into early modern English. Scholars have widely hailed that moment as a liberating step for the literate public, who could suddenly read the Bible on their own terms, without the constraints of priestly interpretation.

Virological evidence cannot prove transmission in HIV criminal cases, warn experts in this week’s BMJ.

Viral phylogenetics provides a way of assessing the relations between viruses from different people. It allows us to estimate the probability that viruses from two particular people have a recent common origin. But there are serious limitations on what can and cannot be inferred using this technique.

The recent flurry of criminal cases brought against people in the United Kingdom accused of infecting their sexual partner(s) with HIV has resulted in several convictions, write Professor Deenan Pillay and colleagues in an editorial.

Experts from all over the world are gathering at the University to exchange the latest insights on concepts of 'Health and the Healthy Body' in early medieval times, 400-1200 A.D at a two-day conference, which brings together leading experts in the field from the USA, Norway, Germany, Israel and the UK on July 6-7, 2007.

They said last week they would make environmental crime a part of European law and they may have done it.

The European Commission draft still needs approval from the European Parliament and governments of the 27 member countries - since the majority of the EU countries that were signatories to the Kyoto Treaty are not in compliance the new law could have devastating effects.

Franco Frattini, the Justice Commissioner, said companies were using loopholes because various countries had different laws.

"We cannot allow safe havens of environmental crime inside the EU," he said.

The primary targets: dumping of toxic waste, illegally shipping or treating waste and trading in endangered species.