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      Nephrology, a Newly Rich Speciality, Is Looking for an Illustrious Ancestry: What about a Famous Grandfather?

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          Abstract

          Nephrology is a newborn speciality compared to the other medical specialities. However, the study of the urinary tract’s physiology and pathology had begun simultaneously with the birth of medicine. The scientific revolution of the renaissance and enlightenment eras caused an intense contestation of earlier theories and methods as if all knowledge had evolved suddenly from parthenogenesis after the dark (?) medieval years and human intellect suddenly exploded to huge intelligence quotients after the 15th century while before that humans were mentally deprived. Indeed most of the scientific knowledge did evolve impressively during renaissance and enlightenment years but not through parthenogenesis. Some observations, discoveries and inventions of this era were actually reobservations, rediscoveries and reinventions. Such an example is that of the experiments of Sanctorius Santorii of the 16th century AD and of Erasistratus of the 3rd century BC. Sanctorius and Erasistratus carried out an experiment with the same basic principles, similar methodology and proportional results with an almost 2000 years lag phase. With our paper we wish to give credit to earlier researchers of physiological and medical knowledge who, despite the lack of technological support, often concluded in extremely accurate observations.

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          Santorio Sanctorius (1561–1636) – Founding Father of Metabolic Balance Studies

          The intellectual renaissance of the closing decades of the sixteenth century provided the fertile ground in which the budding spirit of scientific inquiry emerged in the seventeenth century. Direct observation, soon augmented by instrumentation that allowed for quantification and, therefore, verification, became the revelatory medium for the progress of the sciences. In medicine, progress depended on the application of the exact sciences of chemistry, mathematics and physics to the study of function. One of the medical luminaries of this early scientific revolution was Santorio Sanctorius (1561– 1636), whose principal contributions were his studies on insensible perspiration and his instrumental inventions. To study insensible perspiration, he designed a movable platform attached to a steelyard scale that allowed for the quantification of changes in body weight of subjects who partook in their daily activities on the platform. After years of self-experimentation, he applied his device to the study of patients. Unfortunately, his records are lost. What survives is a summary of his observations in a series of aphorisms published under the title of Ars de statica medicina, in 1614; 3 years after he was appointed Ordinary Professor of Theoretical Medicine in Padua. To enhance the bedside evaluation of patients, he also designed instruments to quantify the pulse, temperature, and environmental humidity. For his pioneering and detailed balance studies, Sanctorius clearly deserves the title of founding father of metabolic balance studies.
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            On Progress in the History of Nephrology

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              Author and article information

              Journal
              AJN
              Am J Nephrol
              10.1159/issn.0250-8095
              American Journal of Nephrology
              S. Karger AG
              0250-8095
              1421-9670
              2000
              April 2000
              19 April 2000
              : 20
              : 2
              : 163-165
              Affiliations
              Renal Unit, St. Andrews’ Regional State Hospital, Patras, Greece
              Article
              13575 Am J Nephrol 2000;20:163–165
              10.1159/000013575
              10773619
              © 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel

              Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

              Page count
              References: 6, Pages: 3
              Product
              Self URI (application/pdf): https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/13575
              Categories
              History of Nephrology

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