Odds and quads - 12 December 2013

The diagram showing the flow of blood in the forearm is taken from William Harvey’s De Motu Cordis (1628), a pioneering exposition of how blood circulates around the body

December 12, 2013

Source: Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford

The other, by Sir Christopher Wren, depicts the so-called “Circle of Willis”, the arterial supply of blood to the brain, and appears in Thomas Willis’ Cerebri Anatome (1664).

Both are on display as part of an exhibition at the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, Great Medical Discoveries: 800 Years of Oxford Innovation (until 18 May).

The exhibition brings together original manuscripts, including prescriptions, letters and laboratory notebooks, with rare books and artefacts to tell the story of Oxford’s contribution to medical science from the Middle Ages until today.

Other notable items include the first description of a cell in Robert Hooke’s Micrographia (1665); Dorothy Hodgkin’s proof of the molecular structure of penicillin during the Second World War; the apparatus used by John Gurdon to replace the nucleus of a cell in the 1960s; and a prototype pair of self-adjustable glasses for myopic teenagers in the developing world.

Send suggestions for this series on the treasures, oddities and curiosities owned by universities across the world to matthew.reisz@tsleducation.com

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