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From:"Gamble,Marilyn S" <Marilyn.S.Gamble@kp.org>
To:"'Histonet'" <HistoNet@Pathology.swmed.edu>
Date:Wed, 14 Apr 1999 09:15:30 -0700

Hope that National Medical Laboratory Week is going well, wherever you are,
and even if it isn't official, hopefully, we have turned this week into a
Global Celebration!  

I received the copy of Dr. Millikens article as an attachment.  Many of you
don't open them, so I copied and pasted here in the body of my email, so
everyone can add it to their Lab Week "treats".  If you have read it, no
need to go further in my message:

     Histology was born as a science, and is just barely past its 160th
birthday. Before that time, Science had only the most rudimentary 
knowledge about the structure of living matter.  Then in 1838, a German
botanist, Jakob Matthias Schleiden, proposed that all plant tissue was
composed of cells. 

The following year, a German physiologist and anatomist, Theodor Schwann,
of Scwhann cell fame, proposed that all animal tissues were also composed
of cells. 

That Cell Theory of Life was a major "breakthrough" at the time, causing
a scientific furore at least as exciting as the discovery of penicillin in
modern times.   

However, there were no tools ready-made fo studying these new discoveries. 
Microscopes were of poor quality and widely regarded as toys, so microscopic
optics had to be invented, and some high caliber science went into the

Similarly, every single tool used by each of us every day had to be invented
by SOMEBODY, and some of the finest minds in all of science were attracted
that area.  For example, the first microtome was a straight razor, and the
earliest stain was carmine, which stained nuclei red and everything else
Nothing was known of how to fix tissue hard enough to permit cutting thin'
sections, and all the embedding media had to be discovered.  
Endless manhours went into finding stains better than carmine. 

Names like Zenker, Heidenhain, Abbe, Helly, Harris, Delafield, and dozens
more comprised scientists that served in the Histology Delivery Room.  The
list has since grown to include dozens, perhaps hundreds of the finest minds
in all of science. 

However, all of us who work in histology everyday recognize the art
On difficult days, some have even called it a black art. 

Clearly both science and art integral parts of the process, and are not
interchangeable.  When a brand new procedure is called for, Science rises to
the fore.  When a "drop dead gorgeous" slide is called for, Art takes the

Paul Millikiin
Peoria, IL, USA#026#

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