Latent Life: From the First Observations of Reviving Animals to Frozen Human Embryos 18 th -20 th CenturyReportar como inadecuado




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1 Centre François Viète : épistémologie, histoire des sciences et des techniques

Abstract : This paper resumes my book : Tirard S., Histoire de la vie latente : des animaux ressuscitants du XVIIIème à la cryoconservation des embryons au XXème siècle, itinéraires d’une forme de vie, Paris, Adapt-Vuibert, 2010This paper proposes a historical survey of the research conducted over three centuries on microscopic animals capable of entering into a latent form of life. Concentrating on the 17 th and 18 th centuries, it starts with the first observations and experiments on these animals made by naturalists during the 18 th century. It then focuses on the 19 th century, exploring French biologists- interest in this topic, focusing on the views of Paul Doyère and Claude Bernard. It also analyzes how, at the beginning of the 20 th century, Paul Becquerel used his works on latent life to reject the panspermia theory. Finally, it shows how since the middle of the 20 th century, artificial methods of cryoconservation were developed in parallel with studies on natural biological phenomena, leading to discussions on the nature of life itself. The conclusion claims that a comparison between natural phenomena and methods of artificial conservation can help us form a global conception of latent life, thereby advancing the debate over the nature of life. Introduction The property of latent life is shared by many species, and is observed in nature as well as being artificially triggered in laboratories, where very low temperatures are used for the conservation of cells. This paper proposes a historical survey of the research conducted on microscopic animals capable of entering into latent life, which have actively aroused the interest of naturalists and biologists for over three centuries Keilin 1958; Tirard 2010. Here, we will trace scientific work and ideas on this issue across two centuries, showing how latent life came to be explained in terms of the organization of the living matter in an animal the preservation of a specific form as much as of the matter itself and how the phenomenon has been linked to both evolutionary discourses and reflections concerning the nature of life. After a presentation of the earliest observations and experiments concerning the phenomenon of latency dating from the 18 th century, this paper focuses on the contributions of French biologists to this topic, in particular the views of two very influential scientists, Paul Doyère and Claude Bernard. The positions adopted by these two men had a considerable influence on European biology at the beginning of the 20 th century. Doyère was the first to express his thoughts on the importance of the preservation of the organization of matter during a period of latency. Later, Bernard claimed that latent life was a form of life that was useful for studying the most fundamental phenomena in living matter. The article will also show how, at the beginning of the 20 th century, Paul Becquerel used his work on latent life to refute the panspermia theory. The first half of the twentieth century saw an increase in detailed studies of latent life as a natural phenomenon with the various mechanisms involved the subject of separate investigations. Starting in the middle of the 20 th century, scientists started to develop artificial methods of cryoconservation. The overall goal of this paper, which we make explicit

Keywords : cryoconservation Cryptobiosis cryobiosis latent life definition of life





Autor: Stéphane Tirard -

Fuente: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/



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