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LIFE AND DISCOVERIES OF CAMILLO GOLGI
Heblo Ahmed – student of the second course
Supervisior – assistant Zhukova S.V.
Sumy State University, pathomorphology chair
Camillo Golgi is the famous Italian scientist. Among other achievements in neurobiology, Camillo Golgi devised a method of staining nerve tissue using silver nitrate. Golgi-stained nerve tissue revealed unique structures with fine projections, which were later recognized as individual cells, or neurons.
Camillo Golgi was born in July 1843 in Corteno, where his father was working as a district medical officer. He studied medicine at the University of Pavia, where he attended as an 'intern student' the Institute of Psychiatry (1835-1909). Golgi also worked in the laboratory of experimental pathology directed by professor of histology and pathology Giulio Bizzozero (1846-1901), which introduced Golgi to histological techniques.
Golgi's earliest research involved the study of neurons, or nerve cells. Neurons present a number of problems for researchers that other cells do not. While most cells are compact and have a relatively fixed shape, neurons are commonly very long and thin with structures that are difficult to see clearly. In 1873, Golgi found that silver salts could be used to dye neurons.
The neurons turned black and stood out clearly from surrounding tissue. Golgi perfected his technique so that the addition of just the right amount of dye for just the right period of time would highlight one or another part of the neuron, a single complete neuron, or a group of neurons. Golgi's discovery of the black reaction and his subsequent investigations provided a substantial contribution to the advancement of the knowledge on the structural organization of the nervous tissue.
Between 1885 and 1893, Golgi was also involved in research on malaria. He made one especially interesting discovery in this field, namely that all the malarial parasites in an organism reproduce at the same time, a time that corresponds to the recurrence of fever.
In 1897, studying the nervous system with his black reaction, Golgi made a second important discovery. He noticed in neurons an intracellular structure, whose existence he officially reported in April 1898. This structure was designated by Golgi "internal reticular apparatus" and was soon named after him as Golgi apparatus. It plays a key role in the intracellular sorting, trafficking and targeting of proteins. For his research on the nervous system, Golgi was awarded a share of the 1906 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine.
Among other findings, Golgi described the morphological features of glial cells (that are also impregnated by his staining) and of the relationships between glial cell processes and blood vessels. He also described two fundamental types of nerve cells, still named after him as neurons 'Golgi type I', extending their axons at a distance from the cell body, and 'Golgi type II', with axons ramifying in the vicinity of the cell body.
In addition to his scientific work, Golgi was active in Italian politics. He was elected a Senator in 1900 and served in a number of administrative posts at Pavia. Golgi died in Pavia on January 21, 1926.
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