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Francesco Redi

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Francesco Redi

Francesco Redi (Born::February 18, 1626Died::March 1, 1697) was an Italian physician, the oldest of the nine sons of Gregorio and Cecilia de' Ghinciborn, and is most well-known for his famous experiment in 1668, which is said to have been one of the first steps in refuting "spontaneous generation" - a theory also known as Aristotelian Abiogenesis. The popular theory at the time was that maggots formed naturally from rotting meat. Redi took three jars and put some meat in each jar. He tightly sealed one, left another one open, and covered the top of the last with gauze. He waited for several days, and saw that maggots appeared on the meat in the open jar, but not in the sealed one, and that maggots did not hatch on the gauze covered jar, but they did appear, because of flies landing on the gauze. He continued his experiments by catching the maggots and waiting for them to hatch, which they did, becoming common flies. When dead flies or maggots were put in sealed jars with meat, no maggots appeared, but when the same thing was done with living flies, maggots did appear. After the experiments were finished he was able to conclude that the presence of maggots in rotting meat does not result from spontaneous generation but from eggs laid on the meat by flies. Redi was also a poet, his best known work being Bacchus in Tuscany. A crater on Mars was named in Redi's honor for the work that he had done.

Publication by Francesco Redi