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William Harvey

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  • Essay length: 693 words
  • Submitted: 09/08/2009
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AS and A Level General Studies

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William Harvey and his impact on society

William Harvey (1578-1657) was an English physician who is credited with being the first to correctly describe in detail the systematic circulation and properties of blood being pumped around the body by the heart. Harvey's discoveries led to further research such as research into the study of embryology which had an impact on society that eventually led to the discovery of IVF (in-vitro fertilisation). Obviously this had a huge impact on society because it meant a huge development in the world of Science and it meant that couples who were biologically unable to have children were able to with this treatment. However, the discovery of embryology and IVF also had negative impacts on society because not all religions and walks of life support it and prefer natural methods.

Harvey was the first to theorise that mammals have eggs and therefore the first to theorise that mammalian eggs are fertilised by sperm, although it was a further two centuries before the mammalian egg was actually observed. However, without Harvey's initial theory it may have been many years later that the mammalian egg was ever observed, and therefore human biology would

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