• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Harvey William was born in 1578, he was an English physician who became famous for his discovery of how blood circulates in mammals, including human beings.

Extracts from this document...


Suzanne Ashman 'the movement of the blood occurs constantly in a circular manner and is the result of the beating of the heart.' Harvey William was born in 1578, he was an English physician who became famous for his discovery of how blood circulates in mammals, including human beings. He described his discovery in An Anatomical Study of the Motion of the Heart and of the Blood in Animals. This work became the basis for all modern research on the heart and blood vessels. Harvey's findings conflicted with the widely accepted theory of blood circulation originated by Galen, who was an ancient Greek physician.Until the early 17th century Claudius Galen's books were still being used in some medical schools. Although Andreas Vesalius had proved some of his ideas to be incorrect, Galen's explanation of the heart was still preferred by most doctors. ...read more.


By experimenting carefully on live animals and dissecting the bodies of executed criminals, Harvey was able to prove that the heart was a pump which forced blood around the body through arteries. Veins then returned the blood to the heart where it was recycled. Harvey's work was helped by the discovery that veins contained valves. Harvey realised that these valves stopped the blood from travelling back the wrong way to the heart. Galen's theory (that the body made new blood as its supplies were used up) was proved wrong. His observations of dissected hearts showed that the valves in the heart allowed blood to flow in only one direction. Direct observation of the heartbeat of living animals showed that the ventricles contracted together, dispelling Galen's theory that blood was forced from one ventricle to the other.Cautious dissection of the septum of the heart showed that it contained no gaps or perforations. ...read more.


* After his work was published, Harvey actually lost patients, as his ideas were considered eccentric. It was not until after his death that others became convinced that he was right. Therefore Harvey's work made little difference to general medical practice at the time. Blood letting continued to be a popular practice and it was not until the 20th century that doctors realised the importance of checking a patient's blood flow by taking a pulse. Harvey's work did encourage others to investigate blood circulation. His discovery of blood circulation was central to a proper understanding of the workings of the body. Both the discoveries and the methods of Harvey were important. Harvey always did experiments to explain and illustrated what he discovered. This method led medical scientists away from theories that could not be proved by experiment, observation and measurement. Unfortunately Harvey could not show how the blood moved from the arteries to the veins because the capillaries are too small to be seen without a powerful microscope. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Humans as Organisms section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Humans as Organisms essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Biology Revision notes - Human Biology

    5 star(s)

    Smoking mainly affects the respiratory system. Air is supplied to the lungs through a network of tubes. These tubes lead to the alveoli which are tiny air sacs. Gas exchanges take place here. Carbon dioxide is removed and Oxygen takes its place. The trachea, bronchi and bronchioles have a highly specialised cell layer lining them called the ciliated epithelium.

  2. Should the cloning of humans be allowed?

    for the so that they can have a suitable transplant donor for their sick child, this raises some ethical issues like the right to freedom of choice which has been shown is media and books, most memorably in the book 'My Sister's Keeper' by Jodi Piccoult.

  1. Was Vesalius, Paré or Harvey the most in influential with their discoveries in Renaissance ...

    If he had he may have been rejected and condemned by the church Galen urged that the knowledge of human anatomy should be based on dissection and not entirely on the works of Galen. He tried to encourage others to test Galen's ideas for themselves and during lectures carried out

  2. Who Contributed More to the Progress of Medicine Versalius, Pare, or Harvey?

    This discovery made a turning point in medical history and contributed immensely to the progress of medicine. Before Harvey scientists and doctors had only studied parts of the process and invented theories to fill in the gaps, however he tackled the whole problem.

  1. human physiology

    * Brachioradials: this is a muscle in the forearm that acts to flex the forearm at the elbow. * External Oblique: the largest muscle within the abdominal area * Sartorius: a long thin muscle that runs down the front of the thigh * Quadriceps: includes 4 prevailing muscles on the

  2. Investigating the density of blood

    Sample 3 will travel the fastest. Pilot data I used the following method when I did my pilot experiment, 1. I filled three measuring cylinders with the 0.1-3 copper II sulphate solution. To above approximately 5cm the 100cm level.

  1. Reflective Profile - The Practice of Midwifery

    Having been in the position of expectant mother herself in the past Emma could relate that if the fetal heart was audible this did in fact placate any fears or worries one might have. The midwife was in a difficult position because she would be torn between following suggested guidelines

  2. Exercise Physiology.

    Each section is given a letter to identify it, which corresponds to the electrical activity of the heart: * P wave - this occurs just before the atria contract * QRS complex - this occurs just before the ventricles contract * T wave - this occurs just before the ventricles

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work