Leipzig: Verlag von F. C. W. Vogel, 1882.
1st Edition. Hardcover. Very Good. Item #003522
8vo (235 x 160 mm). viii, 424 pp, 24 text illustrations and 8 tinted lithographed plates (one folding, 6 double-page). Contemporary black half roan and marbled boards, marbled endpapers and edges (spine and extremities rubbed, some paper chipping of board edges, corners worn, remnants of old manuscript label on spine). Text very crisp and clean, title with pale foxing, very minor occasional spotting. Provenance: Bibliotheca Collegii Exaeten (old stamp on title); Collection of Peter and Margarethe Braune. ----
DSB V, pp. 34-36; Waller 3078; Fischer I, p.417. RARE FIRST EDITION of this seminal work on cytogenetics which first established, and named, the process of "mitosis." In the present work, the author also coins the terms "prophase", "metaphase" and "anaphase" and establishes that all cell nuclei come from another predecessor nucleus. The author was the first to observe and describe systematically the behaviour of chromosomes in the cell nucleus during normal cell division. The book also includes the first illustration of human chromosomes, made possible by the use of aniline dyes. "[Flemming] settled at the small University of Kiel as professor of anatomy and director of the Anatomical Institute, a position he held until his retirement in 1901. Here he carried out the major part of his great work on cell division published in his classic book, Zellsubstanz, Kern und Zelltheilung (Leipzig, 1882) ... In the 1850's attempts to study the process of cell multiplication were vitiated by inadequate techniques of staining and the poor resolving power of lenses. By the 1860's it had become certain that before a cell divides the nucleus must first give rise to two daughter nuclei. This appeared to result either from direct fission or from a more indirect process in which dissolution of the mother nucleus was followed by coagulation of two daughter nuclei about two new centers; but the phases of this metamorphosis remained a mystery. It was seen that nucleoli came and went during indirect division, that their number was constant, and that the midpoint of the division process was marked by the appearance of nuclear granules. In the 1870's these granules were observed to elongate into threadlike structures which split up in some way, yielding the material for two daughter nuclei. It was Flemming's achievement to observe and interpret the stages correctly, to identify them in a wide variety of tissues, and to give indirect division the name by which it is still widely known - mitosis. . . . In the summer of 1879 Flemming turned his attention to nuclear division in the testes and concluded that the spermatozoa are formed from cells whose nuclei have arisen by indirect division, the head of the spermatozoon being composed solely of chromatin. He also failed at this time to observe doubled threads in the closing nuclear figures. In 1882, in his book on cell division, he declared this to have been an error, for now he could detect doubled threads. . . . Flemming's great merit as a theoretician lay in his attempt to find a single process to fit all forms of cell division. History has justified his vision." (DSB). - Visit our website to see more images!
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