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Lazzaro Spallanzani

Lazzaro Spallanzani was an Italian biologist. He was born on January 10, 1729 in Modena, Italy. Spallanzani was educated at the Jesuit College of Reggio, and started to study law at the University of Bologna, which he gave up soon and turned to science. At the age of 25, he became professor of logic, metaphysics, and Greek in the University of Reggio. He made many expeditions throughout Europe, including Swizerland and Turkey.

Spallanzani researched and disproved the theory about the spontaneous generation of cellular life in 1768. He also discovered and described animal (mammal) reproduction, requiering semen and an ovum. He was also the first to perform an artificial insemination, using a dog. Spallanzani also showed that some animals, especially lizard, can regenerate some parts of their body if injured or surgically removed.

Spallanzani died on February 12, 1799, in Pavia.

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