Medical Terminology Daily (MTD) is a blog sponsored by Clinical Anatomy Associates, Inc. as a service to the medical community, medical students, and the medical industry. We will post a workweek daily medical or surgical term, its meaning and usage, as well as biographical notes on anatomists, surgeons, and researchers through the ages. Be warned that some of the images used depict human anatomical specimens.

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A Moment in History

Johann Gottfried Zinn

Johann Gottfried Zinn

Anatomist and botanist, Johann Gottfried Zinn was born on December 6, 1727 in the city of Ansbach, Germany. He started his medical studies in his native city, becoming later a student of Dr.  Albrecht von Hallers at the University of Göttingen, and received his MD in 1749.

He left for Berlin to continue his studies but came back shortly thereafter. He became a professor of anatomy at the University of Göttingen and in 1753 he also became the director of the botanical garden in the same city.

He is known for his anatomical treatise on the anatomy of the human eye: “Descriptio anatomica oculi humani iconibus illustrata”. Because of this, his name has become an eponym in the “Zonule of Zinn”, a ring of strands that forms a fibrous band connecting the ciliary body with the capsule of the lens of the eye. Zonule of Zinn is sometimes referred to as the suspensory ligaments of the lens, or the “ligament of Zinn”. His name is also attached to the anular ring tendon found in the posterior aspect of the eye, the "anular tendon of Zinn". This ring serves as attachment for all the extraocular muscles of the eye and the optic nerve passes through the center of the ring.

Carol Linné (Carolus Linneaus) named a genus of flowers in the family Asteraceae known vernacularly today as “Zinnia” in his honor. Hover your cursor over his portrait to see the flower.

The chapter on orbital anatomy of his anatomy book, taken from the second edition in 1780, has been translated and the first of three parts is published in an issue of “Strabismus”

His book "Catalogus Plantarum Horti Academici Et Agri" can be seen online here.

His life was short, dying at the early age of 32, but his name lives on in the name of a beautiful flower.

1. “Johann Gottfried Zinn" Simonz, HJ Strabismus – 2004, Vol. 12, No. 2, p. 125 
2. "Anatomical Description of the Human Eye" Zinn, JG Strabismus, 13:45–52, 2005 
Images: Public Domain by Wikipedia Commons. 1. Own work I_am Jin, and H. Wilhem Dietz

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Open letter to the reluctant scientist and the Vesalius groupie

The following is an article published by Theo Dirix in his blog. He is one of the Vesalius Continuum project members and a contributor to this website. Theo Dirixis an author and a taphophile. He has successively held the office of Consul in Embassies of Belgium in Tanzania, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Canada, the United Arab Emirates and, since 2011, Greece. His current posting is in Kopenhagen, Denmark  Before 1989, he worked for the Flemish Radio 3 and commented on (mainly Moroccan) literature. He is constantly writing travel stories of his visits to cemeteries and graves. He is also the author of the book "In Search of Andreas Vesalius: The Quest for the Lost Grave".

“Andreas Vesalius is a rock star in well defined circles”, a friend wrote to me in an e-mail and: ”I hate disappointing people".  That is to say with the results of the upcoming crucial phase in the search for his lost grave in Zakynthos, Greece. I guess she considers all 800 friends of my Vesalius Continuum Page as members of those "well defined circles". Let me assure her, and all of you, Vesalius groupies, that nobody will be disappointed.

Potential sponsors definitely won’t. They just have to ask Agfa HealthCare Greece, that has financed the Geographical Information System of the first phase. With the amount paid, a company cannot even buy a single add in a newspaper; Agfa got dozens of adds instead, during our talks, in publications and in this paragraph.​

Neither will Vesalius groupies, even after a generous contribution to the crowd funding campaign. Beyond the pleasure of discovering a geophysical prospection, they can bid on the miniature facial reconstruction we will present here soon. Or on paintings of skulls, cells and blood; one of my mentors is already labeling his acrylic studies we will auction soon.

And finally, no scientist will. Of course, there are some who will grin if we find ... nothing, but they seem to forget that a non-discovery can be as important as a find. Many more, however, continue to encourage us. They know funerary slabs have already been found under the corner house of Kolyva/Kolokotroni in the city center, where we concentrate our search. I’ll never forget the reaction of an archaeologist when I showed her the pictures of those artefacts in Pavlos Plessas’s blog.



From pampalaia.blogspot.dk/2012/08/blog-post.html I quote:

"How many excavations would you say have taken place at this site, which could, and should, have been the focus of a universal cultural pilgrimage? As far as I know none! Unless of course the dynamites and the bulldozers that after the catastrophic earth-quakes of 1953 demolished any wall left standing and pushed it into the sea can be thought of as an archaeological dig." ​

Back to our plans: a team of four or five researchers will walk through that part of the town with a Ground Penetrating Radar device. They will drill small holes (of about one cm in diameter and twenty cm in depth) in the asphalt roads, pavements and surroundings to enter electrodes and carry out the Electrical Resistivity Tomography. To get permits for making the holes, have plans of any utility networks and carry out the fieldwork, this geophysical prospection will take five days maximum. After processing the survey, the research center IMS/FORTH, Rethymnon, will come up with a map of underground architectural remains.

How exiting is that? I'm looking forward to receiving your comments. Are you ready to register, to pledge your support ?

Personal note: Click on the following link to collaborate with this incredible quest. I already did. Dr. Miranda

GoFundMe Campaign for the next stage of the project