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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
(1727–1759)

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.

Sources:
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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Incredible and exciting good news!!!

Friends of Medical Terminology Daily:

As you know, we are part of an incredible quest to find the body of Andreas Vesalius, recognized worldwide as the Father of Modern Anatomy. His life and the story and legends about his death are part now of scientific fact and folklore.

The quest for the lost grave of Andreas Vesalius has been published in this blog several times. Many of the members of this group, such as Pascale Pollier, Theo Dirix, Dr. Sylvianne Déderix, Dr. Maurits Biesbrouck, etc. are contributors to Medical Terminology Daily.

The project has had several stages and you are welcome to follow the above links to the authors to read their contributions which clarify the scope and objectives of this quest, including Theo Dirix's article : "To put it in another way: where do we have to look for Vesalius's grave?"

Wax bust of Andreas Vesalius by Pascale Pollier Wax bust of Andreas Vesalius by Pascale Pollier. Click on the image for a larger depiction

The project next step is to perform a detailed research on the area where we suspect (actually know with a high degree of certainty) where the cemetery of the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie used to be.

The problem was to obtain the permits to do the non-invasive radar scan of the grounds in the area... and this is the exciting news! Following is the press release:

"The Belgian School of Archaeology)in Athens (EBSA) just obtained the permission for a new archaeological project at Zakynthos in collaboration with the local Ephorate and Dr Merkouri, as well as the IMS in Rethymnon (Dr A. Sarris). The project, initiated and coordinated by Theo Dirix and Pascale Pollier, concerns the quest for the tomb of the Belgian anatomist, father of modern anatomy, Andreas Vesalius who died and was buried in the island."

Needless to say, we are all excited. Now we have to fund this research, and you can all help by contributing as little or as much as you can to the GoFundMe page. We are very close to our objective and this will allow us to pay the permits, rent the equipment and finally get a little closer to finding Andreas Vesalius.

Original photograph of the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Zakynthos, Greece Original photograph of the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Zakynthos, Greece. Click on the image for a larger depiction

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