|ENGR 093: Biomedical Directed Reading Spring 2004|
This is an outline of the work that preceeded Hodgkin and Huxley as well as some of Hodgkin and Huxley's original hypothesis'.
In 1902, Julius Bernstien, a German physiologist, came up with a hypothesis for how neurons work. His hypothesis basically stated that the resting potential of a nerve cells was due to a concentration potential to potassium ions. Sodium ions were not involved. Excitation was due to a change in the permeability of the membrane to allow all ions to flow freely across the membrane, dropping the membrane potential to zero.
Andrew Hulxey was born in November 1917 in London, England. His father
is Thomas Huxley and his brother is Aldous Huxley (writer of Brave New
World). Alan Hodgkin was born in Feburary 1914 in Oxfordshire, England.
Hodgkin started by studying frog nervous physiology with Cole in 1937.
In August 1939, Huxley and Hodgkin began to work together, studying squid
giant axons. However, World War II postponed their work. Huxley ended up serving
in the war doing operations research in gunnery in the Anti-Aircraft Command
and the Admiralty. Hodgkin working in aviation medicine as well as airborne
radar. After the war, Hodgkin and Huxley continued the work they had started
in 1939, eventually coming up with a mathmatical model of an action potential.
In 1963, Hodgkin and Huxley won the Noble Prize in Physiology and Medicine
for their work on the action potential.
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