Loeb, Jacques

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Loeb, Jacques

(lōb), 1859–1924, American physiologist, b. Germany, M.D. Univ. of Strasbourg, 1884. He came to the United States in 1891 and taught at Bryn Mawr, the Univ. of Chicago, and the Univ. of California. From 1910 he was a member of the Rockefeller Institute (now Rockefeller Univ.). Best known for his tropism theory and for his experiments in inducing parthenogenesisparthenogenesis
[Gr.,=virgin birth], in biology, a form of reproduction in which the ovum develops into a new individual without fertilization. Natural parthenogenesis has been observed in many lower animals (it is characteristic of the rotifers), especially insects, e.g.
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 and regeneration by chemical stimulus, he also propounded the mechanistic philosophy that all ethics were the outgrowth of humanity's inherited tropisms. He was a founder and editor of the Journal of General Physiology. His works include The Mechanistic Conception of Life (1912), Artificial Parthenogenesis and Fertilization (1913), and The Organism as a Whole (1916).
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Loeb, Jacques


Born Apr. 7, 1859, in Mayen, near Koblenz, Germany; died Feb. 11, 1924, in Hamilton, Bermuda. American biologist.

Loeb graduated from the University of Strasbourg in 1884 and worked in a number of German universities. From 1889 to 1891 he worked at the Naples Zoological Station. In 1891, Loeb went to the United States, where, in 1892, he became a professor at the University of Chicago; in 1902 he became a professor at the University of California. In 1910, Loeb began work at the Rockefeller Institute in New York City.

Loeb studied the physiology of the brain, animal behavior (he erroneously transferred the concept of tropisms from botany to zoology, attempting to explain animal behavior as a physico-chemical reaction to external stimuli), tissue regeneration (he advanced the chemical theory of regeneration), artificial parthenogenesis, and the antagonistic effect of salts on the living cell—particularly on the developing egg cell—which formed the basis for the ionic theory of excitation.


In Russian translation:
Dinamika zhivogo veshchestva. Odessa, 1910.
Organizm kak tseloe. Moscow-Leningrad, 1926.
Vynuzhdennye dvizheniia, tropizmy i povedenie zhivotnykh. Moscow [no date].


Osterhout, W. Zhak Leb: Ocherki zhizni i nauchnoi raboty. Moscow-Leningrad, 1930. (Translated from English.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Loeb, Jacques

(1859–1924) physiologist; born in Mayen, Germany. He taught and performed research in Germany (1886–91), where his controversial research on caterpillars (1888) demonstrated that animals, like plants, possess similar mechanistic physiological responses (tropisms) to environmental stimuli. In 1899, he discovered artificial parthenogenesis in sea urchin eggs. Frustrated by Bismarck's oppressive regime, Loeb came to the U.S.A. to teach at Bryn Mawr (Pa.) College (1891–92). He moved to the University of Chicago (1892–1902), to the University of California: Berkeley (1902–10) before becoming a physiology professor at the Rockefeller Institute (1910–24). His studies on protein chemistry (1918–24) revealed that proteins can react as acids or bases. His philosophy of psychological and physiological tropisms is summarized in his most-read book, The Mechanistic Conception of Life (1912).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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