The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Loeb, Jacques

LOEB, lėb, Jacques, German-American physiologist and biologist: b. Germany, 7 April 1859. He studied at Berlin, Munich and Strassburg, was assistant at both Würzburg (1886-88) and Strassburg (1888-90), studied at the Naples zoological station, and in 1891-92 was associate professor of biology at Bryn Mawr College. In 1892 he became assistant professor of physiology and experimental biology at the University of Chicago, and in 1895 associate professor. He was also professor of physiology at the Rush Medical College of Chicago from 1900. In 1902 he was appointed professor of physiology in the University of California. Since 1910 he has been a member of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in New York. His experiments have been in different fields of physiology and biology, all trying to show that complicated life phenomena can be reduced to simple physico-chemical laws. In his earlier work he showed that complicated animal instincts are identical with those reactions of plants which are known as tropisms, and he and his collaborators have recently shown that the law of Bunsen and Roscoe which controls the chemical effects of light also expresses the influence of light upon those animal instincts which fall under the name of heliotropism. His experiments on artificial parthenogenesis have furnished the proof that the fertilizing effect of the living spermatozoon can be replaced by simple solutions. Other experiments deal with the influence of salts upon life phenomena, with regeneration and heteromorphosis, with effects of temperature, etc. He has published numerous papers in scientific journals and the following books: ‘Der Heliotropismus der Tiere und seine Übereinstimmung mit dem Heliotropismus der Pflanzen’ (1890); ‘Untersuchungen zur physiologischen Morphologie der Tiere’ (1891-92); ‘Comparative Physiology of the Brain and Comparative Psychology’ (1900); ‘Studies in General Physiology’ (1906); ‘Untersuchungen über künstliche Parthenogenese’ (1906); ‘The Dynamics of Living Matter’ (1906); ‘The Mechanistic Conception of Life’ (1912); ‘Artificial Parthenogenesis and Fertilization’ (1913).