By Margaret & Susskind, Charles Rowbottom, B/w
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V" He made several experiments to show that animal electricity, like ordinary electricity, could be conducted through all parts of newly dissected animals, provided that the parts were still moist. But Galvani realized that nothing was yet known of how the muscular contractions were obtained . Confirmation that contractions could be obtained in warmblooded animals, both live and dead, as well as in coldblooded animals, by the exposure and arming of a suitable nerve, led Galvani to hope that this new knowledge would be of benefit to physiology and medicine.
Copper and iron were good, but silver and iron better, and if the same metal were used throughout, for instance hook and arc both of iron , then the contractions were insignificant or completely absent. Comparison of the apparent circuit of "nerve fluid (an electric fire, as it were)" with the action of the Leyden jar suggested to Galvani that restoration of equilibrium between two opposite electric charges must be taking place. To suppose that these charges were embodied in one and the same metal seemed contrary to nature and observation .
Shortly afterwards an important work by Niels Stensen or Nicolaus Steno (1638-1686) appeared on the same subject, De musculis et glandulis observationum specimen, cum epistolis duabus anatomicis (1664), but he wisely decided that knowledge of the "animal spirits" and their mode of action was entirely lacking and advanced no theory of his own. Giovanni Alfonso Borelli (1608-1679), a contemporary of Steno's, dealt at length with the mechanical aspects of muscular action as part of his wider attempt (De t1l01U animalium.
Electricity and Medicine History of their Interaction by Margaret & Susskind, Charles Rowbottom, B/w