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October 3, 1966


JAMA. 1966;198(1):78-79. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110140128039

Emil du Bois-Reymond devoted his scientific energies to the study of animal electricity and, in his waning years, to a philosophic interpretation of life. The eminent German physiologist, pupil and successor to Johannes Müller, was born in Berlin and there attended primary school and the French College.1 At the age of 11 he accompanied his parents to Switzerland, where he continued his education at the College of Neuchatel. At the age of 18 he returned to Germany and enrolled in the University of Berlin which remained his university of preference, except for one term at Bonn. An initial interest in theology was superseded by a strong attraction to chemistry, natural philosophy, mathematics, and geology. After fulfilling the requirements for a degree in medicine, he accepted an assistantship under Müller, professor of physiology, comparative anatomy, and embryology. Upon Müller's death in 1858, du Bois-Reymond succeeded to the chair of physiology,