Andrew Huxley Biography
(English Physiologist, Biophysicist and Winner of the 1963 Nobel Prize for Physiology / Medicine)
Birthday: November 22, 1917 (Sagittarius)
Born In: Hampstead, London, England
Sir Andrew Fielding Huxley was a British physiologist, biophysicist, mathematician and mechanical wizard. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for showing how nerve cells produce electrical impulses to control the sensations of human body and all its activities. He shared this prize with Sir Alan Hodgkin who was a British scientist and his former teacher, and Sir John Eccles, an Australian biophysicist. The experiments carried out by Huxley and Hodgkin helped to explain the effect of anesthesia on the human body and the identification of many genetic diseases. Their work also helped in the design of prosthetic hands, arms, legs and feet. Huxley and Hodgkin explained how an electrical impulse travels from one end of the nerve cell to the other while Eccles described how the impulse was transferred from one cell to the adjacent one. They were able to solve an age old mystery where an Italian physicist made a dead frog’s leg twitch by touching it with electrical current. They used a nerve cell from a squid known as a ‘giant axion’ which is the largest nerve cell found in any type of living creature. They successfully inserted micro electrodes into the nerve cell and recorded the change in potential between the two ends when an electric current was passed through it.