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GIOACCHINO TADDEI, 1792-1860

In: Nuncius
Author:
PAOLA ANTONIOTTI Università di Torino

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Abstract

<title> SUMMARY </title>Taddei's image is linked to that branch of scientific research that was born in the first half of the nineteenth century, from the interaction of chemistry and physiology. Taddei's studies were a such and so many that it is difficult to put them into a specific branch of research. His works concerning relation of live and inanimate nature become in scientific terms the study of the interaction of organic and inorganic substances. Taddei graduated in medicine and immediately began his research in chemistry at the Accademia of Georgofili. The first works were about the composition of manure and the relation between these and the composition of soil and plants. The studies about glutin are linked to the researches on the chemical composition of foods. His work concerning wheat meal and cereals brought Taddei to discover two distinct substances, « gloiodina » and « zimoma », in the glutin. During his research on glutin and about the possibility of some mercury salts breaking the fermentation of the meals, he observed some interesting phenomena that shifted his attention to toxicology. The interest of Taddei not only about pure science but applied science too, allowed him to obtain results recognized both in Italy and in foreign countries. His researches concerning glutin led him to discover in that substance the property to operate as an antidote towards a dreadful poison: the corrosive sublimate. Taddei's glutin became the best antidote towards the corrosive sublimate after the albumen of Orfila (considered the phomoter of Toxicology). The controversy about the effectiveness of these antidotes is linked to the treatment of a very diffuse disease, syphilis. The syphilitic disease had been treated for many years with drugs containing the corrosive sublimate and the major part of the patient were poisoned by this substance.

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