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Joseph von Mering (1849–1908)


JOSEPH FRIEPRICH FREIHERR VON MERING, who was born in Cologne a century ago on February 28, is remembered as a pioneer in the work on diabetes ; his paper, with Oscar Minkowski, in the Archiv für experimentelle Pathologie und Pharmakologie (26, 371 ; 1890), reported the production of diabetes in a dog following extirpation of the pancreas. Four years previously, von Mering had produced experimental diabetes by means of phloridzin, and his interest in this condition was probably derived from bis teacher, Kussmaul, who introduced the term 'acetonæmia' in diabetic coma, later named 'acidosis' by Naunyn. After obtaining his M.D. at Strassburg in 1874, von Mering became assistant to Richard von Krafft-Ebing and to Friedrich Jolly. Having worked with von Frerichs, Kussmaul and Hoppe-Seyler, he was appointed professor of medicine and laryngology at Halle in 1890, and in 1900 director of the Medizinische Klinik. Von Mering synthesized veronal, and his "Lehrbuch der Inneren Medizin"(1901) went through four editions before his death on January 5, 1908. A true aristocrat, approachable and kindly, vivacious, impulsive and quick-tempered, von Mering was eminently practical in his scientific outlook ; for theories and hypotheses he had neither time nor talent.

This article originally gave the wrong date of birth For Joseph von Mering. He was born on 28 February not 28 December 1849. The text has been corrected.

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Joseph von Mering (1849–1908). Nature 164, 1076 (1949).

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