Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

50 & 100 years ago

50 years ago

The first symposium on space medicine to be held in Great Britain was held at B.M.A. House, London, on October 16 and 17 ... The symposium was arranged to discuss the reactions of man to the conditions that will be encountered in space and on other planets, and of the equipment that will be required for survival in these hostile environments ... It is certain that man will travel into space within a few years. His first venture will probably be in orbit, close to the Earth, and lasting a few hours. His second venture will be to the Moon, and his third to one of the planets. Voyages beyond our own solar system are difficult to comprehend, but should not be dismissed too lightly. The reason for man travelling into space is a controversial subject. Some contend that he merely adds to the complexity of the space vehicle; others that he will earn his keep by taking decisions ... The fact remains, however, that he will go, and that he will be faced with many of the problems discussed at the symposium.

From Nature 13 December 1958.

100 years ago

From Prof. Haberlandt's laboratory at Graz there has been issued another paper on the perception of light by plants ... The author, Dr. K. Gaulhofer, has studied the epidermal cells of the leaves of certain plants that take up a fixed light position, and suggests that an explanation may be found in the presence of pits or clefts in the cell walls acting as light distributors ... The rays of light impinging on the edges of the pits are deflected, and consequently, underneath the pits, shadows are produced. Good instances of such pits occur in Aporrhiza paniculata and Banisteria splendens, while Hyperbaena laurifolia and Abuta concolor show well-marked clefts. The combination of pits and curved cell wall in Cocculus laurifolius will repay examination.

From Nature 10 December 1908.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

50 & 100 years ago. Nature 456, 713 (2008).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing