Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists The science fiction effect By Laura H. Kahn, MD, MPH, MPP | 6 February 2012 “Its alive! Neurophysiology. Huddled around a warm fireplace one cold summers night in 1816, a small group of friends decided to hold a competition to see who could write the scariest horror story. While vacationing in a villa by Lake Geneva, Switzerland, the friends spent their time reading ghost stories and discussing the exciting experiment being performed by the scientists of the day: reanimating dead matter. Luigi Galvani, an Italian physician, discovered electric currents in nerves when his assistant, who was standing next to an electrical machine, touched his scalpel to a frogs dissected leg causing it to twitch. Galvani called it animal electricity. ... Please read entire column: