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Attention doctorportal newsletter subscribers,

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As of January 2019, we will no longer be sending out the doctorportal email newsletter. The final issue of this newsletter will be distributed on 13 December 2018. Articles from this issue will be available to view online until 31 December 2018.

[Perspectives] The art of observation

Growing up, Santiago Ramón y Cajal (1852–1934) wanted to be an artist, but his father, a physician, wanted him to be a doctor. A gifted painter, sketcher, and observer of nature, he found his way to medicine through anatomical drawing, which led to a career in histology and neuroscience. In 1906, he shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Camillo Golgi “in recognition of their work on the structure of the nervous system”. Golgi’s famous staining method had enabled visualisation of individual neurons, facilitating, among other things, Cajal’s thousands of iconic drawings, about 80 of which are the centrepiece of the touring exhibition The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal and the elegant companion book.