THE AIM OF THE BIOIRON FORUM IS TO BECOME THE NEW BIOIRON SITE FOR DISSEMINATING NEW (AND “OLD FORGOTTEN”) FACTS ABOUT IRON IN BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE, BUT ALSO FANCIES, WHICH TOGETHER SHOULD ENRICH OUR EXPERIENCE IN SEARCH FOR IRON SCIENTIFIC SECRETS AND MEDICAL USES.
What do members of the Bioiron community share if not a fascination with iron, the metal of life and death? Such strong “mesmerizing” feelings were spelled already in 1574 by the Sevillian Doctor Nicolas Monardes in the “Dialogue about iron and its greatnesses” )1.
The dialogue is written in the classical style whereby the author-doctor representing the episteme-scientia leads a series of conversations with the apothecarian Bernardino de Burgos (the praxis) and/or with the the biscayan metallurgist Ortuño (the techne ) on topics like the genesis of iron-according to ancient Greek and Arabic schools (based on mystical or alchemical arguments), or techniques used to shape wrought iron or produce steel (chalybs) but especially about iron-based medicines and surgical tools, including those designed on the basis of personal experience. Monardes preaches about the unique contribution of iron to human wellness in contrast to those that venerate the gold and silver that engender unrestrained desires and corrupt feelings. Mesmerized by the Doctor’s erudite stories, Burgos- – regrets the “early” arrival of evening:
“ B. We wish
the Sundown to get delayed, so the day
stays longer for us to get to know things,
which for the most part have been said, but I never had thought that those forgotten by Medicine, like Iron, would have so much to say and for us to know, and looking at what was said, there is no human disease from foot-sole to head-hair that has no iron
We hope the new freely accessible BioIron Forum website will generate greater interest in Bioiron within the scientific and medical communities worldwide but also in the general public.
1) A trilogy of Monardes monographs that included the “Dialogue about iron and its greatnesses, as it is the most excellent of all metals and the most needed item in human service and endowed with great medical virtues ” was first published in Spanish and translated to several languages, including English by John Frampton published in 1577 under the title “Joyful newes out of the newe found worlde”.
Ioav Cabantchik. 2018