medical science

Sir Alan Hodgkin and the Giant Axon of the Atlantic Squid

Sir Alan Hodgkin and the Giant Axon of the Atlantic Squid

On February 5, 1914, English physiologist and biophysicist Sir Alan Lloyd Hodgkin was born. Hodgkin shared the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Andrew Huxley and John Eccles for the discovery of the chemical processes involved in nerve conduction, more specifically, discoveries concerning the ionic mechanisms involved in excitation and inhibition in the peripheral and central portions of the nerve cell membrane. “In neurophysiology we have none of those vast tidal waves…
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Ancel Keys and the Effect of Saturated Fats on Our Health

Ancel Keys and the Effect of Saturated Fats on Our Health

On January 26, 1904, American nutritionist and epidemiologist Ancel Keys was born. Keys studied the influence of diet on health. In particular, he hypothesized that saturated fat in the diet is unhealthy and should be avoided. He also was the first to identify the role of saturated fats in causing heart disease. Ancel Keys – Early Years Ancel Keys was born in Colorado Springs in 1904 to Benjamin Pious Keys (1883-1961) and Carolyn…
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The Case of King Tut – CT Scans and DNA Forensics of Tutankhamun’s Mummy

The Case of King Tut – CT Scans and DNA Forensics of Tutankhamun’s Mummy

On January 6, 2005, the mummy of Tutankhamun (c. 1355-1346 B.C.) was removed from its tomb in the Valley of the Kings to be subject of a state-of-the-art non invasive CT scan, which gave evidence that the young king had suffered a compound left leg fracture shortly before his death, and that the leg had become infected, and did not support the popular assumption that the king had been murdered. The Discovery…
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Rita Levi-Montalcini and the Nerve Growth Factor

Rita Levi-Montalcini and the Nerve Growth Factor

On December 30, 2011, Italian neurologist and Nobel laureate Rita Levi-Montalcini passed away. Levi-Montalcini was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly with colleague Stanley Cohen for the discovery of nerve growth factor (NGF), which stimulates and influences both the normal and abnormal the growth of nerve cells in the body. “In life one should never give in, surrender oneself to mediocrity, but rather move out of that grey area…
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Max von Pettenkofer – the Apostle of Good Water

Max von Pettenkofer – the Apostle of Good Water

On December 3, 1818, Bavarian chemist and hygienist Max Joseph von Pettenkofer was born. In his early career worked on industrial chemical processes and analysis of urine and bile acids, but today he is remembered in connection with his work in practical hygiene, as an apostle of good water, fresh air and proper sewage disposal. He also developed standards for adequate ventilation in schools and hospitals. “From time to time we send our underwear to…
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António Egas Moniz and the Cerebral Angiography

António Egas Moniz and the Cerebral Angiography

On November 29, 1879, Portuguese neurologist António Egas Moniz was born. He is reknown as the developer of cerebral angiography. Moniz is regarded as one of the founders of modern psychosurgery, having developed the surgical procedure leucotomy — known better today as lobotomy — for which he became the first Portuguese national to receive a Nobel Prize in 1949 shared with Walter Rudolf Hess. António Egas Moniz – Early Years António Moniz was…
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Leopold Auenbrugger discovered Diagnosis by Percussion

Leopold Auenbrugger discovered Diagnosis by Percussion

On November 19, 1722, Austrian physician Leopold Auenbrugger was born. Auenbrugger invented percussion – the art of striking a surface part of the body with short, sharp taps to diagnose the condition of the parts beneath the sound – as a diagnostic technique. On the strength of this discovery, he is considered one of the founders of modern medicine. Auenbrugger invented the method of auscultating the patient‘s chest in 1754, while the…
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Xavier Bichat – the Father of Histology

Xavier Bichat – the Father of Histology

On November 14, 1771, French anatomist and pathologist Marie François Xavier Bichat was born. Bichat is known as the father of histology. Although working without the microscope, Bichat distinguished 21 types of elementary tissues from which the organs of human body are composed. “Life is that group of functions which resist death.” – Marie François Xavier Bichat Francois Xavier Bichat – Youth and Education François Xavier Bichat was born the son of the doctor…
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Michael Servetus and the Pulmonary Circulation

Michael Servetus and the Pulmonary Circulation

Around September 29, 1509 (or 1511), Spanish theologian, physician, cartographer, and Renaissance humanist Michael Servetus was born. Servetus was a polymath versed in many sciences: mathematics, astronomy and meteorology, geography, human anatomy, medicine and pharmacology, as well as jurisprudence, translation, poetry and the scholarly study of the Bible in its original languages. He was probably the first European to correctly describe the function of pulmonary circulation. “Michael Servetus, alone, but trusting in Christ’s most sure protection.”…
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Archibald Hill and the Discipline of Biophysics

Archibald Hill and the Discipline of Biophysics

On September 26, 1886, English physiologist and Nobel Laureate Archibald Vivian Hill was born. Hill is one of the founders of the diverse disciplines of biophysics and operations research. He shared the 1922 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his elucidation of the production of heat and mechanical work in muscles. “One knows that after violent exercise one breathes heavily for some time: the more violent the exercise, the longer one’s respiration is…
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