medical science

E. Morton Jellinek and the Causes of Alcoholism

E. Morton Jellinek and the Causes of Alcoholism

On August 15, 1890, American biostatistician and physiologist E. Morton Jellinek was born. Jellinek was a pioneer in the scientific study of the nature and causes of alcoholism and in descriptions of its symptomatology. He was an early proponent of the disease theory of alcoholism, arguing with great persuasiveness that alcoholics should be treated as sick people. Born in New York City, USA, Jellinek studied biostatistics and physiology at the…
Christiaan Eijkman and the Cause of Beriberi

Christiaan Eijkman and the Cause of Beriberi

On August 11, 1858, Dutch physiologist Christiaan Eijkman was born. Eijkman‘s demonstrated that beriberi is caused by poor diet led to the discovery of antineuritic vitamins (thiamine). Together with Sir Frederick Hopkins, he received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. Christiaan Eijkman was born at Nijkerk, Netherlands as the seventh child of Christiaan Eijkman, the headmaster of a local school, and Johanna Alida Pool. In 1859, the Eijkman family…
Ewald Hering’s Oponent Colour-Vision Theory

Ewald Hering’s Oponent Colour-Vision Theory

On August 5, 1834, German physiologist Ewald Hering was born. Hering is best known for his research into color vision, binocular perception and eye movements. Hering challenged the color-vision theory of Hermann von Helmholtz. Visual sensations, according to Hering‘s view, were due to three color receptors responding in an “opponent” fashion in color-pairs (white/black, yellow/blue, and red/green) to take account of the after-images of colors. Ewald Hering was born in…
John Caius and the English Sweating Sickness

John Caius and the English Sweating Sickness

On July 29, 1573, English physician John Caius passed away. Caius was one of the founders of the present Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. His classic account of the English sweating sickness is considered one of the earliest histories of an epidemic. John Caius attended Gonville Hall, Cambridge and after graduating traveled to Italy where he studied under the celebrated Montanus and Vesalius at Padua. He earned his degree as a…
Joseph Goldberger’s Fight against Pellagra

Joseph Goldberger’s Fight against Pellagra

On July 16, 1874, American physician and epidemiologist Joseph Goldberger was born. Goldberger was an advocate for scientific and social recognition of the links between poverty and disease. Due to his important work on the link between pellagra and poor diet, he was nominated five times for the Nobel Prize. Joseph Goldberger was born in Girált, Sáros County, Kingdom of Hungary in a Jewish family, as the youngest of six…
Ludwik Fleck and the Thought Collective

Ludwik Fleck and the Thought Collective

On July 11, 1898, Polish and Israeli physician Ludwik Fleck was born. Fleck did important work in epidemic typhus in Lwów, Poland, with Rudolf Weigl and in the 1930s developed the concepts of the “Denkstil” (“thought style”) and the “Denkkollektiv” (“thought collective”). The concept of the “thought collective” defined by him is important in the philosophy of science and in logology (the “science of science”), helping to explain how scientific ideas…
Wilhelm His and the Microtome

Wilhelm His and the Microtome

On July 9, 1831, Swiss anatomist Wilhelm His, Sr. was born. His became known for the invention of the microtome, a tool used to cut extremely thin slices of material (even though others were also credited with the invention). By treating animal flesh with acids and salts to harden it and then slicing it very thinly with the microtome, scientists were able to further research the organization and function of…
Morell Mackenzie and The Fatal Illness Of Frederick The Noble

Morell Mackenzie and The Fatal Illness Of Frederick The Noble

On July 7, 1837, British physician Morell Mackenzie was born. Mackenzie was one of the pioneers of laryngology in the United Kingdom. He is best remembered for his role at the centre of a bitter international controversy over the death of Emperor Frederick III of Germany. In his book, ‘The Fatal Illness Of Frederick The Noble’ (1888), Mackenzie describes his care of laryngeal cancer in the Crown Prince, later Emperor Frederick…
Dietary Reformer Sylvester Graham

Dietary Reformer Sylvester Graham

On July 5, 1794, American Presbyterian minister and dietary reformer Sylvester Graham was born. Graham is best known for his emphasis on vegetarianism, the temperance movement and his emphasis on eating whole-grain bread; he did not invent graham flour, graham bread, or graham crackers, but those products were inspired by his preaching. Sylvester Graham worked as a farm hand, cleaner, and teacher. His relatives ran a tavern where Graham also…
Sir James Black and the Beta Blockers

Sir James Black and the Beta Blockers

On June 14, 1924, British pharmacologist and Nobel Laureate Sir James Whyte Black was born. Black developed propranolol, a beta blocker used for the treatment of heart disease. Black was also responsible for the development of cimetidine, a H2 receptor antagonist, a drug used to treat stomach ulcers. For both developments he was awarded the 1968 Nobel Prize in Medicine. “I call myself a pharmacological toolmaker. ” — Sir James W.…
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