medical science

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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David Vetter, the Bubble Boy

David Vetter, the Bubble Boy

On September 21, 1971, David Phillip Vetter was born. He was a prominent sufferer of severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), a hereditary disease which dramatically weakens the immune system. In the media, Vetter was referred to as “David, the bubble boy“, because he lived in a special sterilized plastic cocoon bubble from birth until he died at age 12. Background Before David was born, his parents Carol Ann and David Vetter Jr. had their first…
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Stephen Hales and the Blood Pressure

Stephen Hales and the Blood Pressure

On September 17, 1677, English clergyman Stephen Hales was born. Hales made major contributions to a range of scientific fields including botany, pneumatic chemistry and physiology. He was the first person to measure blood pressure. He also invented several devices, including a ventilator, a pneumatic trough and a surgical forceps for the removal of bladder stones. In addition to these achievements was a philanthropist and wrote a popular tract on alcoholic intemperance. “We are…
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Luigi Galvani and the Discovery of Bioelectricity

Luigi Galvani and the Discovery of Bioelectricity

On September 9, 1737, Italian physician, physicist and philosopher Luigi Aloisio Galvani was born. He is best known for his discoveries in bioelectricity. In particular, he discovered that the muscles of dead frogs legs twitched when struck by a spark. As a legacy, Galvani’s name survives in the Galvanic cell, Galvani potential, galvanic corrosion, the galvanometer and galvanization. Moreover, his reports also heavily influenced famous author Mary Shelley writing her novel ‘Frankenstein‘.[4] “When…
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Christian Archibald Herter and Gastrointestinal Diseases

Christian Archibald Herter and Gastrointestinal Diseases

On September 3, 1865, American physician and pathologist Christian Archibald Herter was born. Herter is noted for his work on diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, where he investigated the role of bacteria and developed techniques for measuring their products such as indol. He was also co-founder of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Christian Archibald Herter – Early Years Christian Archibald Herter was born in Glenville, Connecticut, USA, to Christian Herter, a notable…
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Mary Putnam Jacobi – Physician and Suffragist

Mary Putnam Jacobi – Physician and Suffragist

On August 31, 1842, American physician, writer and suffragist Mary Corinna Putnam Jacobi was born. Putnam Jacobi crusaded for the integration of clinical and laboratory studies. Disparaging anecdotal evidence and traditional approaches, she demanded scientific research on every question of the day. As a leading feminist, she rejected the traditional wisdom about the weaknesses of women. Her work with reformers and suffragists made her a leading spokesperson for women’s health. Mary Putnam –…
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Charles Richet and his Work on Anaphylaxis

Charles Richet and his Work on Anaphylaxis

On August 26, 1850, French physiologist and Nobel Laureate Charles Robert Richet was born. Initially, he investigated a variety of subjects such as neurochemistry, digestion, thermoregulation in homeothermic animals, and breathing. He coined the term “anaphylaxis” meaning “against protection” to describe the subject of his research, when he found a second vaccinating dose of sea anemone toxin caused a dog’s death. Charles Richet won the Nobel Prize in recognition of his work on anaphylaxis in 1913. Charles…
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James Bryan Herrick and the Sickle-Cell Disease

James Bryan Herrick and the Sickle-Cell Disease

On August 11, 1861, American physician James Bryan Herrick was born. He is credited with the description of sickle-cell disease, which results in an abnormality in the oxygen-carrying protein haemoglobin found in red blood cells, and was one of the first physicians to describe the symptoms of myocardial infarction. Education and Academic Career James Bryan Herrick was born in Oak Park, Illinois, to Origen White Herrick and Dora Kettlestrings Herrick. He attended…
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William Morton and the Painless Ether Anesthesia

William Morton and the Painless Ether Anesthesia

On August 9, 1819, American dentist William Thomas Green Morton was born. He was the first to publicly demonstrate the use of inhaled ether as a surgical anesthetic in 1846. Morton is credited with gaining the medical world’s acceptance of surgical anesthesia. But, can you imagine a surgery without any anesthetic? Standing the pain of an operation, feeling every cut? Better not. Nevertheless, anesthetics already have a long tradition.  The History of…
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