medical science

Nicolas Steno and the Principles of Modern Geology

Nicolas Steno and the Principles of Modern Geology

In January 11,  1638, Danish Catholic bishop and scientist Nicolas Steno was born. He was both a pioneer in both anatomy and geology, and seriously questioned accepted knowledge of the natural world. Importantly he questioned explanations for tear production, the idea that fossils grew in the ground and explanations of rock formation. By some he is considered the founder of modern stratigraphy and modern geology. “Beautiful is what we see, More Beautiful is what we…
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Trotula of Salerno and Women’s Health in the Middle Ages

Trotula of Salerno and Women’s Health in the Middle Ages

Although neither her birthday nor her date of death is known to us, today we want to point out a rather prominent woman in science of which you might never have heard of unless you know your way around in the history of medicine. Trotula of Salerno lived in the 11th or 12th century AD and was a female physician, alleged to have been the first female professor of medicine, teaching in…
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Robert Koch and his Fight against Tuberculosis

Robert Koch and his Fight against Tuberculosis

On December 11, 1843, Robert Koch, the founder of modern bacteriology, was born. He is known for his role in identifying the specific causative agents of tuberculosis, cholera, and anthrax and for giving experimental support for the concept of infectious disease. As a result of his groundbreaking research on tuberculosis, Koch received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1905. “When the doctor walks behind the coffin of his patient, sometimes…
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Christiaan Barnard and the First Heart Transplant

Christiaan Barnard and the First Heart Transplant

On December 3, 1967 at the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town South Africa, Christiaan Barnard performed the world‘s first adult heart transplant on Louis Washkansky. Although Norman Shumway is widely regarded as the father of heart transplantation, it was the young South African Christiaan Barnard utilizing the techniques developed and perfected by Norman Shumway and Richard Lower, who performed the world’s first adult human heart transplant. Christiaan Barnard Background Christiaan Barnard…
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The Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Aids

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Aids

On December 1, 1981, the AIDS virus is officially recognized as a disease. Aids is a disease of the human immune system caused by infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Origins The complete origin of HIV is not really known to researchers on this day. Clear is however, that the human immunodeficiency virus is very similar to the Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), a retrovirus that is able to infect over 40 species…
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Alphonse Laveran’s Discovery and the Fight against Malaria

Alphonse Laveran’s Discovery and the Fight against Malaria

On November 6, 1880, while working in the military hospital in Constantine, Algeria, French military surgeon Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran discovered that the cause of malaria is a parasite. For this work and later discoveries of protozoan diseases Laveran was awarded the 1907 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Alphonse Laveran Laveran was born on 18 June 1845 as the son of the military doctor and professor at the École de Val-de-Grâce, Louis Théodore…
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Rudolf Virchow – the Father of Modern Pathology

Rudolf Virchow – the Father of Modern Pathology

On October 13, 1821, German doctor, anthropologist, pathologist, prehistorian, biologist, writer, editor, and politician, Rudolf Virchow was born. He is best known for his advancement of public health. Furthermore, he is also referred as “the father of modern pathology” because his work helped to discredit humorism, bringing more science to medicine. He is also considered one of the founders of social medicine. “For if medicine is really to accomplish its great task,…
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Gerolamo Cardano and Physician, Mathematician, and Gambler

Gerolamo Cardano and Physician, Mathematician, and Gambler

On September 24, 1501, Italian Renaissance mathematician, physician, astrologer and gambler Gerolamo Cardano was born. He wrote more than 200 works on medicine, mathematics, physics, philosophy, religion, and music. But, he is best known for his gambling that led him to formulate elementary rules in probability, making him one of the founders of probability theory. “The greatest advantage in gambling lies in not playing at all.” – Gerolamo Cardano (around 1560). Liber…
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Phineas Gage’s Accident and the Science of the Mind and the Brain

Phineas Gage’s Accident and the Science of the Mind and the Brain

On September 13, 1848, Phineas Gage (aged 25) was foreman of a work gang blasting rock while preparing the roadbed for the Rutland & Burlington Railroad outside the town of Cavendish, Vermont, when a large iron rod was driven completely through his head. Much of his brain‘s left frontal lobe was destroyed, reportedly affecting his personality and behavior. Phineas Gage influenced nineteenth-century discussion about the mind and brain, particularly debate on cerebral…
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Athanasius Kircher – A Man in Search of Universal Knowledge

Athanasius Kircher – A Man in Search of Universal Knowledge

On May 2nd, 1601 (or 1602), German Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher was born. He has published most notably in the fields of oriental studies, geology, and medicine, and has been compared to Leonardo da Vinci for his enormous range of interests.[5] He is regarded as one of the founders of Egyptology for his (mostly fruitless) efforts in deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs, wrote an encyclopedia about China, studied volcanos and fossils, was one of the very…
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