medical science

Charles Nicolle and the Transmission of Typhus

Charles Nicolle and the Transmission of Typhus

On September 21, 1866, French bacteriologist Charles Juley Henry Nicolle was born. Nicolle was awarded the 1928 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his identification of lice as the transmitter of epidemic typhus. Charles Nicolle was probably inspired to join the field of medicine because his father Eugène Nicolle was a doctor in the French city Rouen. Nicolle attended the Lycée Pierre Corneille in Rouen and earned his M.D. in 1893 from the…
Duchenne de Boulogne’s Research in Neurology

Duchenne de Boulogne’s Research in Neurology

On September 17, 1806, French neurologist Duchenne de Boulogne was born. Duchenne de Boulogne revived Galvani‘s research and greatly advanced the science of electrophysiology. The era of modern neurology developed from Duchenne‘s understanding of neural pathways and his diagnostic innovations including deep tissue biopsy, nerve conduction tests (NCS), and clinical photography. He was first to describe several nervous and muscular disorders and, in developing medical treatment for them, created electrodiagnosis and…
Paul Gerson Unna and Dermatopathology

Paul Gerson Unna and Dermatopathology

On September 8, 1850, German dermatologist Paul Gerson Unna was born. Unna soon specialized in dermatology and became one of the pioneers in dermatopathology. He became known internationally in his field after writing a book on Histopathology of Skin Diseases (1884), which became a classic work. His name is also remembered for the Unna-Pappenheim stain, the most common stain for blood smears. Paul Unna was born in Hamburg, the son…
Hans Adolf Krebs and the Krebs Cycle

Hans Adolf Krebs and the Krebs Cycle

On August 25, 1900, German-born British physician and biochemist Hans Adolf Krebs was born. Krebs was the pioneer scientist in study of cellular respiration, a biochemical pathway in cells for production of energy. He is best known for his discoveries of two important chemical reactions in the body, namely the urea cycle and the citric acid cycle. The latter, the key sequence of metabolic reactions that produces energy in cells,…
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…
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