medical science

Crawford Long and the Diethyl Ether Anesthesia

Crawford Long and the Diethyl Ether Anesthesia

On March 30, 1842, American surgeon and pharmacist Crawford Williamson Long for the very first time used inhaled diethyl ether as an anesthetic for surgery. Can you imagine a surgery without anesthetic? Standing the pain while a surgeon is cutting something somewhere in your body? I think better not to. But, anesthetics already have a long tradition, longer than you might think. Already since antiquity, a variety of Solanum species containing potent…
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Albert Schweitzer and his Hospital in Africa

Albert Schweitzer and his Hospital in Africa

On March 21, 1913, theologian, organist, philosopher, physician, and medical missionary in Africa Albert Schweitzer together with his wife Helene start their voyage to Africa, to establish a hospital in Equatorial Africa. “The awareness that we are all human beings together has become lost in war and through politics.” Radio appeal for peace, Oslo, Norway (30 March 1958) Albert Schweitzer was born on January 14, 1875, as the second child of a…
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Fritz Schaudinn and the ‘French Disease’

Fritz Schaudinn and the ‘French Disease’

On March 3, 1905, German zoologist Fritz Schaudinn together with dermatologist Erich Hoffmann discovered the causative agent of syphilis, the spiral-shaped Spirochaeta pallida, at Berlin Charité Clinic. The origin of syphilis is not very clear, but it is assumed that it was present in the Americas before European contact. Many historical scientists assume, that the illness was carried to Europe by the returning crewmen from Christopher Columbus‘s voyage. Others dispute, that syphilis…
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Caspar Friedrich Wolff – the Founder of Embryology

Caspar Friedrich Wolff – the Founder of Embryology

On January 18, 1734, German physiologist Caspar Friedrich Wolff was born. He is recognized as one of the founders of embryology. In Theoria Generationis (1759) he first wrote an epigenetic theory of development: that the organs of living things take shape gradually from non-specific tissue. At the age of 19, Caspar Friedrich Wolff started his studies in medicine in Berlin where he was highly influenced by Pierre-Louis Moreau de Mauperius. The scientist took…
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Hildegard of Bingen – More than the ‘Sybil of the Rhine’

Hildegard of Bingen – More than the ‘Sybil of the Rhine’

Although her exact birthdate is uncertain, we want to dedicate today’s article to an extraordinary woman in science: German writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, Benedictine abbess, visionary, and polymath St Hildegard von Bingen. At a time when few women wrote, Hildegard, known as “Sybil of the Rhine“, produced major works of theology and visionary writings. She used the curative powers of natural objects for healing, and wrote treatises about natural history and…
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Robert Koch and Tuberculosis

Robert Koch and Tuberculosis

Robert Koch (1843-1910) 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. As a young boy, Robert Koch learned reading…
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The Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Aids

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Aids

Scanning electron micrograph of HIV-1 budding (in green) from cultured lymphocyteImage: C. Goldsmith 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). The complete origin of HIV are not really known to researchers on this day. Clear is however, that the human immunodeficiency virus is very similar to the Simian immunodeficiency…
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Alphonse Laveran’s Discovery and the Fight against Malaria

Alphonse Laveran’s Discovery and the Fight against Malaria

Alphonse Laveran (1845 – 1922) 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 for Physiology or Medicine. Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran enrolled at the school for general medicine in Strasbourg in 1863. Three years later, he…
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Alzheimer’s, A Disease Of Advanced Civilization

Alzheimer’s, A Disease Of Advanced Civilization

Alois Alzheimer and his research group in 1909 On November 3, 1906, German psychiatrist Alois Alzheimer presented for the first time the pathology and the clinical symptoms of presenile dementia together, later renamed in his honor as Alzheimer’s disease. Alois Alzheimer studied medicine at the University of Würzburg and the University of Tübingen. In 1887, he finished his dissertation, which consisted of only 17 pages. Shortly after, Alzheimer became assistant to the…
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