medical science

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…
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…
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…
Rudolph Virchow – the Father of Modern Pathology

Rudolph Virchow – the Father of Modern Pathology

Rudoplh Virchow (1821 – 1902) On October 13, 1821, German doctor, anthropologist, pathologist, prehistorian, biologist, writer, editor, and politician, Rudolph 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. Rudolph Virchow studied…
Gerolamo Cardano and the Mathematics of Chances

Gerolamo Cardano and the Mathematics of Chances

Gerolamo Cardano (1501 – 1576)   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. Gerolamo Cardano started working as a physician in 1526…
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

Phineas Gage(1823–1860) 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,…
Luigi Galvani’s Discoveries in Bioelectricity

Luigi Galvani’s Discoveries in Bioelectricity

Luigi Aloisio Galvani(1737 – 1798) 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…
The Contraceptive Pill – One of the Most Influential Inventions of the 20th Century

The Contraceptive Pill – One of the Most Influential Inventions of the 20th Century

Different kinds of birth control pillsImage: Ceridwen On August 18, 1960, the first contraceptive pill Enovid went on public sale in the U.S. But the contraceptive pill was not available to married women in all states of the U.S. until 1972. Especially the Roman Catholic Church holds a strong position against the contraceptive pill, because according to her teachings artificial contraception distorts the nature and purpose of sex. According to…
Edward Jenner’s Fight against Smallpox

Edward Jenner’s Fight against Smallpox

Edward Jenner(1749 – 1823) On May 17, 1749, English physician and scientist Edward Anthony Jenner was born, who was the pioneer of smallpox vaccine. He is often referred to as “the father of immunology”. Edward Jenner was lucky to receive a good education and decided to go into the field of medicine quite early. Already at the age of 14, he was apprenticed to a surgeon and later also studied…
Athanasius Kircher – A Man in Search of Universal Knowledge

Athanasius Kircher – A Man in Search of Universal Knowledge

Athanasius Kircher (ca. 1602 – 1680) 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. He is regarded as one of the founders of Egyptology for his (mostly fruitless) efforts in deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs, wrote an encyclopedia about…
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