medical science

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…
Wilhelm His and the Microtome

Wilhelm His and the Microtome

On July 9, 1831, Swiss anatomist Wilhelm His, Sr. was born. His became known for the invention of the microtome, a tool used to cut extremely thin slices of material (even though others were also credited with the invention). By treating animal flesh with acids and salts to harden it and then slicing it very thinly with the microtome, scientists were able to further research the organization and function of…
Morell Mackenzie and The Fatal Illness Of Frederick The Noble

Morell Mackenzie and The Fatal Illness Of Frederick The Noble

On July 7, 1837, British physician Morell Mackenzie was born. Mackenzie was one of the pioneers of laryngology in the United Kingdom. He is best remembered for his role at the centre of a bitter international controversy over the death of Emperor Frederick III of Germany. In his book, ‘The Fatal Illness Of Frederick The Noble’ (1888), Mackenzie describes his care of laryngeal cancer in the Crown Prince, later Emperor Frederick…
Dietary Reformer Sylvester Graham

Dietary Reformer Sylvester Graham

On July 5, 1794, American Presbyterian minister and dietary reformer Sylvester Graham was born. Graham is best known for his emphasis on vegetarianism, the temperance movement and his emphasis on eating whole-grain bread; he did not invent graham flour, graham bread, or graham crackers, but those products were inspired by his preaching. Sylvester Graham worked as a farm hand, cleaner, and teacher. His relatives ran a tavern where Graham also…
Sir James Black and the Beta Blockers

Sir James Black and the Beta Blockers

On June 14, 1924, British pharmacologist and Nobel Laureate Sir James Whyte Black was born. Black developed propranolol, a beta blocker used for the treatment of heart disease. Black was also responsible for the development of cimetidine, a H2 receptor antagonist, a drug used to treat stomach ulcers. For both developments he was awarded the 1968 Nobel Prize in Medicine. “I call myself a pharmacological toolmaker. ” — Sir James W.…
Helen B. Taussig and Pediatric Cardiology

Helen B. Taussig and Pediatric Cardiology

On May 24, 1898, American cardiologist Helen Brooke Taussig was born. Taussig is often referred to as the founder of the field of pediatric cardiology. Notably, she is credited with developing the concept for a procedure that would extend the lives of children born with Tetralogy of Fallot (the most common cause of blue baby syndrome). This concept was applied in practice as a procedure known as the Blalock-Taussig shunt.…
Dr. Spock’s Famous Book on Child Care

Dr. Spock’s Famous Book on Child Care

On May 2, 1903, American pediatrician Benjamin McLane Spock was born. Spock‘s book Baby and Child Care, published in 1946, is one of the best-sellers of all time. The book‘s premise to mothers is that “you know more than you think you do.” It influenced generations of parents worldwide. “Don’t be afraid to trust your own common sense..[]..What good mothers and fathers instinctively feel like doing for their babies is…
Santiago Ramón y Cajal and the Microscopic Structure of the Brain

Santiago Ramón y Cajal and the Microscopic Structure of the Brain

On May 1, 1852, Spanish pathologist, histologist, neuroscientist, and Nobel laureate Santiago Ramón y Cajal was born. Cajal’s original pioneering investigations of the microscopic structure of the brain have led to his being designated by many as the father of modern neuroscience. His medical artistry was legendary, and hundreds of his drawings illustrating the delicate arborizations of brain cells are still in use for educational and training purposes. During his early years, Santiago…
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