medical science

Ephraim McDowell – the Father of Abdominal Surgery

Ephraim McDowell – the Father of Abdominal Surgery

On Nov 11, 1771, American physician and pioneer surgeon Ephraim McDowell was born. The first person to successfully remove an ovarian tumor, he has been called “the father of ovariotomy” as well as founding father of abdominal surgery. Ephraim McDowell – Youth and Education Ephraim McDowell was born in Rockbridge County, Virginia, the ninth child of Samuel and Mary McDowell. His father was a veteran of the French and Indian War and a…
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Alois Alzheimer and the Disease Of Advanced Civilization

Alois Alzheimer and the Disease Of Advanced Civilization

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 – Early Years Alois Alzheimer was born in Marktbreit, Bavaria, the eldest son from the second marriage of the notary Eduard Alzheimer and his wife Barbara Theresia née Busch, a sister of the first wife Eva-Maria née Busch, who died…
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Typhoid Mary

Typhoid Mary

On September 23, 1869, Mary Mallon was born, better known as Typhoid Mary was born. She was the first person in the United States identified as an asymptomatic carrier of the pathogen associated with typhoid fever. She was presumed to have infected 51 people, three of whom died, over the course of her career as a cook. She was twice forcibly isolated by public health authorities and died after a total of…
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Thomas Sydenham – the English Hipocrates

Thomas Sydenham – the English Hipocrates

On September 10, 1624, English physician Thomas Sydenham was born. He was the author of Observationes Medicae which became a standard textbook of medicine for two centuries so that he became known as ‘The English Hippocrates’. Among his many achievements was the discovery of a disease, Sydenham’s Chorea, also known as St Vitus Dance. Thomas Sydenham’s struggles with the medical degree Thomas Sydenham was born at Wynford Eagle in Dorset, the son…
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Hermann von Helmholtz – Physiologist and Physicist

Hermann von Helmholtz – Physiologist and Physicist

On August 31, 1821, German physician and physicist Hermann von Helmholtz was born. In physiology and psychology, he is known for his mathematics of the eye, theories of vision, ideas on the visual perception of space, color vision research, and on the sensation of tone, perception of sound, and empiricism. In physics, he is known for his theories on the conservation of energy, work in electrodynamics, chemical thermodynamics, and on a mechanical foundation…
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Astley Paston Cooper – A pioneer in Experimental Surgery

Astley Paston Cooper – A pioneer in Experimental Surgery

On August 23, 1768, English surgeon and anatomist Sir Astley Paston Cooper was born. He made historical contributions to otology, vascular surgery, the anatomy and pathology of the mammary glands and testicles, and the pathology and surgery of hernia. Astley Cooper – Medical Career Astley Cooper was born at Brooke Hall in Brooke, Norfolk to Dr Samuel Cooper, a clergyman of the Church of England and Maria Susanna Bransby, the author of several novels. At the age…
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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

On August 18, 1960, the first contraceptive pill Enovid went on public sale in the U.S. However, 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 the Economist, the contraceptive pill was one of the inventions…
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Dr. Joseph Lister and the use of Carbolic Acid as Disinfectant

Dr. Joseph Lister and the use of Carbolic Acid as Disinfectant

On August 12, 1865, British surgeon Dr. Joseph Lister became the first surgeon to perform an antiseptic operation by liberal use of carbolic acid (phenol) as a disinfectant. Using phenol to sterilise surgical instruments and to clean wounds led to a reduction in post-operative infections and made surgery safer for patients. Joseph Lister – Early Years Joseph Lister was born on April 5, 1827 in Upton, Essex, England into a wealthy Quaker family in Upton, Essex. His…
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Felix Hoffmann and the Synthesis of Aspirin

Felix Hoffmann and the Synthesis of Aspirin

On August 10, 1897, German chemist Felix Hoffmann  synthesized acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) in a stable form usable for medical applications. In 1899 it was marketed for the first time under the trade name Aspirin. Acetylsalicylic acid, the active ingredient of aspirin, was first discovered from the bark of the willow tree in 1763 by Edward Stone of Wadham College, University of Oxford. Felix Hoffmann – Early Years Felix Hoffmann was born on January…
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Girolamo Fracastoro’s Proposal of a Scientific Germ Theory

Girolamo Fracastoro’s Proposal of a Scientific Germ Theory

On August 6, 1553, an Italian physician, poet, and scholar in mathematics, geography and astronomy Girolamo Fracastoro passed away. Fracastoro subscribed to the philosophy of atomism, and rejected appeals to hidden causes in scientific investigation. He is known for his proposal of a scientific germ theory for how diseases are transmitted. Fracastoro’s ideas helped make unpopular public health measures more accepted, such as destroying animals, or thorough cleaning or burning of infected possessions during…
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