medical science

Sir David Bruce and the Discovery of the Causative Agent of Malta Fever

Sir David Bruce and the Discovery of the Causative Agent of Malta Fever

On May 29, 1855, Scottish pathologist and microbiologist Sir David Bruce was born. Bruce investigated Malta fever (later called brucellosis in his honour) and African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness in humans and nagana in animals). He discovered the first protozoan parasite transmitted by insects, which was later named Trypanosoma brucei after him. David Bruce – From Australia back to Scotland David Bruce was born in Melbourne, Australia, to David Bruce, a Scottish engineer…
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Helen Taussig – the Founder of Pediatric Cardiology

Helen Taussig – the Founder of 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. Helen Taussig…
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John Jacob Abel and the Endocrine Glands

John Jacob Abel and the Endocrine Glands

On May 19, 1857, American biochemist and pharmacologist John Jacob Abel was born. Abel made important contributions to a modern understanding of the ductless, or endocrine, glands. He extracted a derivative of epinephrine, also known as adrenaline and successfully purified and isolated crystalline insulin. His interest in kidney functions led to his invention of a primitive artificial kidney that was able to remove toxins from the blood of living animals, the precursor…
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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 usually best.”…
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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. “Any man could, if he were so…
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Félix d’Herelle and the Bacteriophages

Félix d’Herelle and the Bacteriophages

On April 25, 1873, French-Canadian microbiologist Félix d’Herelle was born. D’Herelle was co-discoverer of bacteriophages (viruses that infect bacteria) and experimented with the possibility of phage therapy. D’Herelle has also been credited for his contributions to the larger concept of applied microbiology. Early Years as Autodidact Félix D’Hérelle was born in Paris, France. He attended l’Ecole Monge (Lycée Condorcet) and then the Lycée Louis-le-Grand in Paris. His father, who was 30 years…
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John Hughlings Jackson and his studies of Epilepsy

John Hughlings Jackson and his studies of Epilepsy

On April 4, 1835, English neurologist John Hughlings Jackson was born. Jackson is best known for his research on epilepsy. His studies of epilepsy, speech defects, and nervous-system disorders arising from injury to the brain and spinal cord remain among the most useful and highly documented in the field. He was one of the first to state that abnormal mental states may result from structural brain damage. John Hughlings Jackson – Early Years John…
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Nathan Kline – A Pioneer of Psychopharmacological Drugs

Nathan Kline – A Pioneer of Psychopharmacological Drugs

On March 22, 1916, American psychologist Nathan Schellenberg Kline was born. Kline is best known for his work with psychopharmacologic drugs. He pioneered in the biochemical treatment of mentally ill patients by introducing the use of such drugs as the antidepressants lithium and iproniazid and the tranquilizer resperin. “Those of us who work in this field see a developing potential for a nearly total control of human emotional status, mental functioning, and will to act. These…
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Walter Hess and his Mapping of the Brain

Walter Hess and his Mapping of the Brain

On March 17, 1881, Swiss physiologist Walter Rudolf Hess was born. Hess shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1949 with Antonio Egas Moniz for his discovery of the functional organization of the interbrain as a coordinator of the activities of the internal organs. Youth and Education Walter Hess was born in Frauenfeld, Canton Thurgau, Switzerland to Clemens Hess and Gertrud Hess (née Fischer). In his early years, he was supported by his father who…
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Sir Waldemar Haffkine – A Saviour of Humanity

Sir Waldemar Haffkine – A Saviour of Humanity

On March 15 1860, Russian bacteriologist Sir Waldemar Mordechai Wolff Haffkine was born. Haffkine is best known for an anti-cholera vaccine that he tried out successfully in India. He is recognized as the first microbiologist who developed and used vaccines against cholera and bubonic plague. He tested the vaccines on himself. Lord Joseph Lister named him “a saviour of humanity”.[4] Early Years Born as Vladimir Aaronovich Khavkin, Waldemar Haffkine was born into a family of Jewish teachers living…
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