Thanks to medicine, today diseases have been eradicated, babies have been created and illnesses that used to be serious are now relatively mild. New breakthroughs are being made all the time, but there are some discoveries that will always stand out as changing human thinking forever. These are the top 10 medical discoveries;
- DNA – In 1920 American biochemist A. Levene discovered DNA and RNA. Francis Crick and James Watson produced the double-helix model of DNA and subsequently won the Nobel Prize.
- PENICILLIN – Penicillin was discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1928.
- GERM THEORY – In 1854, John Snow linked an outbreak of cholera to a specific water pump in Broad Street, London. By isolating the source of the disease, he could then analyze what was in the water causing it. His work was rejected by the government. A few years later, Louis Pasteur managed to prove germ theory in laboratory conditions and it is his name that is generally linked to the theory.
- IVF (in-vitro fertilisation) – The first “test-tube baby” was born in 1978. Today IVF is a very controversial theme, because it attracts many ethical discussions.
- INSULIN– It was first isolated in 1921, by scientists from the University of Toronto, who were later awarded with the Nobel Prize for their discovery. Nowadays, diabetes isn’t curable but is manageable thanks to insulin .
- X-RAY – Its inventor was Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen. He was awarded with the first Nobel Prize in 1901. Since then it has been very useful in hospitals.
- BIRTH CONTROL – The birth control pill was introduced to the public in the early 1950s. Carl Djerassi, a chemist in Mexico City, created a pill by synthesizing hormones from Mexican yams.
- ANAESTHETIC – An early anaesthetic was cocaine, first isolated by Karl Koller. It was being used to numb pain (births, amputations). It is very interesting how today each of the local anaesthetics have the suffix “-caine” in their names; procaine, lidocaine, prilocaine…
- SMALLPOX VACCINATION – The vaccine was discovered by Edward Jenner.
- HIV – HIV was discovered in the 1980s by Robert Gallo and Luc Montagnier.
One of Queen Victoria’s births (anesthetic)
IVF (in-vitro fertilisation)
Napisala: Ela Mijatović