Medical pioneers of the 19th and 20th century

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  • Medical Pioneers in the 19th and 20th Century
    • Edward Jenner
      • He heard that milkmaids didn't get smallpox but they did catch a milder version of cowpox.
      • In 1796, Jenner tested his theory on a boy named James Phipps.
      • He injected pus from the sores of Sarah Nelmes, a milkmaid with cowpox. James didn't catch the disease.
      • 1840 - the vaccination was made free for infants.
      • In 1853, the vaccination was made compulsory.
    • Louis Pasteur
      • Micro-organisms were first thought to have been caused by disease and they appeared because of illness.
        • The theory of the spontaneous generation.
      • In 1857, Pasteur was employed to find the explanation of the souring of sugar beet used in fermenting industrial alcohol. He blamed the germs in the air.
      • The date of the discovery of the germ theory is unclear, some say it was 1857, others say it was 1861.
      • A member of Pasteur's team, Chamberland, made a chance discovery of the cure to chicken cholera.
      • In 1881, Pasteur did a public experiment to show his vaccine to anthrax.
      • In 1885, Pasteur used his rabies vaccine that he had developed on a young boy who was about to die of rabies, fortunately, he survived.
    • Robert Koch
      • Koch was a German scientist who started to link the disease to the microbe that caused them.
      • Koch developed a red dye in order to colour microbes so that he could see them better.
      • He also identified anthrax spores in 1875.
      • Other discoveries include: the bacteria that caused septicaemia, tuberculosis (1882) and cholera (1883).
    • Paul Ehrlich
      • Antibodies had been identified and as they only attacked specific microbes they were nicknamed magic bullets.
      • Ehrlich first discovered dyes that could kill malaria and sleeping sickness germs.
      • In 1905, the spirochete bacteria that caused the sexually transmitted disease syphilis was identified.
      • Ehrlich and his team started searching for an arsenic compound that was a magic bullet to kill syphilis.
      • They tries over 600 compounds.
      • In 1909, Hata joined their team and retried all the compounds and found that compound 606 worked.
      • In 1911, Compound 606 was first used on a human under the name of Salvarsan 606.
    • Alexander Fleming
      • In 1922, Fleming identified the antiseptic substance in tears, lysozyme.
      • One day in 1928, Fleming was clearing up some old culture dishes where he had been growing staphylococci.
      • On one of the dishes, a fungal spore had started to grow.
      • There were colonies of staphylococci around the mould which had stopped growing.
      • The fungus was identified as Penicillium notatum.
      • Penicilin  had been discovered however, it now just needed to be mass produced.
    • Gerhard Domagk
      • In 1932, Domagk found a red dye, prontosil, stopped the streptococcus microbe multiplying in mice.
      • In 1935, Domagk's daughter pricked herself with a needle and caught the disease.
      • Domagk gave her a large dose of prontosil and she turned bright red.
    • Florey and Chain
      • Penicilin needed purifying and this breakthrough was made by Howard Florey and his team in Oxford.
      • This took place between 1938 and 1940.
      • Ernest Chain, a member of the team, devised the freeze-drying technique that was an important part of the purification process.
      • Florey knew that penicilin could be vital in treating the wounds recieved by soliders in World War 2.
      • No English firm would help, so they went to America. When America joined the war in 1941, they realised how important it was and by 1944, they started to mass produce it.
    • Florey and Chain
      • In 1953, Francis Crick and James Watson first described the structure of DNA.

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