01 October 2009


The invention: The first successful and widely used antibiotic
drug, penicillin has been called the twentieth century’s greatest
“wonder drug.”
The people behind the invention:
Sir Alexander Fleming (1881-1955), a Scottish bacteriologist,
cowinner of the 1945 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Baron Florey (1898-1968), an Australian pathologist, cowinner
of the 1945 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Ernst Boris Chain (1906-1979), an émigré German biochemist,
cowinner of the 1945 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
The Search for the Perfect Antibiotic
During the early twentieth century, scientists

30 September 2009

Pap test

The invention: A cytologic technique the diagnosing uterine cancer,
the second most common fatal cancer in American women.
The people behind the invention:
George N. Papanicolaou (1883-1962), a Greek-born American
physician and anatomist
Charles Stockard (1879-1939), an American anatomist
Herbert Traut (1894-1972), an American gynecologist
Cancer in History
Cancer, first named by the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates
of Cos, is one of the most painful and dreaded forms of human disease.
It occurs when body cells run wild and interfere with the normal
activities of the body. The early diagnosis of cancer is extremely
important because early detection often makes it possible to effect
successful cures. The modern detection of cancer is usually done by
the microscopic examination of the cancer cells, using the techniques
of the area of biology called “cytology, ” or cell biology.
Development of cancer cytology began in 1867, after L. S. Beale
reported tumor cells in the saliva from

29 September 2009


The invention: 

A small device using transistor circuitry that regulates
the heartbeat of the patient in whom it is surgically emplaced.

The people behind the invention:

Ake Senning (1915- ), a Swedish physician
Rune Elmquist, co-inventor of the first pacemaker
Paul Maurice Zoll (1911- ), an American cardiologist

28 September 2009


The invention: A synthetic fiber made from polyacrylonitrile that
has become widely used in textiles and in the preparation of
high-strength carbon fibers.
The people behind the invention:
Herbert Rein (1899-1955), a German chemist
Ray C. Houtz (1907- ), an American chemist
A Difficult Plastic
“Polymers” are large molecules that are made up of chains of
many smaller molecules, called “monomers.” Materials that are
made of polymers are also called polymers,