Three great scientists who revolutionized modern medical science


Many scientists and physicians worked and have been working relentlessly for the progress of medical science. Due to the tireless contributions of these scientists, present medical science has become very advanced. In this article, the contributions of three such eminent scientists have been discussed.

Since the nineteenth century, medical science has been progressing rapidly. Many diseases which were earlier thought to be incurable can now be cured very easily. Organs can be transplanted, which was unimaginable even fifty years ago. New research is going on in all the branches of medical science. As a result, the life expectancy of people all over the world has significantly increased. Many well-known and comparatively lesser-known scientists and physicians, with their untiring research, are behind this phenomenal progress of medical science. In this article, we will discuss the contributions of three great scientists in medical research. These scientists have revolutionized the scope and reach of medical science by their relentless efforts.



William Harvey's research on blood circulation

William Harvey was the first scientist who did initial research in the area of blood circulation and discovered the circulation of blood through the body. Until then, people were not aware that blood travels through the body and is pumped by the heart. Harvey was an Englishman he was a very successful physician of the 17th century.. By dissecting both living and dead animals, Harvey was convinced that the previous notion about blood movement was wrong.

Harvey first studied heart-beat and established the existence of the heart-lung-heart circulation process. He also noted the one-way flow of blood. When he understood how much blood was pumped by the heart, he realized there must be a constant amount of blood flowing through the arteries, and returning through the veins of the heart. Harvey thus deduced that blood moves in a continuous circular flow. Harvey's path-breaking idea became the basis for all further medical research on heart and lungs.

Louis Pasteur changed medical science

Louis Pasteur was an eighteenth century French chemist and micro-biologist whose contribution to science, especially the medical science is still unparalleled. He is best- known for two things; pasteurization and vaccination.

Louis Pasteur was able to demonstrate that micro-organisms like bacteria are responsible for souring wine, beer, and milk. He also demonstrated these bacteria could have been removed by boiling, and then cooling the milk. This process of rapid boiling and immediate cooling is known as pasteurization.

Pasteur also worked in the area of diseases like cholera in chickens, and developed a vaccine for it. Pasteur also produced and tested the first rabies vaccine. In 1885, a nine-year-old boy named Joseph Meister was attacked by a rabies dog. The young boy faced almost certain death, but he was saved by Pasteur's vaccine. Louis Pasteur would also be remembered for creating the earliest vaccines against anthrax, an animal disease.

William Kolff saved kidney patients by dialysis

Dialysis is the artificial process of eliminating waste and unwanted water from the blood which our kidneys do naturally. Some people, with failed or damaged kidneys cannot carry out the function properly. So, such people suffering from kidney malfunction may need dialysis. Dr. Willem Kolff is considered the father of dialysis. This Dutch physician developed the first machine for dialysis. He was working at the University of Groningen Hospital in Netherlands, where he watched helplessly as a young man died slowly of kidney failure. Kolff was determined to find a way to develop a new machine which would do the work of the kidneys.

When World War II started, Dr. Kolff continued his experiments despite several hurdles and in the most challenging conditions. But his efforts ultimately became successful, and he finally succeeded in making such a machine. Kolff's machine is the first modern drum dialyzer, and it remained the standard for the next few decades. Since then, many improvements have been made in the machine, and significant development has been made in the treatment of kidney failure.



Concluding comments

While we enjoy the fruits of modern medicine, we must not forget these scientists along with many other scientists and their untiring efforts for the betterment of humanity.


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