Articles

Harald zur Hausen (1936–)

By Grace Kim

Harald zur Hausen studied viruses and discovered that certain strains of the human papilloma virus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease, can cause cervical cancer, in Europe during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Zur Hausen spent his research career identifying the viruses that cause diseases, particularly cancer-causing viruses (oncoviruses). He primarily focused on HPV and cervical cancer. Zur Hausen hypothesized that HPV was cancerous and discovered that two strains, HPV 16 and 18, caused cervical cancer.

Created 2017-07-24

Last modified 3 months 1 day ago

Format: Articles

"National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference Statement September 22–24, 1980” (1980), by the National Institutes of Health

By Sarah Foster

In 1980 the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the US National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) released a report titled, “National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference Statement September 22–24, 1980.” The report lists recommendations for birth delivery through cesarean sections, a surgical procedure used to deliver the fetus via the pregnant woman’s abdomen. The recommendations arose from the 1980 Consensus Development Conference on Cesarean Childbirth in Bethesda, Maryland.

Created 2017-07-25

Last modified 2 months 4 weeks ago

Format: Articles

"The Contagiousness of Puerperal Fever” (1843), by Oliver Wendell Holmes

By Safiya Shaikh

In 1843, physician Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote and published The Contagiousness of Puerperal Fever, an essay about puerperal fever, a disease that occurs mainly as a result of bacterial infection in the uterine tract of women after giving birth or undergoing an abortion. In the essay, Holmes argues that puerperal fever is spread through birth attendants like physicians and midwives who make contact with the disease and carry it from patient to patient. The article was published in The New England Quarterly Journal of Medicine and Surgery in 1843.

Created 2017-07-26

Last modified 2 months 4 weeks ago

Format: Articles

Elizabeth Dexter Hay (1927–2007)

By Kevin Gleason

Elizabeth Dexter Hay studied the cellular processes that affect development of embryos in the US during the mid-twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. In 1974, Hay showed that the extracellular matrix, a collection of structural molecules that surround cells, influences cell behavior. Cell growth, cell migration, and gene expression are influenced by the interaction between cells and their extracellular matrix.

Created 2017-07-26

Last modified 2 months 4 weeks ago

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The Development of Mifepristone for Use in Medication Abortions

By Carolina J. Abboud

In the 1980s, researchers at the pharmaceutical company Roussel-Uclaf in Paris, France, helped develop a biological compound called mifepristone. When a woman takes it, mifepristone interferes with the function of hormones involved in pregnancy and it can therefore be used to terminate pregnancies. In 2000, the US Food and Drug Administration approved mifepristone, also called RU 486, as part of a treatment to induce abortions using drugs instead of surgery, a method called medication abortion.

Created 2017-08-07

Last modified 2 months 2 weeks ago

Format: Articles

The Jane Collective (1969–1973)

By Rainey Horwitz

The Jane Collective was an underground organization that provided illegal abortion services in Chicago, Illinois, from 1969 until abortions became legal in 1973. Formally called the Abortion Counseling Service of Women’s Liberation, the Jane Collective was a member organization and working group within Chicago Women’s Liberation Union that challenged the Illinois state legislature by providing abortions before they were legal in the US.

Created 2017-08-07

Last modified 2 months 2 weeks ago

Format: Articles

"Risks and Benefits of Estrogen Plus Progestin in Healthy, Postmenopausal Women: Principal Results from the Women's Health Initiative Randomized Controlled Trial" (2002), by Jacques Rossouw et al.

By Alexis Darby

In 2002, the Writing Group for the Women's Health Initiative Investigators published the article Risks and Benefits of Estrogen Plus Progestin in Healthy, Postmenopausal Women: Principal Results from the Women's Health Initiative Randomized Controlled Trial in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Created 2017-08-08

Last modified 2 months 2 weeks ago

Format: Articles

“Maternal and Perinatal Outcomes Associated with a Trial of Labor after Prior Cesarean Delivery” (2004), Mark B. Landon et al.

By Claire Elise Grayson

In 2004 Mark Landon and his colleagues in the United States published “Maternal and Perinatal Outcomes Associated with a Trial of Labor after Prior Cesarean Delivery,” which compared the risks of vaginal delivery and cesarean section for delivery of a fetus after a previous cesarean delivery. During a cesarean section, a physician surgically removes a fetus from a pregnant woman through an incision in her abdomen. By the late 1900s, most clinical guidelines viewed attempting a vaginal birth after a previous cesarean delivery as a reasonable option for most women.

Created 2017-08-08

Last modified 2 months 2 weeks ago

Format: Articles

“Screening for Breast Cancer with Mammography” (2013), by Peter Gøtzsche and Karsten Jørgensen

By Dina Ziganshina

Screening for Breast Cancer with Mammography is a Cochrane systematic review originally published by Peter Gøtzsche and Karsten Jørgensen in 2001 and updated multiple times by 2013. In the 2013 article, the authors discuss the reliability of the results from different clinical trials involving mammography and provide their conclusions about whether mammography screening is useful in preventing deaths from breast cancer.

Created 2017-08-08

Last modified 2 months 2 weeks ago

Format: Articles

“Infant Survival After Cesarean Section for Trauma” (1996), by John A. Morris, Jr. et al.

By Claire Elise Grayson

In the May 1996 edition of The Annals of Surgery, John A. Morris and his collaborators published “Infant Survival After Cesarean Section for Trauma,” in which they evaluate the use of emergency cesarean sections for the treatment of pregnant trauma patients. During a cesarean section, a physician removes a fetus from a pregnant woman through an incision in her abdomen and uterus. When a pregnant woman experiences trauma, physicians can perform an emergency cesarean section to remove the fetus and administer medical treatments that would not be possible while the woman is pregnant.

Created 2017-08-08

Last modified 2 months 2 weeks ago

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HIP Randomized Breast Cancer Screening Trial (1963–1982)

By Dina Ziganshina

From 1963 to 1982, researchers in New York City, New York, carried out a randomized trial of mammography screening. Mammography is the use of X-ray technology to find breast cancer at early stages. The private insurance company Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York, or HIP, collaborated with researchers Sam Shapiro, Philip Strax, and Louis Venet on the trial. The researchers’ goal was to determine whether mammography screening reduced breast cancer mortality in women. The study included sixty thousand women aged forty to sixty-four.

Created 2017-08-08

Last modified 2 months 2 weeks ago

Format: Articles

The Ponseti Method to Treat Club Foot

By Katherine Gandee

Ignacio Vives Ponseti developed a noninvasive method for treating congenital club foot in the US during the late 1940s. Congenital club foot is a birth deformity in which one or both of an infant's feet are rotated inward beneath the ankle, making normal movement rigid and painful. Ponseti developed a treatment method, later called the Ponseti method, that consisted of a series of manipulations and castings of the club foot performed in the first few months of life.

Created 2017-08-11

Last modified 2 months 1 week ago

Format: Articles

Light Therapy for Neonatal Jaundice

By Arianna Bradley

Light therapy, also called phototherapy, exposes infants with jaundice, a yellowing of the skin and eyes, to artificial or natural light to break down the buildup of bilirubin pigment in the blood. Bilirubin is an orange to red pigment produced when red blood cells break down, which causes infants to turn into a yellowish color. Small amounts of bilirubin in the blood are normal, but when there is an accumulation of excess bilirubin pigment, the body deposits the excess bilirubin in the layer of fat beneath the skin.

Created 2017-08-17

Last modified 2 months 1 week ago

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“Traditional postpartum practices and rituals: a qualitative systematic review” (2007), by Cindy-Lee Dennis, Kenneth Fung, Sophie Grigoriadis, Gail Erlick Robinson, Sarah Romans and Lori Ross

By Cecilia Chou

In the 2007 paper “Traditional postpartum practices and rituals: a qualitative systematic review,” Toronto-based researchers showed that women from different cultures around the world follow similar postpartum practices after giving birth. At the University of Toronto in Toronto, Canada, Cindy-Lee Dennis, Kenneth Fung, Sophie Grigoriadis, Gail Erlick Robinson, Sarah Romans, and Lori Ross examined fifty-one studies from over twenty countries that focused on traditional postpartum practices.

Created 2017-08-17

Last modified 2 months 1 week ago

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Ann Trow (Madame Restell) (1812–1878)

By Rainey Horwitz

Self-proclaimed female physician Ann Trow was a women’s reproductive health specialist as well as an abortion provider in New York City, New York during the mid 1800s. Though she had no formal medical training or background, Trow provided women with healthcare and abortions under the alias Madame Restell. Restell gained attention across the United States for her career as a professional abortionist during a time when abortions were highly regulated and punishable with imprisonment. Restell was tried numerous times for carrying out abortions.

Created 2017-08-23

Last modified 2 months 1 day ago

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Mary-Claire King (1946– )

By Meilin Zhu

Mary-Claire King studied genetics in the US in the twenty-first century. King identified two genes associated with the occurrence of breast cancer, breast cancer 1 (BRCA1) and breast cancer 2 (BRCA2). King showed that mutated BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes cause two types of reproductive cancer, breast and ovarian cancer. Because of King’s discovery, doctors can screen women for the inheritance of mutated BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes to evaluate their risks for breast and ovarian cancer.

Created 2017-08-23

Last modified 2 months 1 day ago

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Neonatal Respiratory Distress Syndrome and Its Treatment with Artificial Surfactant

By Olivia Mandile

Neonatal respiratory distress syndrome, previously called hyaline membrane disease, is a respiratory disease affecting premature newborns. Neonatal respiratory distress syndrome involves shallow breathing, pauses between breaths that last a few seconds, or apnea, and a bluish tinge to the infant’s skin. The syndrome occurs when microscopic sacs called alveoli in infant lungs do not produce surfactant, a liquid that coats the inside of the lungs and helps them inflate during breathing.

Created 2017-08-30

Last modified 1 month 3 weeks ago

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Stafford Leak Warren (1896–1981)

By Meilin Zhu

Stafford Leak Warren studied nuclear medicine in the United States during the twentieth century. He used radiation to make images of the body for diagnosis or treatment and developed the mammogram, a breast imaging technique that uses low-energy X-rays to produce an image of breasts. Mammograms allow doctors to diagnose breast cancer in its early and most treatable stages.

Created 2017-08-30

Last modified 1 month 3 weeks ago

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Shoukhrat Mitalipov and Masahito Tachibana's Mitochondrial Gene Replacement Therapy Technique

By Giselle Lee

In 2009, Shoukhrat Mitalipov, Masahito Tachibana, and their team of researchers developed the technology of mitochondrial gene replacement therapy to prevent the transmission of a mitochondrial disease from mother to offspring in primates. Mitochondria contain some of the body's genetic material, called mitochondrial DNA. Occasionally, the mitochondrial DNA possesses mutations.

Created 2017-09-06

Last modified 1 month 2 weeks ago

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Torsten Wiesel (1924– )

By Dina Ziganshina

Torsten Nils Wiesel studied visual information processing and development in the US during the twentieth century. He performed multiple experiments on cats in which he sewed one of their eyes shut and monitored the response of the cat’s visual system after opening the sutured eye. For his work on visual processing, Wiesel received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1981 along with David Hubel and Roger Sperry.

Created 2017-09-13

Last modified 1 month 1 week ago

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Oliver Allison Ryder III (1946– )

By Karen Love, Renee Bailey

Oliver Allison Ryder studied chromosomal evolution and endangered species in efforts for wildlife conservation and preservation at the San Diego Zoo in San Diego, California. Throughout his career, Ryder studied breeding patterns of endangered species. He collected and preserved cells, tissues, and DNA from endangered and extinct species to store in the San Diego Frozen Zoo, a center for genetic research and development in San Diego, California.

Created 2017-09-14

Last modified 1 month 1 week ago

Format: Articles

"Predictors of Postpartum Depression: An Update” (2001), by Cheryl Tatano Beck

By Cecilia Chou

In her 2001 paper “Predictors of Postpartum Depression: An Update,” researcher Cheryl Tatano Beck presents the most common risk factors associated with postpartum depression in women. Postpartum depression occurs when women experience symptoms such as tearfulness, extreme mood changes, and loss of appetite for a lengthened period after giving birth. At the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut, nursing professor Beck updated a previous study of hers by analyzing literature about postpartum depression published in the 1990s.

Created 2017-09-14

Last modified 1 week 6 days ago

Format: Articles

Max Ludwig Henning Delbruck (1906–1981)

By Victoria Hernandez

Max Ludwig Henning Delbrick applied his knowledge of theoretical physics to biological systems such as bacterial viruses called bacteriophages, or phages, and gene replication during the twentieth century in Germany and the US. Delbrück demonstrated that bacteria undergo random genetic mutations to resist phage infections. Those findings linked bacterial genetics to the genetics of higher organisms. In the mid-twentieth century, Delbrück helped start the Phage Group and Phage Course in the US, which further organized phage research.

Created 2017-09-20

Last modified 1 month 2 days ago

Format: Articles

Richard Doll (1912–2005)

By Phil Gaetano

Richard Doll was an epidemiologist and public figure in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Working primarily at the University of Oxford, in Oxford, England, Doll established a definitive correlation between cigarette smoking and lung cancer. Furthermore, Doll’s work helped legitimize epidemiology as a scientific discipline. Doll’s research also helped establish modern guidelines for oncological studies, as well as for contemporary and future research on the effect of smoking on pregnancy and fetal development.

Created 2017-09-20

Last modified 1 week 6 days ago

Format: Articles

"On the Replication of Desoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA)" (1954), by Max Delbruck

By Victoria Hernandez

In 1954 Max Delbruck published On the Replication of Desoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) to question the semi-conservative DNA replication mechanism proposed that James Watson and Francis Crick had proposed in 1953. In his article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Delbrück offers an alternative DNA replication mechanism, later called dispersive replication. Unlike other articles before it, On the Replication presents ways to experimentally test different DNA replication theories.

Created 2017-09-21

Last modified 1 month 2 days ago

Format: Articles

The Fruits of Philosophy (1832), by Charles Knowlton

By Caroline Meek, Claudia Nunez-Eddy

In 1832, Charles Knowlton published The Fruits of Philosophy, a pamphlet advocating for controlling reproduction and detailing methods for preventing pregnancy. Originally published anonymously in Massachusetts, The Fruits of Philosophy was an illegal book because United States law prohibited the publishing of immoral and obscene material, which included information about contraception. In The Fruits of Philosophy, Knowlton detailed recipes for contraceptives and advocated for controlling reproduction.

Created 2017-10-05

Last modified 1 week 6 days ago

Format: Articles

Twice Born–Stories from the Special Delivery Unit (2015), by the Public Broadcasting Service and Trailblazer Studios

By Jessica Pollesche

In 2015, the Public Broadcasting Service, or PBS, released a three-part documentary series, Twice Born–Stories from the Special Delivery Unit, hereafter Twice Born, that follows several pregnant women and their experiences with fetal surgery. Trailblazer Studios produced the film, which predominantly features two women, although it includes the stories of many women. The two main women are pregnant with fetuses diagnosed with physical deformities. One woman’s fetus is diagnosed with spina bifida, an incomplete closure of the fetus’s spinal column.

Created 2017-10-05

Last modified 1 week 6 days ago

Format: Articles

“Revival of Spermatozoa after Dehydration and Vitrification at Low Temperatures” (1949), by Christopher Polge, Audrey Ursula Smith, and Alan Sterling Parkes

By Renee Bailey

In the 1949 article “Revival of Spermatozoa after Dehydration and Vitrification at Low Temperatures,” researchers Christopher Polge, Audrey Ursula Smith, and Alan Sterling Parkes demonstrated that glycerol prevents cells from dying while being frozen. Polge and his colleagues discussed several procedures in which they had treated sperm cells from various species with glycerol, froze those cells, and then observed the physiological effects that freezing had on the treated sperm. The researchers concluded that glycerol safely preserves sperm samples from a variety of species.

Created 2017-10-05

Last modified 2 weeks 4 days ago

Format: Articles

Trial of Madame Restell (Ann Lohman) for Abortion (1841)

By Rainey Horwitz

In the spring of 1841, abortionist Ann Lohman, called Madame Restell, was convicted for crimes against one of her abortion clients, Maria Purdy. In a deathbed confession, Purdy admitted that she had received an abortion provided by Madame Restell, and she further claimed that the tuberculosis that she was dying from was a result of her abortion. Restell was charged with administering an illegal abortion in New York and her legal battles were heavily documented in the news.

Created 2017-10-05

Last modified 1 week 6 days ago

Format: Articles

David H. Hubel and Torsten N. Wiesel’s Research on Optical Development in Kittens

By Dina Ziganshina

During 1964, David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel studied the short and long term effects of depriving kittens of vision in one eye. In their experiments, Wiesel and Hubel used kittens as models for human children. Hubel and Wiesel researched whether the impairment of vision in one eye could be repaired or not and whether such impairments would impact vision later on in life. The researchers sewed one eye of a kitten shut for varying periods of time.

Created 2017-10-11

Last modified 1 week 5 days ago

Format: Articles

Charles Bradlaugh (1833–1891)

By Caroline Meek

Charles Bradlaugh was as a political and social activist in the seventeenth century in England. He held leadership positions in various organizations focused on social and political activism including the Reform League, the London Secular Society, the newspaper National Reformer, and the National Secular Society. Throughout his career, Bradlaugh advocated for better conditions for the working poor, and for the separation of government and religion.

Created 2017-10-11

Last modified 1 week 5 days ago

Format: Articles

The China-US Study on the Prevention of Neural Tube Defects using Folic Acid (1999)

By Lauren Lynch, Dorothy Regan Haskett

From 1993 to 1995 researchers led by Robert J. Berry from the US Centers for Disease Control headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, and Zhu Li from Beijing Medical University in Beijing, China, conducted a collaborative study in China on the prevention of neural tube defects or NTDs using folic acid supplements. NTDs are birth defects in which openings in the spinal cord or the brain that occur during early development remain after birth. Neural-tube formation occurs in early pregnancy, often before a woman knows she is pregnant and therefore before she has begun taking prenatal vitamins.

Created 2017-10-11

Last modified 1 week 5 days ago

Format: Articles

Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier’s Experiment About the CRISPR/cas 9 Sytem’s Role in Adaptive Bacterial Immunity (2012)

By Meilin Zhu

In 2012, Jennifer Doudna, Emmanuelle Charpentier from the University of California, Berkeley, in Berkeley, California, and Umeå University in Umeå, Sweden, along with their colleagues discovered how bacteria use the CRISPR/cas 9 system to protect themselves from viruses. The researchers also proposed the idea of using the CRISPR/cas 9 system as a genome editing tool.

Created 2017-10-19

Last modified 4 days 4 hours ago

Format: Articles

“Sources of Human Psychological Differences: The Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart” (1990), by Thomas J. Bouchard Jr, David T. Lykken, Matthew McGue, Nancy L. Segal and Auke Tellegen

By Mudhaffar Bahjat

In 1990, Thomas J. Bouchard and his colleagues published the paper “Sources of Human Psychological Differences: The Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart” in Science Magazine. The paper described the results of a study initiated in 1979 on the development of twins raised in different environments. The scientists conducted their experiment at the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The researchers physiologically and psychologically assessed monozygotic twins or triplets who were reared apart, comparing the similarity of those twins to twins who were reared together.

Created 2017-10-19

Last modified 4 days 4 hours ago

Format: Articles

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