Roger Wolcott Sperry (1913–1994)

Roger Wolcott Sperry (1913–1994)Roger Wolcott Sperry studied the function of the nervous system in the United States during the twentieth century. He studied split-brain patterns in cats and humans that result from separating the two hemispheres of the brain after cutting the corpus callosum, the bridge between the two hemispheres of the brain. He found that after separating the corpus callosum, the two hemispheres of the brain could not communicate and they performed functions as if the other hemisphere did not exist. Sperry also studied optic nerve regeneration and developed the chemoaffinity hypothesis. The chemoaffinity hypothesis stated that axons, the long fiber-like part of neurons,

Priscilla White (1900–1989)

Priscilla White (1900–1989)Priscilla White studied the treatment of diabetes in mothers, pregnant women, and children during the twentieth century in the United States. White began working with children with Type 1 diabetes in 1924 at Elliott Proctor Joslin’s practice in Boston, Massachusetts. Type 1 diabetes is an incurable disease where the pancreas produces little to no insulin. Insulin is a hormone that allows the body to use sugar from food for energy and store sugars for future use. Joslin and White authored many publications on children and diabetes, in 1952, White helped Joslin found the Joslin Clinic. White noted that many of the children with whom she worked also had parents with the disease. Her research focused on diabetic pregnant women and female children with diabetes. White implemented the technique of delivering infants of diabetic

Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989)

<a href="/search?text=Webster%20v.%20Reproductive%20Health%20Services%20%281989%29" title="" class="lexicon-term">Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989)</a> In the 1989 case Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, the US Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a Missouri law regulating abortion care. The Missouri law prohibited the use of public facilities, employees, or funds to provide abortion counseling or services. The law also placed restrictions on physicians who provided abortions. A group of physicians affected by the law challenged the constitutionality of certain sections of it. The US federal district court that first heard the case ruled many of the challenged sections of the law unconstitutional. The Missouri attorney general then appealed

Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (2014)

Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (2014)In the 2014 case Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the US Supreme Court ruled that the contraceptive mandate promulgated under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act violated privately held, for-profit corporations’ right to religious freedom. In 2012, the US Department of Health and Human Services issued the contraception mandate, which required that employer-provided health insurance plans offer their beneficiaries certain contraceptive methods free of charge. In a five to four decision, the US Supreme Court maintained that the mandate, in cases of privately held, for-profit organizations like Hobby Lobby Inc., violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. Although the

The British Doctors’ Study (1951–2001)

The British Doctors’ Study (1951–2001)From 1951 to 2001, researchers at the University of Oxford in Oxford, England, conducted the British Doctors’ Study, a study that examined the smoking habits, disease rates, and mortality rates of physicians in Britain. Two epidemiologists, scientists who study occurrence and distribution of disease, Richard Doll and Austin Bradford Hill, initiated the study, and statistician Richard Peto joined the team in 1971. The objective of the study was to assess the risks associated with tobacco use, and its relationship to lung cancer. The researchers tracked 34,439 male doctors practicing in Britain, and recorded smoking habits, development of diseases including lung cancer, other cancers, respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and mortality rates. The researchers

Ian Donald (1910–1987)

<a href="/search?text=Ian%20Donald" title="" class="lexicon-term">Ian Donald</a> (1910–1987) Ian Donald was an obstetrician who developed ultrasound diagnostics during the twentieth century in Europe. Ultrasound is a medical diagnostic technique that uses sound waves to produce images of the inside of the body. During the early 1900s, physicians had no way to see inside a woman’s uterus during pregnancy. Donald developed the first method of scanning human internal anatomy in real time, which enabled doctors to diagnose potentially fatal tumors and

Ernest John Christopher Polge (1926-2006)

Ernest John Christopher Polge (1926-2006)Twentieth-century researcher Ernest John Christopher Polge studied the reproductive processes of livestock and determined a method to successfully freeze, thaw, and utilize viable sperm cells to produce offspring in animals. In 1949, Polge identified glycerol as a cryoprotectant, or a medium that enables cells to freeze without damaging their cellular components or functions. Several years later, Polge used glycerol in a freezing process called vitrification, which enabled him to freeze poultry sperm, thaw that sperm, and use it to

The People of the State of New York v. Margaret H. Sanger (1918)

The People of the State of New York v. Margaret H. Sanger (1918) In 1918, the New York State Court of Appeals in Albany, New York, broadened the justification physicians could use to prescribe contraceptives to married patients in the case The People of the State of New York v. Margaret H. Sanger (People v. Sanger). The presiding judge of People v. Sanger, Frederick Crane, ruled that under Section 1145 of the New York Penal Code physicians could provide contraceptives to married couples for the prevention of disease. However, he supported a criminal conviction against birth control activist Margaret Sanger, who had distributed contraceptives, because she was not a physician. In his ruling, Crane broadened New York’s legal definition of disease to include any situation affecting the health of married people, increasing

Emma Goldman (1869–1940)

Emma Goldman (1869–1940)Emma Goldman was a traveling public speaker and writer known for her anarchist political views as well as her opinions on contraception and birth limiting in the late nineteenth century in the United States. Goldman identified as an anarchist, which she explained as being part of an ideology in which people use violence to provoke or demand social and political change. Goldman was involved in many anarchist social groups and published the anarchist magazine Mother Earth. She spent the majority of her life traveling the US and Europe giving lectures and presentations on her views of the political events of the late nineteenth century. Goldman also worked to spread awareness about birth control in

Chang and Eng Bunker (1811–1874)

Chang and Eng Bunker (1811–1874)Chāng (Chang) and Ēn (Eng) Bunker were conjoined twins in the nineteenth century in the United States, the first pair of conjoined twins whose condition was well documented in medical records. Conjoined twins are a rare condition in which two infants are born physically connected to each other. In their youth, the brothers earned money by putting themselves on display as curiosities and giving lectures and demonstrations about their condition. The Bunker brothers toured around the world, including the United States, Europe, Canada, and France, and allowed physicians to examine them. Due to the popularity of their exhibition and their origin from Siam (later called Thailand),