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The Effectiveness of Phototherapy in Premature Infants (1968)

The Effectiveness of Phototherapy in Premature Infants (1968) In 1968, pediatric researchers Jerold Lucey, Mario Ferreiro, and Jean Hewitt conducted an experimental trial that determined that exposure to light effectively treated jaundice in premature infants. The three researchers published their results in "Prevention of Hyperbilirubinemia of Prematurity by Phototherapy" that same year in Pediatrics . Jaundice is the yellowing of the skin and eyes due to the failure of the liver to break down excess bilirubin in the blood, a condition called hyperbilirubinemia. Bilirubin is a product that results from the degradation of red blood cells, which the immature liver of premature infants often has difficulty breaking down. Lucey's group's study demonstrated both the efficacy of phototherapy, which uses light to breakdown the

Robert Guthrie (1916–1995)

Robert Guthrie (1916–1995) // Robert Guthrie developed a method to test infants for phenylketonuria or PKU in the United States during the twentieth century. PKU is an inherited condition that causes an amino acid called phenylalanine to build to toxic levels in the blood. Untreated, PKU causes mental disabilities. Before Guthrie’s test, physicians rarely tested infants for PKU and struggled to diagnose it. Guthrie’s test enabled newborns to be quickly and cheaply screened at birth and then treated for PKU if necessary, preventing irreversible neurological damage. After developing the test, Guthrie traveled the world to advocate for mass screening for PKU in newborns. Along with his PKU test, Guthrie developed newborn screens for maple syrup urine disease and for galactosemia. Guthrie’s test for PKU and campaign for newborn screening led to the early

Neonatal Jaundice

Neonatal Jaundice Neonatal jaundice is the yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes due to elevated bilirubin levels in the bloodstream of a newborn. Bilirubin is a byproduct of the breakdown of red blood cells. Jaundiced infants are unable to process bilirubin at a normal rate or they have an abnormally high amount of bilirubin in their bloodstream, resulting in a buildup of the yellow colored bilirubin. That build up is called hyperbilirubinemia and is the cause of jaundice. Jaundice can lead to kernicterus, a rare neurological disorder that results in hearing loss, permanent brain damage, and sometimes death. Research into the causes of

Camillo Golgi (1843–1926)

Camillo Golgi (1843–1926) Camillo Golgi studied the central nervous system during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in Italy, and he developed a staining technique to visualize brain cells. Called the black reaction, Golgi's staining technique enabled him to see the cellular structure of brain cells, called neurons, with much greater precision. Golgi also used the black reaction to identify structures within animal cells like the internal reticular apparatus that stores, packs, and modifies proteins, later named the Golgi apparatus in his honor. Golgi, along with Santiago Ramón y Cajal, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906 for their independent work on the structure of the

“Pelvic Scoring for Elective Induction” (1964), by Edward Bishop

“Pelvic Scoring for Elective Induction” (1964), by Edward BishopIn the 1964 article "Pelvic Scoring for Elective Induction," obstetrician Edward Bishop describes his method to determine whether a doctor should induce labor, or artificially start the birthing process, in a pregnant woman. Aside from medical emergencies, a woman can elect to induce labor to choose when she gives birth and have a shorter than normal labor. The 1964 publication followed an earlier article by Bishop on the topic of elective induction. In both articles, Bishop used data gathered from the obstetrics department of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he worked. In "Pelvic Scoring for Elective Induction," Bishop introduces a scoring system later known as the Bishop Score, used into

“Diethylstilbestrol in the Prevention and Treatment of Complications of Pregnancy” (1948) by Olive Watkins Smith

“Diethylstilbestrol in the Prevention and Treatment of Complications of Pregnancy” (1948) by Olive Watkins Smith In 1948, Olive Watkins Smith published “Diethylstilbestrol in the Prevention and Treatment of Complications of Pregnancy” in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. In 632 women treated with diethylstilbestrol, Smith demonstrated that the drug stimulated the production of progesterone, a hormone that regulates the uterine condition during pregnancy. On the basis of her article, and several follow up articles authored by Smith and her husband, George Van Siclen Smith, physicians around the world began

Gene Transfer Strategy Used to Treat Tay - Sachs Disease (2005), by Sabata Martino’s Research Group

A Direct Gene Transfer Strategy via Brain Internal Capsule Reverses the Biochemical Defect in Tay-Sachs Diseases (2005) In the early 2000s, Sabata Martino and a team of researchers in Italy and Germany showed that they could reduce the symptoms of Tay-Sachs in afflicted mice by injecting them with a virus that infected their cells with a gene they lacked. Tay-Sachs disease is a fatal degenerative disorder that occurs in infants and causes rapid motor and mental impairment, leading to death at the ages of three to five. In gene therapy, researchers insert normal genes into cells that have missing or defective genes to correct genetic disorders. The team created a virus that coded for a specific gene missing in mice with Tay-Sachs. That missing gene is called hexosaminidase subunit alpha (HEXA).

Karl Landsteiner (1868-1943)

Karl Landsteiner (1868-1943)Karl Landsteiner studied blood types in Europe and in the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Landsteiner won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1930 for detailing immunological reactions in the ABO blood group system. The ABO blood group system divides human blood into one of four types based on the antibodies that are present on each cell. Landsteiner's work with blood types led physicians to safely perform blood transfusions and organ transplants. Additionally, Landsteiner researched the Rh blood factor, a protein marker on the surface of blood cells and that can impact pregnancy.

The Mustard Operation

The Mustard OperationThe Mustard Operation is a surgical technique to correct a heart condition called the transposition of the great arteries (TGA). TGA is a birth defect in which the placement of the two arteries, the pulmonary artery, which supplies deoxygenated blood to the lungs, and the aorta, which takes oxygenated blood to the body are switched. William Thornton Mustard developed the operation later named for him and in 1963 operated on an infant with TGA, and ameliorated the condition, at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. Afterwards, the Mustard Operation became the primary form of corrective surgery for TGA, until the arterial switch operation largely replaced the Mustard Operation by the late 1990s.

John Hunter (1728–1793)

<a href="/search?text=John%20Hunter" title="" class="lexicon-term">John Hunter</a> (1728–1793)John Hunter studied human reproductive anatomy, and in eighteenth century England, performed one of the earliest described cases of artificial insemination. Hunter dissected thousands of animals and human cadavers to study the structures and functions of organ systems. Much of his anatomical studies focused on the circulatory, digestive, and reproductive systems. He helped to describe the exchange of blood between pregnant women and their fetuses. Hunter also housed various natural collections, as well as thousands of preserved specimens from greater than thirty years of anatomy work. Hunter's work developed practices in reproductive and

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