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),

Norbert Freinkel (1926–1989)

Norbert Freinkel (1926–1989)During the twentieth century, Norbert Freinkel studied hormones and diabetes in the United States. Freinkel conducted many experiments that enabled him to determine the factors that influence hormones of the thyroid gland and how those hormones affect surrounding tissues. Furthermore, Freinkel studied gestational diabetes, which is diabetes that occurs for the first time during a woman’s pregnancy. That type of diabetes is caused by a change in the way a woman’s body responds to insulin, a hormone made in the

“Sierra Leone’s Former Child Soldiers: A Longitudinal Study of Risk, Protective Factors, and Mental Health” (2010), by Theresa S. Betancourt, Robert T. Brennan, Julia Rubin-Smith, Garrett M. Fitzmaurice, and Stephen E. Gilman

“Sierra Leone’s Former Child Soldiers: A Longitudinal Study of Risk, Protective Factors, and Mental Health” (2010), by Theresa S. Betancourt, Robert T. Brennan, Julia Rubin-Smith, Garrett M. Fitzmaurice, and Stephen E. GilmanIn 2010, Theresa S. Betancourt, Robert T. Brennan, Julia Rubin-Smith, Garrett M. Fitzmaurice, and Stephen E. Gliman, published “Sierra Leone’s Former Child Soldiers: A Longitudinal Study of Risk, Protective Factors, and Mental Health” in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. The paper describes the results of a longitudinal study of former Sierra Leone child soldiers that examines how protective and risk factors affect children’s post-conflict mental health outcomes over several years of development. Researchers from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, conducted the study in

The Dalkon Shield

The Dalkon ShieldThe Dalkon Shield was an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD) that women used in the early 1970s and 1980s. Produced by the A.H. Robins Company in the US, the Dalkon Shield was a contraceptive device placed directly into a woman’s uterus that was supposed to prevent pregnancy. In the 1980s, researchers discovered that the Dalkon Shield caused an array of severe injuries, including pelvic infection, infertility, unintended pregnancy, and death. Eventually the A.H. Robins Company took the shield off the market, and the US Food and Drug

Andreas Vesalius (1514–1564)

Andreas Vesalius (1514–1564)Andreas Vesalius, also called Andries van Wesel, studied anatomy during the sixteenth century in Europe. Throughout his career, Vesalius dissected numerous human cadavers, and took detailed notes and drawings of the human anatomy. Compiling his research, Vesalius published an anatomy work titled De humani corporis fabrica libri septem ("On the fabric of the human body in seven books"). The Fabrica included illustrations of male and female anatomy. It also included diagrams of uteruses with intact fetuses. Vesalius was one of the first physicians to accurately record and illustrate human anatomy based on his findings from autopsies and dissections, which led to improved understanding of the human body and enhanced surgery techniques.

Shoukhrat Mitalipov and Masahito Tachibana’s Mitochondrial Gene Replacement in Primate Offspring and Embryonic Stem Cells (2009)

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The Debate over DNA Replication Before the Meselson-Stahl Experiment (1953–1957)

The Debate over DNA Replication Before the Meselson-Stahl <a href="/search?text=Experiment" title="" class="lexicon-term">Experiment</a> (1953–1957)Between 1953 and 1957, before the Meselson-Stahl experiment verified semi-conservative replication of DNA, scientists debated how DNA replicated. In 1953, James Watson and Francis Crick proposed that DNA was composed of two helical strands that wound together in a coil. Their model suggested a replication mechanism, later termed semi-conservative replication, in which parental DNA strands separated and served as templates for the replication of new daughter strands. Many scientists, beginning with Max Delbrück, questioned Watson and Cricks’ model and