Warren Tay (1843–1927)

Warren Tay (1843–1927) Warren Tay studied and treated diseases of the eye in the nineteenth century in England. Tay studied a lethal nervous system disorder occurring in children, a disorder later named Tay-Sachs disease. Those afflicted with the disease had deteriorating motor skills, blindness, and mental impairment that culminates in death between ages three to five. While working as surgeon at London Hospital in London, England, Tay began seeing patients that displayed a rare circular pigmentation in the eye’s macular region, the oval-shaped region on the back of the eye. Tay kept detailed records of those patients, later determining that they correlated with a neurodegenerative disorder. Tay reported the first clinical features of the developmental disorder Tay-Sachs, which helped further the research on that disease.

Camillo Golgi's Black Reaction for Staining Neurons

Camillo Golgi's Black Reaction for Staining Neurons In 1873 Italy, Camillo Golgi created the black reaction technique, which enabled scientists to stain and view the structure of neurons, the specialized cells that compose the nervous system. During the nineteenth century, scientists were studying cells and proposed cell theory, which describes the basic characteristics of cells as fundamental units of life. However, cell theory struggled to explain neurons as they are specialized cells and more complex in structure than cells of other tissues. Prior to Golgi's black reaction, other neuron staining techniques did not enable scientists to clearly and completely view entire neurons without damaging the tissue and obscuring the form. By enabling scientists to study individual neurons

Josef Warkany (1902–1992)

Josef Warkany (1902–1992) Josef Warkany studied the environmental causes of birth defects in the United States in the twentieth century. Warkany was one of the first researchers to show that factors in the environment could cause birth defects, and he helped to develop guidelines for the field of teratology, the study of birth defects. Prior to Warkany’s work, scientists struggled to explain if or how environmental agents could cause birth defects. Warkany demonstrated that a deficiency

Where Are My Children? (1916)

Where Are My Children? (1916)

Leonard Colebrook (1883–1967)

Leonard Colebrook (1883–1967)Leonard Colebrook was a physician who researched bacteria and infections in England during the twentieth century. In 1936, Colebrook deployed the antibiotic Prontosil to treat puerperal fever, a disorder that results from bacterial infections in the uterine tracts of women after childbirth or abortions. Colebrook also advanced care for burn patients by advocating for the creation of burn units in hospitals and by using antisepsis medication for burn wound infections. Colebrook’s work on treatments for puerperal fever reduced cases of puerperal fever throughout the world.

Hermann Joseph Muller (1890-1967)

Hermann Joseph Muller (1890-1967) Hermann Joseph Muller studied the effects of x-ray radiation on genetic material in the US during the twentieth century. At that time, scientists had yet to determine the dangers that x-rays presented. In 1927, Muller demonstrated that x-rays, a form of high-energy radiation, can mutate the structure of genetic material. Muller warned others of the dangers of radiation, advising radiologists to protect themselves and their patients from radiation. He also opposed

Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (1994)

Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (1994)On 26 May 1994, US President Bill Clinton signed the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act in to law, which federally criminalized acts of obstruction and violence towards reproductive health clinics. The law was a reaction to the increasing violence toward abortion clinics, providers, and patients during the 1990s. That violence included clinic blockades and protests, assaults on physicians and patients, and murders. The Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act established criminal and civil penalties against people who obstructed or committed violence towards reproductive health clinics, and has supported women's access to safe reproductive healthcare.

United States v. One Package of Japanese Pessaries (1936)

United States v. One Package of Japanese Pessaries (1936)In the 1936 case United States v. One Package of Japanese Pessaries, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York City, New York, confirmed that physicians had the right to distribute contraceptives to patients for medical purposes. In January 1933, US Customs confiscated a package of contraceptives imported from Japan by US physician Hannah Stone. They claimed that the package violated section 305 of the Tariff Act of 1930, which, like the 1873 anti-obscenity Comstock Act, granted the US government authority to seize contraceptive materials imported into the country or sent through the mail. The court ruled that US Customs was not justified in confiscating the package and ordered its return to Stone. United States v. One Package exempted physicians from the restrictions

Katharina Dorothea Dalton (1916–2004)

Katharina Dorothea Dalton (1916–2004)Katharina Dorothea Dalton was a physician in England in the twentieth century who defined premenstrual syndrome (PMS) as a cluster of symptoms suspected to begin one to two weeks before menstruation and disappear upon the onset of a new menstrual cycle. Prior to Dalton, there was little research on pre-menstrual issues and those that existed linked the problem to excessive water retention or estrogen. Dalton hypothesized that PMS resulted from a deficiency in the hormone progesterone and advocated for hormone

The Sex Education of Children: A Book for Parents (1931), by Mary Ware Dennett

The Sex Education of Children: A Book for Parents (1931), by Mary Ware Dennett