Dec 03

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How to save a dying heart

In a monthly column for PBS NewsHour, Dr. Howard Markel revisits moments that changed the course of modern health and medicine on their anniversaries, like the world's first human heart transplant on Dec. 3, 1967. In the photo above, Amy…

Oct 16

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In a monthly column for PBS NewsHour, Dr. Howard Markel revisits moments that changed the course of modern medicine on their anniversaries, like the groundbreaking use of anesthesia on a surgical patient on Oct. 16, 1846. Photo by Image…

Sep 27

The real story behind penicillin

The discovery of penicillin, one of the world’s first antibiotics, marks a true turning point in human history — when doctors finally had a tool that could completely cure their patients of deadly infectious diseases. Many school children can recite…

In a monthly column for PBS NewsHour, Dr. Howard Markel revisits moments that changed the course of modern medicine, like the invention of the stethoscope. Photo By BSIP/UIG via Getty Images. Long before Hippocrates (ca. 460-380 B.C.) taught his…

Dr. Howard Markel revisits moments that changed the course of modern medicine, like the advent of antiseptic surgery, in a monthly column on the PBS NewsHour. Photo by Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images. Today, every patient reasonably expects that before going "under…

Jun 20

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A Hormonal Happy Birthday

The word "hormone" made its scientific debut 108 years ago today. Photo by Alija/Getty Images The word hormone has long been a familiar part of the English vernacular. It can refer to a wide variety of things from the life-saving…

May 14

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Sixteenth century Aztec drawing of smallpox victims. Photo from Wikimedia Commons. One of the most celebrated medical anniversaries concerns a country doctor named Edward Jenner (1749-1823) who lived in the tiny village of Berkeley in Gloucestershire, Great Britain. Like…

Elvis Presley receives the Salk polio vaccine in 1956. Awareness about the vaccine led to the end of polio in the U.S. Most babies today still receive the injection. Photo courtesy of March of Dimes. April 12, 1955, was…

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