Do you have any idea why the 14th June happens to be the World Blood Donor Day? Well, it´s Karl Landsteiner´s birthday. But who is Karl Landsteiner and what is his role in the history of blood transfusion.
The history of medical milestones is not always as shine as expected but it is accompanied by failure and coincidence. Other disciplines, especially physics, chemistry and biology contributed enormously to medical milestones and even enabled many of them.
This article is not a list of milestones, but I tried to show you the big picture with some examples. For those of you who love lists there will be a follow-up article soon.
Microscopic in size but enormous in impact
Viruses and bacteria have accompanied human´s history from its very beginning. Since the shift to agrarian life 10,000 years ago infectious diseases increased dramatically and pandemics happened: More and more people lived close to each other and to animals, often under poor sanitation and nutrition, which are the perfect circumstances for viruses and bacteria to grow and spread. Among these early viruses and bacteria were illnesses such as malaria, tuberculosis, leprosy, influenza, smallpox, measles and polio.