homehttp://www.medstory.com c10000BC The
1st known outbreaks of smallpox occurred among agricultural
settlements in northeastern Africa.
(SFC, 10/19/01, p.A17)
10000BC In 2008 archeologists in northern Israel
found a female skeleton in a grave containing 50 tortoise shells, a
leopard pelvis, a cow tail and part of an eagle wing and believed
they were the remains of a witch doctor from the Natufian culture.
2737BC Chinese emperor Shen Neng (Shennong)
prescribed marijuana tea to treat gout, rheumatism, malaria and poor
2700BC Chinese texts from this time describe
plants to treat fevers.
(Econ, 10/22/11, p.102)
2400BC The earliest reference to circumcision
dates back to around 2400 B.C. A bas-relief in the ancient burial
ground of Saqqara depicts a series of medical scenes, including a
flint-knife circumcision and a surgeon explaining, "The ointment is
to make it acceptable," likely referring to some form of topical
1350BC The 1st recorded smallpox epidemic took
place during an Egyptian-Hittite war.
(SFC, 10/19/01, p.A17)
1345BC The Ebers Papyrus indicated the medical use
of willow bark. It contained salicylic acid, an ingredient of modern
(SSFC, 10/24/04, p.M6)
1000BC The Sushruta Samhita, an early text of
Ayurvedic medicine, was compiled by Sushrut, the primary pupil of
Dhanvantri, about this time. In 2003 India moved to assess the
country’s herbs systematically in a program called the Golden
c480BC Herodotus said marijuana was cultivated in
Scythia and Thrace, where inhabitants intoxicated themselves by
breathing the vapors given off when the plant was roasted on
(WSJ, 2/8/05, p.D7)
129 Sep 22, Claudius Galenus
(d.~199-217), Greek physician and scholar, was born. Some sources
put his birth in 131. Galen went to Rome in 162 AD and made his mark
as a practicing physician. Galen developed the first typology of
temperament in his dissertation “De temperamentis," and searched for
physiological reasons for different behaviors in humans.
1345 Mar 20, A conjunction of
Saturn, Jupiter and Mars was thought to be the "cause of plague
1493 May 1, Phillippus
Paracelsus (d.1541), physician and alchemist, was born in
Switzerland. He was christened as Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus
Bombastus von Hohenheim.
(HN, 5/1/98)(NH, 6/00, p.30,34)(MC, 5/1/02)
1519 Mar 13, The Spaniards
under Cortez landed at Veracruz. Cortez landed in Mexico with 10
stallions, 5 mares and a foal. Smallpox was carried to America in
the party of Hernando Cortes.
(SFEC,11/9/97, p.T5)(SFC, 9/2/96, p.A3)(HN,
3/13/98)(SFC, 10/19/01, p.A17)
1534 The King of Siam died of
(SFC, 10/19/01, p.A17)
1543 Andreas Vesalius, Belgian
physician, published his "De humani corporis fabrica" (Concerning
the Fabric of the Human Body), which contained the first complete
description of the human body.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.15)(WSJ, 10/19/99, p.A24)
1553 Oct 27, Michael Servetus
(b.1511) was burnt for heresy in Geneva, Switzerland. His last book
"Christianismi Restitutio" included a chapter on the pulmonary
circulation of blood. In 2002 Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone authored
"Out of the Flames." [see 1540]
(TL-MB, 1988, p.18)(HN, 10/27/98)(WSJ, 9/18/02,
1558 Apr 26, Jean Francois
Fernel, French physician, died.
1562 Oct 9, Gabriel Fallopius,
anatomist (discovered fallopian tubes), died in Modena, Italy.
1564 Oct 15, Andreas Vesalius
(b.1514), Flemish anatomist, died. Andreas Vesalius, the father of
modern anatomy, was forced by the Inquisition to make a pilgrimage
to the Holy Land. He disappeared during the voyage. In 1543 he
authored of one of the most influential books on human anatomy, De
humani corporis fabrica (On the Fabric of the Human Body).
1572 Michel de Montaigne,
French philosopher, observed that “there are men on whom the mere
sight of medicine is operative."
(Econ, 11/1/08, p.92)
1578 Apr 1, William Harvey
England (d.1657), discoverer of blood circulation, was born.
(HN, 4/1/99)(WUD, 1994, p.648)
c1610 In 2004 archeologists
reported finding a skull fragment from Jamestown, Va., dating to
about this time that showed evidence of skull surgery and an
(SFC, 12/2/04, p.A7)
1623 The 1st case of smallpox
in Russia was reported.
(SFC, 10/19/01, p.A17)
1630 Nov 30, 16,000 inhabitants
of Venice died this month of plague.
1643 Fang Yizhi, a Chinese
scholar, wrote that smoking tobacco for too long would blacken the
lungs and lead to death.
(Econ, 1/28/12, p.44)
1665 Aug 15-22, The London
weekly "Bill of Mortality" recorded 5,568 fatalities with teeth
holding the no. 5 spot. 4,237 were killed by the plague.
(SFEC, 8/2/98, BR p.7)
1666 Feb 15, Antonio M.
Valsalva, Italian anatomist (eardrums, glottis), was born.
1667 Jun 15, Dr. Jean-Baptiste
Denys, French doctor, performed the 1st animal to human blood
transfusion. He successfully transfused a few ounces of blood from a
lamb into boy (15). Another experimental transfusion this year
resulted in the patient’s death and Denys was accused of murder. In
2011 Holly Tucker authored “Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine and
Murder in the Scientific Revolution."
1683 Sep 17, Antonie van
Leeuwenhoek reported the existence of bacteria.
1692 Mar 14, Peter
Musschenbroek, Dutch physician, physicist (Leyden jar), was born.
1700s Smallpox killed some
400,000 Europeans a year.
(SFC, 10/19/01, p.A17)
1702 Georg Everhard Rumpf,
German botanist, died. He was employed by the Dutch East India
Company and compiled the “Ambonese Herbal," even after going blind
in 1670. The work was published in Amsterdam between 1741 and 1755.
(Econ, 9/25/04, p.94)
1709 Mar 8, William
Cowper/Cooper (~62), English anatomist, died.
1718 May 23, William Hunter
(d.1783), obstetrician, surgeon, anatomy teacher, was born near
Glasgow, Scotland. In 1768 he opened a medical school. The Glasgow
Hunterian Museum opened in 1807.
1721 Apr 26, The smallpox
vaccination was 1st administrated. Lady Mary Wortley Montegu had
returned to England following a stay in Turkey with her ambassador
husband. She had learned of a procedure to inoculate against
smallpox and began a campaign to have the procedure established.
(ON, 9/01, p.1)(MC, 4/26/02)
1721 Jun 26, Dr. Zabdiel
Boylston gave the 1st smallpox inoculation in Boston. The epidemic
had arrived by ship from Barbados.
(ON, 3/05, p.4)
1721 Jul 21, Doctors in Boston
raised objections to a new practice of using live smallpox to
inoculate patients against the disease. A smallpox epidemic had
recently broken out in Boston and Cotton Mather (58), following some
study, encouraged the inoculation technique to prevent death from
(ON, 3/05, p.4)
1722 Cotton Mather authored “An
Account of the Method and Success of Inoculating the Small-Pox…"
This followed work in support of inoculation trials in Boston.
(WSJ, 11/22/08, p.W11)
1724 May 18, Johann K. Amman
(54), Swiss-Dutch doctor for deaf-mutes, died.
1734 May 23, Friedrich Anton
Mesmer, physician and hypnotist, was born.
1745 Apr 20, Philippe Pinel,
founder of psychiatry, was born.
1751 May 11, The 1st US
hospital was founded in Pennsylvania. [see Feb 11, 1752]
1752 Feb 11, Pennsylvania
Hospital, the 1st hospital in the US, opened.
1754-1767 British forces distributed
smallpox-infected blankets among American Indians in the 1st known
case of its use as a biological weapon.
(SFC, 10/19/01, p.A17)
1772 Sep 26, New Jersey passed
a bill requiring a license to practice medicine.
1783 Jun 1, Charles Byrne (22),
known as the Irish giant, died. Standing at seven feet seven inches
tall (2.3 meters) he was a celebrity in his own lifetime. When he
died the renowned surgeon and anatomist John Hunter was keen to
acquire his skeleton. Byrne wanted to be buried at sea. The surgeon
managed to bribe one of the Irishman's friends and took his body
before it could be laid to rest in the English Channel. Hunter
boiled Byrne's body down to a skeleton and it became a key feature
of his anatomy collection. In 2011 Experts called for the skeleton
to be buried at sea, as Byrne wanted.
1778 Dec 17, Humphrey Davy,
English chemist who discovered the anesthetic effect of laughing gas
(1799), was born.
(HN, 12/17/98)(Dr, 7/17/01, p.2)
1787 Mar 8, Karl Ferdinand von
Grafe was born. He helped create modern plastic surgery.
1789 Smallpox was introduced to
Australia and caused devastation among the aborigines.
(SFC, 10/19/01, p.A17)
1794 Jan 14, Dr. Jessee Bennet
of Edom, Va., performed the 1st successful Cesarean section
operation on his wife.
1796 May 14, English physician
Edward Jenner administered the first vaccination against smallpox to
his gardener's son, James Phipps (8). A single blister rose up on
the spot, but James later demonstrated immunity to smallpox. Jenner
actually used vaccinia, a close viral relation to smallpox. [see
July 21, 1721]
(Econ, 11/22/03, p.77)(AP, 5/14/08)
1798 Mar 9, Dr. George Balfour
became 1st naval surgeon in the US Navy.
1798 Jul 16, The Marine
Hospital Service was established in the Department of the Treasury
under provisions of an act (1 Stat. 605) authorizing marine
hospitals for the care of American merchant seamen. In 1902 it was
redesignated the Public Health and Marine Hospital Service by an act
of July 1, 1902 (32 Stat. 712),
1800 Jul 8, Dr. Benjamin
Waterhouse gave the 1st cowpox vaccination to his son to prevent
smallpox. [see May 14, 1796]
1809 Dec, In Danville,
Kentucky, Dr. Ephraim McDowell (1771-1830) performed a successfully
surgery on Jane Crawford (45) in which he removed an ovary and a
large tumor with no anesthesia. Crawford lived to age 78 and was the
world’s first known survivor of an elective exploration of the
abdomen and removal of an ovary. The story was later told by David
Dary in “Frontier Medicine: From the Atlantic to the Pacific
(ON, 12/99, p.11)(WSJ, 11/28/08, p.A13)
1810 Mar 6, Illinois passed the
1st state vaccination legislation in US.
1811 Fanny Burney (1752-1840),
English writer, underwent a mastectomy without anesthesia. In 2001
Claire Harman authored the biography: "Fanny Burney."
(SSFC, 12/23/01, p.M5)
1813 Feb 27, The 1st federal
vaccination legislation was enacted.
1813 Mar 3, Office of Surgeon
General of the US army was established.
1814 Oct 23, The 1st plastic
surgery was performed in England.
1815 Jan 21, Horace Wells
(d.1845), dentist, was born. He pioneered the use of medical
anesthesia and was the 1st to use nitrous oxide as a pain killer.
(Dr, 7/17/01, p.2)(MC, 1/21/02)
1818 Apr 14, The US Medical
1818 Jul 1, Ignaz Semmelweis
(d.1865), Hungarian gynecologist, was born. He later connected
childbed fever to doctors who spread of germs due to their failure
to wash their hands. In 2003 Sherwin B. Nuland authored "The
Doctors' Plague: Germs, Childbed Fever and the Strange Story of
1818 Dr. James Blundell
(1791-1878), a British obstetrician, performed the first successful
transfusion of human blood, for the treatment of postpartum
1819 Aug 9, William Thomas
Green Morton (d.1868), American dentist who 1st used ether on a
patient (1846), was born.
(WUD, 1994, p.932)(MC, 8/9/02)
1820 May 12, Florence
Nightingale (d.1910), Crimean War British nurse known as “Lady with
the Lamp," was born in Florence, Italy. She is also known as the
founder of modern nursing.
1820 Aug 14, The 1st US eye
hospital, the NY Eye Infirmary, opened in NYC.
1822 Mar 9, The first patent
for false teeth was requested by C. Graham of NY. [see Jun 9, 1882]
(HN, 3/9/98)(MC, 3/9/02)
1822 Jun 9, Charles Graham
patented false teeth. [see Mar 9, 1822]
1824 Jan 26, Edward Jenner,
discoverer of vaccination, died.
1824 Mar 5, Elisha Harris, U.S.
physician, founder of the American Public Health Association, was
1826 Joseph Buchner refined
willow bark in crystals that he named salicin, after salix, the
Latin name for willow. [see aspirin in 1899]
(SSFC, 10/24/04, p.M6)
1827 Apr 5, Joseph Lister
(d.1912), English physician, was born. He founded the idea of using
antiseptics during surgery.
(WUD, 1994, p.836)(HN, 4/5/99)
1828 May 22, Albrecht von
Grafe, German eye surgeon, founder of modern ophthalmology, was
1829 Jan 28, In Scotland
William Burke was hanged for murder following a scandal in which he
was found to have provided extra-fresh corpses for anatomy schools
in Edinburgh. His partner William Hare had turned king’s witness.
The scandal led to the 1832 Anatomy Act.
1832 Feb 6, There was an
appearance of cholera at Edinburgh, Scotland.
1832 The United Kingdom passed
the Anatomy Act, which allowed hospitals and workhouses to hand over
for dissection bodies left unclaimed for two days.
(Econ, 11/15/08, p.99)
1833 Dec, William Beaumont
(d.1853), a US Army assistant surgeon, published his new book:
"Experiments and Observations on the Gastric Juice and the
Physiology of Digestion. It was based on the digestive system of
Alexis St. Martin, a fur trader who was accidentally shot in the
abdomen at Fort Mackinac in 1822.
(ON, 1/02, p.6)
1841-1912 Gerard H. Hansen, Norwegian physician.
He discovered the leprosy-causing Mycobacterium leprae (aka Hansen’s
(WUD, 1994, p.644)
1842 Mar 30, Dr. Crawford W.
Long of Jefferson, Ga., first used ether as an anesthetic during a
1843 Jul 2, Samuel Hahnemann
(b.1755), German physician and founder of homeopathy, died in Paris.
1844 Dec 11, The 1st dental use
of nitrous oxide was at Hartford, Ct.
1845 Mar 26, Patent was awarded
for adhesive medicated plaster, precursor of bandaid.
1846 Sep 30, Dentist William
Morton (1819-1868) used ether as an anesthetic for the first time on
a dental patient in Boston, Massachusetts.
1846 Oct 16, Sulphurous ether
was first administered in public at the Massachusetts General
Hospital in Boston by dentist Dr. William Thomas Green Morton during
an operation performed by Dr. John Collins Warren. Morton was the
1st to take public credit for the use of ether in a medical
procedure and applied for a patent on its use, which was later
nullified. In 2001 Julie M. Fenster authored “Ether Day," an account
of Dr. Morton and ether. [see Sep 30] Oliver Wendall Holmes son
suggested that that the procedure be called “Anesthesia."
(WSJ, 8/21/01, p.A17)(ON, 10/20/11, p.10)
1847 May 7, The American
Medical Association was founded in Philadelphia.
(AP, 5/7/97)(HN, 5/7/98)
1847 The Smith brothers
reportedly invented the cough drop in a restaurant in Poughkeepsie,
NY. Their cough drop brand was revived in 2013, three years after it
was brought out of bankruptcy.
(SSFC, 12/14/14, p.D2)
1848 Sep 13, Dr. John Martyn
Harlow treated Phinneas Gage in Vermont for a head injury from a
tamping iron that had pierced the man’s skull during a blasting
accident. Gage survived until 1860, but with definite personality
changes that Dr. Harlow tracked.
(ON, 10/02, p.9)(Econ, 12/23/06, Survey p.3)
1848 Nov 23, The Female Medical
Educational Society was established in Boston, Mass., the same year
the all-male American Medical Association formed.
1848 Samuel Gregory, a pioneer
in medical education for women, founded the Boston Female Medical
School. The school opened with an enrollment of 12 students. The
establishment merged 26 years later with the Boston University
School of Medicine, to form one of the first coed medical schools in
1849 Jan 23, English-born
Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910), the 1st woman to receive an
American medical degree, graduated at the top of her class from the
medical school of Hobart College, Geneva, NY.
(http://campus.hws.edu/his/blackwell/biography.html)(ON, 4/03, p.2)
1849 Jul 12, William Osler
(d.1919), physician, author (circulatory system), was born in
Canada. "The philosophies of one age have become the absurdities of
the next, and the foolishness of yesterday has become the wisdom of
(AP, 10/15/98)(MC, 7/12/02)
1850 Mar 11, The Pennsylvania
legislature passed an act to incorporate the Female Medical College
of Pennsylvania, the first regular medical school for women in
1850 Apr 8, William Henry
Welch, US pathologist (founded John Hopkins), was born.
1850 May 16, Johannes von
Mikulica-Radecki, Polish surgical pioneer, was born.
1850 Oct 12, The 1st women's
medical school, the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania, opened
1851 Sep 13, Walter Reed
(d.1902), U.S. Army doctor, was born in Gloucester County, Va. In
1900 he went to Cuba and verified that yellow fever was caused by a
(HN, 9/13/98)(WSJ, 10/22/99, p.B1)(AP, 9/13/02)
1852 Sep 23, William Stewart
Halsted, was born. He established the 1st US surgical school.
1853 Apr 7, Dr. John Snow
administered chloroform to Queen Victoria at the birth of her 8th
child, Prince Leopold.
(ON, 5/05, p.9)
1853 The hypodermic needle was
invented for morphine injection. It was believed that addiction
would be prevented if the digestive system was bypassed.
(SFEC, 11/10/96, zone 1 p.2)
1853 Charles Frederic Gerhardt
first synthesized acetylsalicylic acid, but he failed to understand
its molecular structure and its potential importance to humanity.
1853 A smallpox epidemic hit
Hawaii and 5-6000 people died.
(SFC, 10/19/01, p.A17)
1855 Mar 15, Louisiana
established the 1st health board to regulate quarantine.
1856 Jan 18, Daniel Nathan Hale
Williams, surgeon (1st open heart operation), was born.
1857 Paul Broca discovered that
particular regions of the brain are specialized for particular
(WSJ, 10/11/02, p.AB1)
1858 Henry Gray (1827-1861),
English anatomist and surgeon, authored the textbook “Gray’s
Anatomy." It defined the genre and dissected the body along thematic
lines. The illustrations were by Henry Vandyke (1831-1897) In 2008
Ruth Richardson authored “The Making of Mr Gray’s Anatomy: Bodies,
Books, Fortune, Fame."
11/15/08, p.99)(WSJ, 3/27/09, p.W6)
1859 Florence Nightingale
(1820-1910) authored "Notes on Hospitals," which combined two papers
presented the year before at the Social Science Congress. She
addressed every aspect of hospital management, from the purchase of
iron bedsteads to replace the wooden ones, to switching to glass
cups instead of tin. The 108-page book went on into three editions
and established Nightingale once more as an international authority.
1860 May 21, Willem Einthoven,
physiologist, inventor of the electrocardiogram, was born.
1860 Jun 29, Thomas Addison
(67), English physician (A-Biermer Disease), died.
1861 Henry Gray (b.1827),
English anatomist and surgeon, died of smallpox. He had authored the
textbook “Gray’s Anatomy" (1858).
1862 Nov, Jean Henri Dunant
(1828-1910) published "A Memory of Solferino." His ideas about
creation of a volunteer committee to care for war-wounded led to the
creation in 1863 of the Permanent International Committee for Relief
to Wounded Combatants, later called the International Red Cross.
Dunant, a Swiss businessman, had witnessed the plight of thousands
of wounded left helpless on the battlefield at Solferino, Italy, on
June 24, 1859. Organizing local volunteers to help, Dunant
brought aid to as many of the victims as he could.
(WUD, 1994, p.442)(HNQ, 9/16/99)(ON, 4/08, p.11)
1863 Feb 9, Henri Dunant
(1828-1910) addressed the Geneva Society for Public Welfare and
asked the members to form a volunteer society to aid wounded
soldiers. The Intl. Committee of Red Cross (Nobel 1917, 1944, 1963)
was formed in Geneva, Switz. The red cross design based on the Swiss
flag with the colors reversed.
(ON, 4/08, p.11)(www.redcross.org)(SFC, 6/20/06,
1863 Apr 13, Hospital for
Ruptured and Crippled in NY became the 1st orthopedic hospital.
1863 The Mutter Museum was
founded as part of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia was an
educational service for practicing physicians.
(NW, 11/18/02, p.14)
1863 Sir Francis Galton
theorized that the quality of human offspring would improve if
talented people married only other talented people. His ideas led to
the eugenics movement.
(SSFC, 11/9/03, p.D1)
1864 Jun 14, Alois Alzheimer
(d.1915), German psychiatrist, pathologist (Alzheimer Disease), was
1865 Jul 19, Charles Horance
Mayo (d.1939), American surgeon and co-founder of the Mayo Clinic
Foundation for Medical Education and Research, was born. "I have
never known a man who died from overwork, but many who died from
(HN, 7/19/98)(AP, 12/11/00)
1865 Aug 13, Ignaz Semmelweis
(b.1818), Hungarian gynecologist, died from an infection in Vienna
after being beaten up by warders in an asylum.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignaz_Semmelweis)(Econ, 3/13/10, p.57)
1865 Aug 15, Sir Joseph Lister
discovered the antiseptic process. [see Sep 1]
1865 Sep 1, Joseph Lister
performed his 1st antiseptic surgery.
1865 Elizabeth Garrett Anderson
started practicing as Britain’s first female doctor. She qualified
via the Society of Apothecaries when medical schools refused to
admit her. She and 5 other women began studying for a degree course
from Cambridge in 1869. Cambridge did not let women graduate with
degrees until 1948, and was the last English university to do so. In
2009 Jane Robinson authored “Bluestockings: The Remarkable Story of
the First Women to Fight for an Education."
(Econ, 8/8/09, p.73)
1866 Edouard Seguin
(1812-1880), French physician, authored “Idiocy and Its Treatment."
He had established schools in France and the US for the
intellectually handicapped, which stressed the importance of
developing self-reliance and independence.
1867 There was a yellow-fever
epidemic in the US.
(SSFC, 2/25/01, BR p.5)
1869 Apr 8, Harvey Cushing, US
neurosurgeon (blood pressure studied), was born.
1869 Ludwig Karl Kahlbaum in
Innsbruck, Austria, described for the 1st time the medical condition
of catatonia. He compiled a list of almost 40 signs involving
unusual movements. For decades it was thought to be a type of
schizophrenia. By 2006 it was still not well understood.
(SSFC, 12/24/06, p.B6)
1870 Jul 30, Clara Barton
departed for field with the Red Cross following the French
declaration of war against Prussia. In Basle Antoinette Margot (27)
joined her as an aide and interpreter.
(ON, 8/12, p.11)
1871 Feb 9, Howard T. Ricketts,
pathologist, was born.
1874 Jan 17, Chang and Eng
Bunker (62), Chinese-Thai Siamese twins, died.
1874 Jun 22, Dr. Andrew T. Sill
of Macon, Missouri, founded osteopathy.
1876 A paper in the Berliner
Klinische Wochenschrift, a Germany medical journal, suggested
that salsalate could help diabetics control their blood sugar.
Harvard researchers in the 1990s conducted studies that supported
(WSJ, 1/20/09, p.A12)
1879 By this time a judge
spread the claim that Dr. Jackson’s Eye Water had cured his
crippling “red skin" disease. Dr. Alvah Jackson of Eureka Springs,
Ark., had bottled water from the local Basin Spring as a elixir
following claims that it had cured his son’s granulated eyelids.
(SSFC, 9/16/07, p.G5)
1881 May 21, Clara Barton filed
papers for the American Association of the Red Cross.
(ON, 8/12, p.12) (AP, 5/21/97)
1882 Mar 16, US Pres. Chester
Arthur signed the Treaty of Geneva following the Senate’s
ratification of the treaty. The US thus joined the Int’l. Red Cross.
(ON, 8/12, p.12)
1882 Mar 24, German scientist
Robert Koch announced in Berlin that he had discovered the bacillus
responsible for tuberculosis.
1882 Oct 24, Dr. Robert Koch
discovered the germ that caused tuberculosis.
1883 Feb 23, American
Anti-Vivisection Society was organized in Philadelphia.
1883 May 17, Lydia Estes
Pinkham, patent-medicine manufacturer, died.
1885 Mar, In Loganville, Pa.,
Dr. George E. Holtzapple (22) saved Fred Gable (16), who was
suffering from pneumonia, by supplying the boy with pure oxygen.
Oxygen therapy became the only effective treatment for pneumonia
until antibiotics became available in the 1940s.
(ON, 4/07, p.10)
1885 Jul 6, French scientist
Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) successfully tested an anti-rabies vaccine
on a boy bitten by an infected dog. Thanks to his vaccine the death
rate from rabies dropped to almost zero by 1888.
(AP, 7/6/97)(ON, 6/08, p.6)
1886 Mar 8, Edward Kendall,
chemist, isolated cortisone (Nobel 1950), was born.
1888 Sep 7, The 1st US
incubator was used on a premature infant, Edith Eleanor McLean. It
was built by Dr. William Champion Deming at the State Emigrant
Hospital, Ward's Island, NY.
1888 German scientists
discovered that small amounts of poison might actually do an
organism good. The paradoxical effect was called hormesis.
(WSJ, 12/19/03, p.B1)
1889 May 1, Bayer in
Germany introduced aspirin in powder form.
1889 Aug 1, John F. Mahoney,
developed penicillin treatment of syphilis, was born.
1889 John Alexander MacWilliam,
Scottish physiologist, discovered that he could restore heart
rhythms in cats using a metronome and a needle electrode. His work
went unrecognized until his paper on the subject resurfaced in 1972.
(Econ, 3/7/09, TQ p.25)
1889 There was a major flu
epidemic this year. Virologists in 2002 attempted to gather viral
tissue from frozen grave sites in Siberia.
(SFCM, 2/17/02, p.27)
1890 The tuberculin skin test
(TST or Mantoux) was developed.
(SFC, 3/24/04, p.B9)
1892 Aug 30, The Moravia, a
passenger ship arriving from Germany, brought cholera to the United
1893 Jul 9, Daniel Hale
Williams (1858-1931), an African-American surgeon, performed
successful heart surgery on a teenager in Chicago.
(WSJ, 11/17/07, p.W11)(http://tinyurl.com/37gnkk)
1894 Jun 17, 1st US
poliomyelitis epidemic broke out in Rutland, Vermont.
1894 Nov 1, A vaccine for
diphtheria was announced by Dr. Roux of Paris.
1896 Oct 22, Charles Glenn
King, biochemist, was born. He later discovered vitamin C.
1897 Aug 10, Felix Hoffmann, a
German worker for Bayer, rediscovered aspirin (acetyl salicyclic
acid), the active ingredient of the willow plant’s (salicin). In
1832 a French chemist named Charles Gergardt had experiments with
salicin and created salicylic acid. On March 6, 1899, Bayer
registered Aspirin as a trademark.
1897 A French scientist at the
Pasteur Institute made the crucial connection between rats and fleas
as carriers of bubonic plague.
(SFC, 9/20/14, p.C2)
1898 Jun 2, Dr. Paul-Louis
Simond discovered the connections between rats, fleas and humans in
the transmittance of the Plague in Bombay, India.
(NG, 5/88, p.678)
1898 Sep 24, Howard W Florey,
pathologist, was born in Australia. He purified penicillin and won a
Nobel Prize 1945.
1898-1913 Heroin was marketed as a cough medicine.
(NG, 10/04, Geog.)
1899 Feb 27, Charles H. Best,
physiologist, co-discoverer of Insulin, was born in Maine.
1899 Mar 6, Aspirin was
patented following Felix Hoffman’s discoveries about the properties
of acetylsalicylic acid. Duisberg’s Bayer team released a drug they
named aspirin. In 2004 Diarmuid Jeffreys authored “Aspirin: The
Remarkable Story of a Wonder Drug."
(HN, 3/6/01)(SSFC, 10/24/04,
1899 Apr 11, Percy L. Julian,
chemist (drugs for treatment of arthritis), was born.
1899 Aug 23, Albert Claude
(d.1983), biologist, was born in Belgium. He never graduated from
high school and won the 1974 Nobel for his work on the sub-structure
of the cell.
1899 Dec, Honolulu’s chief
microbiologist reported that plague had arrived in Hawaii. The
steamship Nippon Maru had docked there in the summer with a corpse
that carried plague.
(SSFC, 12/19/04, p.E2)
1899 The vibrator was
introduced as a home medical appliance. By 1904 it appeared in
magazine advertisements. In 1918 a Sears Roebuck catalog described a
$5.95 portable model.
(SSFC, 7/22/07, p.F6)
1899 Dr. Charles Wardell
Stiles, a zoologist from Hartford, Connecticut, identified
"progressive pernicious anemia," seen in the southern United States,
as caused by A. duodenale. He also identified the other important
hookworm species: Necator americanus. Stiles had studied medical
zoology in Europe in the late 19th century and learned about
hookworms while helping with animal autopsies and studies. From 1909
to 1914, doctors, public health officials, and northern businessmen
worked to destroy what they called the "germ of laziness." They
believed such a germ caused many of the South's problems, poverty, a
sickly population, and economic underdevelopment. But the germ these
people were attacking wasn't a germ at all. It was a worm, the
9/26/10, DB p.50)
1900 Jun 26, A commission that
included Dr. Walter Reed began the fight against the deadly disease
yellow fever. Walter Reed (1851-1902), U.S. Army doctor, went to
Cuba and verified that yellow fever was caused by a mosquito.
(HN, 9/13/98)(WSJ, 10/22/99, p.B1)(AP, 6/26/97)
1901 May 1901, Walter Reed (49)
led the Yellow Fever Commission, a 4-man team, to Cuba to search for
the cause of the disease. 200 American soldiers had died from the
disease over the previous 18 months. Aristides Agramonte,
pathologist, James Carroll, bacteriologist, and Jesse W. Lazear,
entomologist, were the other team members. Cuban Dr. Carlos Finlay
believed that yellow fever was spread by mosquitoes.
(ON, 10/01, p.7)
1901 Aug 25, Clara Maass (25),
army nurse, sacrificed her life to prove that the mosquito carries
1901 Aug 27, In Havana, Cuba,
U.S. Army physician James Carroll allowed an infected mosquito to
feed on him in an attempt to isolate the means of transmission of
yellow fever. Days later, Carroll developed a severe case of yellow
fever, helping his colleague, Army Walter Reed, prove that
mosquitoes can transmit the sometimes deadly disease.
(MC, 8/27/02)(ON, 10/01, p.8)
1901 Aug, Major Walter Reed,
M.D., visited Dr. Carlos Finlay in Havana, who informed him that the
mosquito Culex fasciatus was the most likely transmitter of yellow
(ON, 10/01, p.7)
1901 Emil von Behring
(1854-1917), German physiologist, became the first recipient of the
Nobel Prize for medicine for discovering how to employ antitoxins.
(Econ, 11/22/14, p.75)
1902 Feb 9, Doctor Doyen of
Paris, performed a successful operation on Siamese twins from the
Barnum and Bailey Circus.
1902 Feb 19, Smallpox
vaccination became obligatory in France.
1902 Feb 21, Dr. Harvey
Cushing, US brain surgeon, performed his 1st brain operation.
1902 Feb, Dr. Walter Reed
published his results on yellow fever. He concluded that: "The
spread of yellow fever can be most effectually controlled by
measures directed to the destruction of mosquitoes and the
protection of the sick against the bites of these insects."
(ON, 10/01, p.8)
1902 Ronald Ross (1857-1932),
an English physician, won the Nobel Prize for his work on malaria.
His story is part of the 1997 novel "The Calcutta Chromosome: A
Novel of Fevers, Delirium and Discovery" by Amitav Ghosh. In 2003
Fiammetta Rocco authored "The Miraculous Fever Tree: Malaria and the
Quest for a Cure That Changed the World."
(WUD, 1994, p.1245)(SFEC,10/26/97, BR p.8)(WSJ,
1903 Mar 3, North Carolina
became the 1st state requiring registration of nurses.
1903 Apr 9, Gregory Pincus,
inventor of the birth control pill, was born.
1903 Apr 14, Dr. Harry Plotz in
NYC discovered a vaccine against typhoid.
1903 May 24, Arthur Vineberg,
Canadian heart surgeon, was born.
1904 Jan 19, James Winston
Watts, surgical developer (Frontal Lobotomy), was born.
1904 Jun 6, The National
Tuberculosis Association was organized in Atlantic City, NJ.
1906 Nov, Alois Alzheimer,
German psychiatrist, first described the symptoms of a progressive
neurodegenerative disease that caused memory loss, dementia and
ultimately death. This was based on his patient, Auguste D (56). She
was the first person to have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's
(WSJ, 5/13/97, p.B1)(Econ, 7/29/06, p.72)
1906 The first cornea
transplant was performed in Austria by Dr. Eduard Zirm.
1907 Mar 9, Indiana enacted the
nation’s 1st involuntary sterilization law based on eugenics.
(SSFC, 2/4/01, p.A3)(NH, 7/02, p.12)(MC, 3/9/02)
1908 Mar 19, Maryland banned
Christian Scientists from practicing medicine unless they had a
1909 Mar 1, 1st US university
school of nursing established, University of Minnesota.
1909 May 1, Walter Reed
Hospital opened in Washington DC as an 80-bed Army medical center.
It closed in 2011 and operations were moved to facilities in
Maryland and Virginia.
(SFC, 8/26/05, p.A13)(SFC, 7/28/11, p.A4)
1909 California became the 3rd
state to enact eugenics-related laws.
(SSFC, 11/9/03, p.D1)
1909 Carlos Chagas (1879-1934),
a Brazilian doctor, described how a fatal infection, that became
known as Chagas disease, was transmitted as a single cell parasite,
Trypanosoma cruzi, carried by insects that typically bite their
sleeping victims on the face. In 1921 Chagas won the Nobel Prize in
Medicine. In 2010 scientists at UC San Francisco reported the
development of a protease inhibitor, K777, which appeared to kill
p.36)(SSFC, 2/14/10, p.A20)
1910 Feb 19, Mary Mallon (aka
Typhoid Mary) was released from 4 years of quarantine on New York’s
North Brother Island. In 1914 she caused a typhus outbreak in the
Sloane Maternity Hospital. She was again arrested and returned to
North Brother Island where she died Nov 11, 1938.
(ON, 7/01, p.12)
1910 May 31, Dr. Elizabeth
Blackwell (b.1821), the first American woman to become a doctor,
died. She and colleagues founded the New York Infirmary for Women
and Children (1857).
1910 Jun 22, German
bacteriologist Paul Ehrlich announced a definitive cure for
1910 Dec 18, The first
dispensary for treating hookworm disease opened December 18, 1910,
in Columbia, Mississippi.
1910 The Flexner Report, a
book-length study of medical education in the US and Canada, led to
the overhaul of medical education. It was written under the aegis of
the Carnegie Foundation.
(Econ, 6/11/11, p.65)
1910 John D. Rockefeller gave
$1 million for the creation of the Rockefeller Sanitary Commission
to coordinate activity for the cure and prevention of hookworm,
which infected some 40% of school-age southern children.
(WSJ, 1/16/03, p.A2)
1911 Mar 12, Dr. Fletcher of
Rockefeller Institute discovered the cause of infantile paralysis.
1911 Mar 16, Josef Mengele, MD,
PhD, SS ("The Angel of Death at Auschwitz"), was born in Gunzburg,
1912 Feb 10, Dr. Joseph Lister,
founder of sterile technique in surgical practice, died at age 85.
In 1917 Sir Rickman John Godlee authored "Lord Lister."
(ON, 7/00, p.9)
1912 Jul 15, British National
Health Insurance Act went into effect.
1912 Aug 14, The US Public
Health Service was established under the Dept. of the Treasury by
the Public Health and Marine Hospital Service Act (37 Stat. 309).
1913 The US Virus Serum Toxin
Act gave the USDA authority to ensure that veterinary diagnostic
kits are safe and accurate.
(WSJ, 3/904, p.A8)
1913 Bela Schick devised the
"Schick test," which had a dramatic effect on the incidence of
diphtheria. The skin test determined a patient’s susceptibility to
diphtheria. Mass surveys followed by immunization of Schick-positive
children with inactive toxin resulted in a drastic decrease in the
incidence of the disease.
1914 Mar 27, 1st successful
blood transfusion took place in Brussels.
1914 Oct 28, Jonas Salk, US
physician and virologist, was born in NYC. He developed the first
safe and effective vaccine against polio.
(HN, 10/28/98)(AH, 10/04, p.15)
1915 Dec 19, Alvis Alzheimer
(51), German neurologist (Alzheimer Disease), died.
1915 Dr. Harry Heiselden of
Chicago was dubbed the "Black Stork" for withholding treatment from
defective newborns. The story is told by Martin S. Pernick in his
1996 work "The Black Stork: Eugenics and the Death of "Defective"
Babies in American medicine and Motion Pictures Since 1915."
(MT, 6/96, p.13)
1915 Geisinger Health Systems
was founded in Pennsylvania.
(Econ, 6/18/11, p.75)
1918 Mar, A flu epidemic began
at Fort Riley, Kansas, where 48 men died. It was carried by recruits
to Europe where it mutated and returned with a vengeance. [see May,
1918] The Spanish flu was later found to have been caused by a
genetic fusion of pig and human viruses. In 1997 Dr. Johan Hultin
recovered tissue in Brevig Mission, Alaska, with frozen virus and
submitted it for gene sequencing. In 2004 John M. Barry authored
"The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in
(WSJ, 2/9/98, p.A16)(HNPD, 7/21/98)(SFC, 2/26/01,
p.A9)(WSJ, 9/7/01, p.A1)(SFCM, 2/17/02, p.8)(SSFC, 2/29/04, p.M1)
1918 Dr. Paul Popenoe
co-authored "Applied Eugenics."
(SSFC, 11/9/03, p.D1)
1918 The Bailey Radium
Laboratories, Inc., of East Orange, New Jersey, began manufacturing
Radithor. It was advertised as "A Cure for the Living Dead" as well
as "Perpetual Sunshine." It consisted of triple distilled water
containing at a minimum 1 microcurie (37 kBq) each of the radium 226
and 228 isotopes. The FTC issued a cease and desist order against
the manufacture in 1931.
1920 Aug 22, Denton Cooley,
heart surgeon (1st artificial heart implant), was born in Houston.
1920 Rural Canadian physician
Dr. Frederick G. Banting first conceived the idea of extracting
insulin from the pancreas. It took him and 3 others 8 months to
develop the process.
(HNPD, 1/23/99)(SFC, 7/1/00, p.B5)
1920-1929 Medical studies in 2014 confirmed that the common ancestor
of HIV-1 group M virus originated in Kinshasa about this time.
(Econ, 10/4/14, p.88)
1920-1950 Fore people of Papua New Guinea were
devastated by an epidemic of kuru, a brain-destroying disease caused
by abnormal proteins called prions.
(SFC, 4/11/03, p.A6)
1921 Jan 21, Barney Clark, the
1st person to receive a permanent artificial heart, was born.
1921 May 17, Toronto's Dr.
Banting (1891-1941) and graduate student Charles Best (1899-1978)
began research at the Univ. of Toronto that led to their discovery
of insulin. [see Jul 27] In 1982 Michael Bliss authored “The
Discovery of Insulin."
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Banting)(WSJ, 10/4/08, p.W8)
1921 Mar 17, Dr Marie Stopes
opened Britain's 1st birth control clinic in London.
1921 Jul 27, Canadians Sir
Frederick Banting and Charles Best isolated insulin at the
University of Toronto.
1922 Jan 11, Insulin, then
called isletin, was 1st used to treat diabetes on Leonard Thompson
(14) of Canada. [see Jan 23]
1922 Jan 23, The first
successful test on a human patient with diabetes occurred when a 2nd
dose of insulin was administered to dangerously ill Leonard Thompson
(14). Following the birth of an idea and nine months of
experimentation, and through the combined efforts of four men at the
University of Toronto, Canada, insulin for the treatment of diabetes
was first discovered and later purified for human use. Rural
Canadian physician Dr. F.G. Banting first conceived the idea of
extracting insulin from the pancreas in 1920. He and his assistant
C.H. Best prepared pancreatic extracts to prolong the lives of
diabetic dogs with advice and laboratory aid from Professor J.J.R.
Macleod. The crude insulin extract was purified for human testing by
Dr. J.B. Collip. Insulin, now made from cattle pancreases, lifted
the death sentence for diabetes sufferers around the world.
1922 Sep 7, Dr. William Halsted
(b.1852), an American surgeon, died. He had emphasized strict
aseptic technique during surgical procedures, was an early champion
of newly discovered anesthetics, and introduced several new
operations, including the radical mastectomy for breast cancer.
Halsted had experimented with cocaine and injected himself with the
drug. Throughout his professional life, he was addicted to cocaine
and later also to morphine.
1922 Nov 15, It was announced
that Dr. Alexis Carrel discovered white corpuscles.
1923 Feb 9, Norman E. Shumway,
pioneer cardiac transplant surgeon, was born in Mich.
1923 Apr 7, The 1st brain tumor
operation under local anesthetic was performed at Beth Israel
Hospital in NYC by Dr K. Winfield Ney.
1923 Apr 8, Death toll from
plague reached 1,000 in India.
1923 Apr 15, Insulin became
generally available for diabetics.
1926 Jul 2, Emile Coue (b.1857
as Émile Coué de Châtaigneraie ), French psychologist and
pharmacist, died. He introduced a method of psychotherapy and
self-improvement based on optimistic autosuggestion. Working as an
apothecary at Troyes from 1882 to 1910, Coué discovered what later
came to be known as the placebo effect. He became known for
reassuring his clients by praising each remedy's efficiency and
leaving a small positive notice with each given medication.
1926 The American Eugenics
Society was founded and supported the position that US upper classes
were justified in their positions of wealth and power because of
their genetic superiority.
1926 The US Rockefeller
Foundation awarded $250,000 toward the creation of the Kaiser
Wilhelm Institute for Psychiatry in Germany.
(SSFC, 11/9/03, p.D6)
1927 May, Grace Fryer
(1893-1933) and 4 other former dial painters filed suit in the New
Jersey Supreme Court against U.S. Radium for medical expenses and
pain. They were dubbed the “Radium Girls" and their case was
championed by journalist Walter Lippman. The case was settled out of
court in 2008.
(AH, 10/07, p.34)
1927 Jul 29, Bellevue Hospital
in NY installed the 1st iron lung.
1929 Feb 19, A medical
diathermy machine was 1st used in Schenectady, NY.
1929 Dec 21, The 1st US group
hospital insurance plan was offered in Dallas, Tx.
1930 Feb 25, Doctors from
around the nation arrived in SF to study the Coffey-Humber
experimental treatment for cancer.
(SFC, 2/25/05, p.F4)
1930 May 20, University of
California dedicated $1,500 to research on the prevention and cure
of athlete's foot.
1930 Otto Warburg (1883-1970),
German physiologist and medical doctor, discovered that cancer cells
often rely on glycolysis. This came to be called the Warburg effect.
1931 Feb 21, Alka Seltzer was
introduced. [see Dec 31]
1931 Aug 23, Hamilton O. Smith,
molecular biologist, was born in NYC. He is credited with helping
‘open the door’ on genetic engineering.
1931 Dec 3, Miles Laboratories
introduced Alka Seltzer. [see Feb 21]
(SFEC, 8/28/98, Z1 p.8)(MC, 12/3/01)
1932 Apr 4, Vitamin C was 1st
isolated by C.C. King at the Univ. of Pittsburgh.
1932 The US government began
its 40-year Tuskegee Syphilis Study on 623 black men in rural Macon
County, Ala. It ended in 1972 after Health Service investigator
Peter Buxton exposed the study's unethical procedures.
(SSFC, 1/25/04, p.A27)
1933 Jun 10, Col. Eugene
Northington (53) of the US Army Medical Corps died in SF from X-ray
cancers. He had dedicated his life to pioneering work studying
(SSFC, 6/8/08, DB p.58)
1933 Dec 21, Dried human blood
serum was 1st prepared at the Univ. of Pennsylvania.
1934 Jun 3, Dr. Frederick
Banting, co-discoverer of insulin, was knighted.
1934 Jul 1, The 1st x-ray photo
of entire body was made in Rochester, NY.
1935 Feb 13, 1st US surgical
operation for relief of angina pectoris took place in Cleveland.
1935 Sep 11, Charles Norris
(b.1868), former NYC chief medical examiner and forensic pioneer,
died. He and toxicologist Thomas A. Gonzales (1878-1956) were
instrumental in developing forensics as an extension of clinical
medicine in which information derived from study of the dead was
applied to benefit the living. Their combined efforts between 1918
and 1954 represent the epitome of the application of scientific
expertise to medicolegal investigation of deaths in America. In 2010
Deborah Blum authored “The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth
of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York."
(http://tinyurl.com/yz82jfc)(SSFC, 3/21/10, p.F7)
1935 The US Public health
Service received a study of asbestos health hazards prepared by the
Metropolitan Live Insurance Co. The government began using asbestos
extensively on navy ships during WW II. Workers began to file suits
in the 1970s. In 2003 some 300,000 asbestos suits were pending.
(WSJ, 11/11/03, p.A4)
1935 Scientists at Cornell
Univ. reported that restricting calories had an antiaging effect in
(WSJ, 10/30/06, p.A11)
1936 Jul 16, 1st x-ray photo of
arterial circulation was made in Rochester, NY.
1936 Dec 24, The 1st
radioactive isotope medicine was administered in Berkeley, Ca.
1936 Portuguese neurologist
Antonio Egas Moniz (1874-1955) performed the first prefrontal brain
lobotomy. It was later rejected as a valid medical technique. Moniz
won the Nobel Prize in 1949 for his development of prefrontal
1936 Psychiatrist Walter
Freeman and his partner Jerry Watts became the first American
doctors to perform a prefrontal lobotomy. In 1960 Freeman performed
a lobotomy on Howard Dully (12), after Dully’s stepmother complained
of Howard’s hyperactivity. In 2007 Howard Dully and Charles Fleming
authored “My Lobotomy."
(SFC, 9/10/07, p.C5)
1937 Mar 15, The 1st state
contraceptive clinic opened in Raleigh, NC.
1937 Jul 23, Isolation of
pituitary hormone was announced by Yale University.
1938 Mar 18, NY 1st required
serological blood tests of pregnant women.
1938 Apr 10, NY made syphilis
testing mandatory for a marriage license.
1938 G. Trolli, an Italian
physician working in the Belgian Congo (Zaire), reported a condition
called konzo meaning "tied legs." It was later found to occur over
wide areas of Central Africa and related to cyanide poison from
improper preparation of cassava root.
(NH, 7/96, p.14)(Econ, 9/7/13, p.78)
1939 May 26, Charles H. Mayo
(74), US surgeon, co-founder (Mayo Clinic), died.
1940 May-1944 Dec, In Austria
approximately 30,000 physically and mentally disabled were killed at
Hartheim Castle by gassing and lethal injection as part of the T-4
Euthanasia Program, named after the infamous Berlin address
"Tiergartenstrasse 4." The castle was regularly visited by the
psychiatrists Karl Brandt, Professor of Psychiatry at Würzburg
University, and Werner Heyde.
1941 Prof. William Reeves
(1916-2004) and William M. Hammon isolated the 2 viruses that caused
western equine and St. Louis encephalitis and proved that they were
carried by a mosquito named Culex tarsalis.
(SFC, 9/21/04, p.B7)
1942 Sep 11, Wheeler Bryson
Lipes (1921-2005), a US Navy pharmacist's mate, saved the life of
sailor Darrell Dean Rector (19) by operating, following a medical
manual, in the officer’s mess aboard the Seadragon below the surface
of the South China Sea. George Weller (d.2002), war correspondent,
won the Pulitzer in 1943 for his account of the operation. The films
“Destination Tokyo" (1943) and “Run Silent, Run Deep" (1958)
memorialized the surgery.
(AP, 12/20/02)(SFC, 4/19/05, p.B5)
1943 Apr 19, Swiss chemist
Albert Hoffman felt the first rush of LSD while riding his bicycle.
(SFC, 5/9/96, p.A-1)
1943 US psychiatrist Leo Kanner
1st described a autism. Symptoms included a lack of interest in
(SSFC, 2/2/03, Par p.4)
1943 Willem Kolff invented the
1st dialysis machine in Holland.
(WSJ, 10/2/03, p.A2)
1944 Apr 27, Dr. H. Corwin
Hinshaw (d.2000) first treated 4 tuberculosis-infected guinea pigs
with the newly developed streptomycin antibiotic. The animals were
cured. Hinshaw was nominated for the Nobel Prize in 1952 but the
prize went to Dr. Selman a. Waksman of Rutgers, who discovered
(SFC, 1/11/01, p.C16)
1944 May 8, The first "eye
bank" was established, in New York City.
1944 Nov 29, Johns Hopkins
hospital performed the 1st open heart surgery. A surgical fix for a
fetal heart defect, tetralogy of Fallot or blue baby syndrome, was
first performed at Johns Hopkins by surgeon Alfred Blalock and
Vivien Thomas, a black assistant who perfected the procedure. Thomas
authored an autobiography in 1985.
(BS, 5/12/01, p.1A)(MC, 11/29/01)
1944 Hans Asperger, Austrian
pediatrician 1st described a syndrome (Asperger’s syndrome) that
related to autism, which was 1st described in 1943 by psychiatrist
Leo Kanner. Symptoms included problems with social interaction.
(SSFC, 2/2/03, Par p.4)
1944-1974 Thousands of people in the US were
subject to government experiments. The Defense Dept. and the Atomic
Energy Commission conducted hundreds of secret experiments. During
the 1940s 11 people were subjected to injections of plutonium and
one to uranium. In 1996 the government agreed to pay $4.8 million
for the radiation experiment. In 1999 Eileen Welsome published "The
Plutonium Files: America's Secret Medical Experiments in the Cold
(SFC, 11/20/96, p.A3)(SFEC, 10/31/99, BR
p.3)(SSFC, 10/28/01, p.A5)
1945 Kaiser established a
health maintenance organization for its workers.
(Econ, 7/17/04, Survey p.13)
1946 May 11, Robert Jarvik,
physician: inventor of the Jarvik artificial heart, was born in
1946 Jul 14, Dr. Benjamin
Spock's "Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care" was published.
1946-1948 US scientific researchers infected
hundreds of Guatemalan mental patients with sexually transmitted
diseases. The researchers were trying to determine whether the
antibiotic penicillin could prevent syphilis infection, not just
cure it. The practice only came to light in 2010 thanks to the work
of an academic researcher. On Oct 1, 2010, Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen
Sebelius issued a formal apology to the Central American nation, and
to Guatemalan residents of the United States.
1947 Aug 19, J. Arens and D.
van Dorpen synthesized vitamin A.
1947 Psychologist Theodore
Sarbin suggested to a medical conference that medicine would benefit
if the doctor could be replaced by a machine programmed to make
judgments about the best treatment for a patient. He suggested using
a Hollerith machine, an IBM computer of this time.
1947 A German neurologist
coined the term prosopagnosia (face blindness), to describe the
condition of a young man who, due to a bullet wound to the head, had
lost his ability to recognize people.
(WSJ, 1/5/07, p.A1)
1948 Apr 7, The World Health
Organization (WHO) was founded by the UN. In 1948, the First World
Health Assembly called for the creation of a "World Health Day" to
mark the founding of the World Health Organization. Since 1950,
World Health Day has been celebrated on the 7th of April annually.
1948 Jul 5, Britain's National
Health Service Act went into effect, providing government-financed
medical and dental care. Aneurin Bevan was its political founder.
The first NHS patient was treated at Trafford hospital near
(AP, 7/5/98)(Econ, 5/7/11, p.62)
1948 The US government launched
a heart study in Framingham, Mass., amid an epidemic of heart
disease, to compile reams of health data on a group of people in
their 30s, 40s and 50s, and hope that over time links would emerge
between their lifestyles and heart health. Discoveries by the long
term study included: Cigarette smoking, high blood pressure and high
cholesterol and diabetes raise the risk of heart disease, and
physical exercise lowers the risk. In 2009 researchers reported that
the data showed that loneliness spreads very much like a
(AP, 11/30/07)(Econ, 12/12/09, p.90)
1949 Feb 1, Joseph J. Kleiner
was awarded a patent for the Becton Dickinson Vacutainer Tube, a
stoppered glass tube that maintained a vacuum for drawing blood.
Kleiner had joined BD as a consultant in 1943.
(Echo, 6/2009, p.3)(www.bd.com/aboutbd/history/)
1949 Apr 20, Scientists at the
Mayo Clinic announced they'd succeeded in synthesizing a hormone
found to be useful in treating rheumatoid arthritis; the substance
was named "cortisone."
1949 Earl Bakken (b.1924)
founded Medtronic in Minneapolis, Minn.
(Econ, 3/14/09, SR
1949 Portuguese neurologist
Antonio Egas Moniz (1874-1955) won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for
his pioneering work in prefrontal brain lobotomy. It was later
rejected as a valid medical technique.
(SFEC,11/2/97, Z1 p.6)(WUD, 1994, p.925)(SFC,
1949 Dr. Robert Bruce (d.2004)
analyzed changes in circulatory and respiratory functions of normal
adults during a treadmill test. In the early 1960s he developed the
"Bruce Protocol," a treadmill test to reveal problems hidden when
the heart is at rest.
(SFC, 2/16/04, p.A1)
1950 Apr 1, Charles R. Drew
(45), surgeon, developer of blood bank concept, died.
1950 Jun 17, Surgeon Richard
Lawler performed the first kidney transplant operation in Chicago.
1950 Ernst Grafenberg, a German
gynecologist, identified a small area behind the pubic bone of
women, the G-spot, that he said became an erogenous zone when
stimulated. In 2005 Dr. David Matlock of Los Angeles invented and
trademarked the G-shot, a collagen injection to the G-spot, promoted
to amplify sexual arousal.
(SSFC, 6/3/07, p.F1)
1950s A team of Stanford
students including Karl L. Brown (d.2002), under the direction of
Edward Ginzton and Henry S. Kaplan, created the 1st small linear
accelerator dedicated to medicine.
(SFC, 9/12/02, p.A26)
1951 Oct 4, Henrietta Lacks, a
black woman, died of cancer in Baltimore. Cells from her body,
later known as HeLa cells, were cultivated for research. In 1974 Dr.
Nelson-Rees (d.2009 at 80), a UC Berkeley geneticist, reported that
the HeLa cells had contaminated other cell cultures in laboratories
around the world. In 1986 Michael Gold authored “A Conspiracy of
Cells," a chronicle of the Nelson-Rees study. In 2010 Rebecca Skloot
authored “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks."
(SFC, 1/28/09, p.B10)(SSFC, 2/14/10,
1951 Oct 15, Dr. Carl Djerassi
(27), Prof. of chemistry at Stanford Univ., developed the birth
control pill in Mexico City while working for Palo Alto based Syntex
Corp. He synthesized norethindrone, a steroid oral contraceptive. In
2001 Carl Djerassi authored "This Man’s Pill: Reflections on the
50th Birthday of the Pill." Djerassi synthesized a key hormone in
the pill in Mexico City in 1951. Serle won FDA ok to market the pill
May 11, 1960.
(SJSVB, 4/8/96, p.8)(SSFC, 10/14/01, Par
p.13)(SSFC, 10/21/01, p.R6)
1952 Mar 18, The 1st plastic
lens for cataract patients was fitted in Phila.
1952 Jul 3, Dr. Forest Dewey
Dodrill (1902-1997) of Wayne State Univ. used a mechanical heart
pump to operate on a patient at Detroit’s Harper Hospital. This was
regarded as the world’s first successful use of a mechanical pump in
1952 Sep 2, Dr. Floyd J. Lewis
1st used a deep freeze technique in heart surgery.
1952 Oct 11, Researchers at UC
Berkeley announced the discovery of a new polio vaccine that could
be manufactured in large quantities. It had not yet been tested on
(SFC, 10/11/02, p.E7)
1952 Dec 2, 1st human birth
televised to public was on KOA-TV Denver, Colo.
1952 The first "Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" (DSM) was published by the
American Psychiatric Association (APA). It defined nervous
breakdowns as "psychophysiologic nervous system reactions." DSN-III
was published in 1980 and DSM-IV in 1994. A complete 5th update was
expected in 2013.
(WSJ, 12/3/96, p.A1)(Econ, 2/6/10, p.88)
1952 A rare type of genetic
pancreatitis was diagnosed for the first time. In 1996 it was later
found to be caused by a specific gene.
(WSJ, 10/2/96, p.B5)
1952 Crigler-Najjar syndrome
was named for two doctors who identified it this year. Patients
began living longer in the 1970s when doctors realized that the
wavelength and energy of blue light changes the nature of the
bilirubin, allowing it to be excreted from the body. In 2007 there
were about 110 known cases of Crigler's worldwide, including about
35 in the US. About 20 are among the Amish and Mennonite in
1953 Feb 28, Francis Crick
(d.2004) and James Watson discovered the structure of DNA-molecule.
Watson and Crick managed to describe the structure of DNA as a
double helix consisting of two long strings coiled around one
another. About 100,000 genes, short sections of DNA, tell the cells
how to build proteins, the building blocks of life. Rosalind
Franklin made the 1st x-ray image that revealed the double helix
structure of DNA. In 2002 Brenda Maddox authored "Rosalind Franklin:
The Dark Lady of DNA." In 2003 Watson co-authored "DNA: The Secret
of Life." [see Sep 20, Apr 25, 1953]
(V.D.-H.K.p.330)(TL, 1988, p.114)(Wired, 1/97,
p.161)(SSFC, 11/10/02, p.M2)(WSJ, 3/28/03, p.W8) (AP, 2/28/04)
1953 Mar 11, F.M. Adams became
the 1st US commissioned woman army doctor.
1953 Apr 25, The magazine
Nature published an article by biologists Francis Crick and James
Watson, describing the "double helix" of DNA.
1953 Sep 17, The 1st successful
separation of Siamese twins was performed.
1953 Nov 11, The Polio virus
was identified and photographed for the first time in Cambridge,
1953 Howard Hughes launched the
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) in Chevy Chase, Md. The sale
of Hughes Aircraft to General Motors in 1985 added $5 billion to the
coffers of the institute.
(WSJ, 9/22/06, p.B1)
1954 Feb 23, The first mass
inoculation of children against polio with the Salk vaccine began in
Pittsburgh. Jonas Salk created the Salk vaccine against polio. It
used a killed virus to induce immunization. Poliomyelitis is a viral
attack of the central nervous system and can cause paralysis and
death by asphyxiation. [see Apr 26] In 2005 David M. Oshinsky
authored “Polio: An American Story – The Crusade That Mobilized the
Nation Against the 20th Century’s Most Feared Disease."
(SFC, 6/21/96, p.A10)(HN, 2/23/98)(AP,
2/23/98)(Econ, 6/18/05, p.79)
1954 Apr 26, Nationwide test of
Salk anti-polio vaccine began. [see Feb 23]
1954 Dec 23, Dr. Joseph Murray
led a team of surgeons at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston in
the 1st successful organ transplant. Ronald Herrick donated a kidney
to his twin brother, Richard. In 1990 Dr. Murray was warded a Nobel
Prize for his work.
(SFEC, 1/30/00, p.A14)(SFC, 12/3/01, p.A17)(SSFC,
12/19/04, Par p.7)
1954 Louis Lasagna (d.2003 at
80), clinical pharmacologist, wrote his paper "A Study of the
(SFC, 8/11/03, p.A17)
1954 In the US
employer-provided health insurance was made tax-free.
(Econ, 1/26/13, p.59)
1954 The American Cancer
Society and the British Medical Research Council, in independent
reports, found higher death rates among smokers than nonsmokers.
1954 Dr. George Moore and
colleagues at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute at Buffalo, NY,
published a pioneering study of male patients with cancer of the
mouth showing that a majority of them had been tobacco chewers for
significant periods of time.
(SFC, 6/16/08, p.B3)
1955 Mar 22, Linda Stout became
the first person at Mayo Clinic, and the second person in the world,
to have open-heart surgery with the aid of a heart-lung bypass
1955 Apr 12, The Salk Vaccine
was declared safe and effective. Salk vaccine shots for polio began
to be given out to school kids. The March of Dimes accomplished its
mission within 20 years. Research led by Dr. Jonas Salk, of the
Univ. of Pittsburgh, and supported by funds (those marching little
dimes) raised annually by thousands of volunteers, resulted in the
announcement that the Salk polio vaccine was "safe, potent and
effective." The foundation also supported the research that led to
the Sabin oral vaccine, another safe, effective polio preventative
discovered by Dr. Albert B. Sabin. Following the victory over
infantile paralysis, the March of Dimes turned its attention to
conquering the largest killer and crippler of children: the mental
and physical problems that are present at birth. Some 100 million
people were given the vaccine during the 1950s and 1960s which was
later found to be contaminated with the SV40 simian virus, a
(AP, 4/12/97)(440 Int'l, 1/3/99)(SSFC, 7/15/01,
1955 Apr 27, The US government
suspended the use of all Salk vaccine manufactured by Cutter
Laboratories in Berkeley, Ca., pending the investigation of 7-14
cases among children inoculated with the company’s vaccine.
(SFC, 4/22/05, p.F3)
1955 Nov 2, Clarton-Schwerdt
and Schaffer discovered the polio virus.
1955 Nov 3, The 1st
crystallized virus was announced.
1955 Frederick Sanger sequenced
the 1st protein, human insulin. He later developed methods for
(WSJ, 4/5/01, p.B1)
1956 Mar 26, Medic Alert
1956 Oct 6, Dr. Albert Sabin
discovered oral polio vaccine. Sabin developed an oral vaccine
against polio. It began to be used in 1961 and by 1965 was widely
(TOH, 1982, p.1956)(SFC, 6/18/99, p.A40)(MC,
1956 Dr. Arthur Guyton (d.2003
at 83) of the Univ. of Mississippi authored his "Textbook of
(SFC, 4/16/03, p.A20)
1956 Edwina Froehlich
(1915-2008) co-founded the La Leche League in Franklin Park, a
suburb of Chicago, to promote the breast-feeding of babies.
(WSJ, 6/14/08, p.A7)
1956 Dr. John Jay Osborn
(d.2014) and cardiac surgeon Frank Gerbode used their heart-lung
machine to keep a man alive during surgery to repair a ventricular
(SFC, 5/1/14, p.D6)
1956 A Univ. of Nebraska
researcher proposed that “free radicals" caused aging, indicating
that antioxidants may slow the process.
(WSJ, 10/30/06, p.A11)
1956-1961 The CIA engaged in a secret program
called MK-ULTRA that included dosing hundreds of unsuspecting
subjects with LSD and other hallucinogens.
(SFC, 2/21/98, p.A15)(SSFC, 10/28/01, p.A5)
1957 Feb, Basil Hirschowitz
(b.1925), South Africa born gastroenterologist, introduced the first
prototype “fiberscope." He had begun work using glass fibers to
transmit light in 1954 while at the Univ. of Michigan. Fiber optics
later revolutionized telecommunications and surgery.
1957 Jul 12, The U.S. surgeon
general, Leroy E. Burney (d.1998 at 91), reported that there is a
direct link between smoking and lung cancer. Dr. John Altshuler
(1931-2004) co-researched the "Joint Report of Study Group on
Smoking and Health," published by the US Public Health Service.
(HN, 7/12/98)(SFC, 8/5/98, p.A17)(SFC, 2/7/04,
1957 The US FDA approved the
drug Propoxyphene. It was marketed as the pain killer under the name
Darvon and Darvocet. In 2009 an FDA advisory committee voted 14-12
against continued marketing following safety concerns which linked
the drug to sometimes serious and fatal heart rhythm abnormalities.
In 2010 US drug makers agreed to stop marketing the drug.
(SFC, 11/20/10, p.A7)
1957 Dr. Hilary Koprowski of
the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia developed an oral polio vaccine
and tested it in Africa (Congo). The Wister polio vaccine was given
to some 300,000 people in the Belgian Congo from 1957-1960. A later
theory held that reuse of needles during the immunization program
caused AIDS via “serial passage" that transformed the SIV virus into
HIV. In 1999 Edward Hooper authored “The River," a detailed
hypothesis for the origin of AIDS in Africa. Hooper suspected that
the Wister polio vaccine, produced from monkey kidney cells,
contained SIV virus. In 2000 a computerized study indicated that the
AIDS virus was introduced to humans about 1930.
p.A19)(SFC, 1/15/01, p.A11)(SFC, 4/13/05, p.A5)
1958 Jun 23, Dr. John Jay
Osborn (d.2014) and cardiac surgeon Frank Gerbode used their
heart-lung machine to operate on a boy (8) at Stanford Hospital
before a Bay Area televisioon audience of some 1.2 million.
(SFC, 5/1/14, p.D6)
1958 Oct 8, Dr. Ake Senning
installed the 1st fully implantable pacemaker in Stockholm. Arne
Larsson (43) received the pacemaker, which was built Dr. Rune
Elmqvist. Larsson died in 2001 after receiving 26 different
3/7/09, TQ p.25)
1958 Colombian Dr. Alberto
Vejarano Laverde and engineer Jorge Reynolds Pombo developed the
first artificial pacemaker with internal electrodes and external
electronic unit and implanted it into Gerardo Florez (70), a priest
from Ecuador, who then lived another 18 years.
(Econ, 3/9/13, TQ
1958 Jean Dausset (1916-2009),
French immunologist, discovered the human leukocyte antigen (HLA)
tissue system allowed doctors to verify compatibility between donor
and receiver for an organ transplant.
1959 Apr 27, Gordon Armstrong,
inventor of the baby incubator, died.
1959 Gene Smith and Henry
Beecher of Harvard Univ. showed that short distance swimmers who
were given amphetamines swam faster than those who received a
placebo. This was the first study to show that drugs had any real
(Econ, 3/3/12, TQ p.17)
1959 Dr. Norman E. Shumway
(1923-2006) and Dr. Richard Lower of Stanford Univ. made the 1st
successful transplant of a dog’s heart.
(SFC, 2/11/06, p.B5)
1959 Researchers in 1998 found
the HIV virus of AIDS in a 1959 blood specimen (ZR59) from a Bantu
man who died in Leopoldville, Belgian Congo (later Kinshasa, Congo).
This became the oldest known case and researchers believed that
incidents could go back to the 1940s.
1959 Catherine Hamlin (35)
moved to Ethiopia from Australia to work as an obstetrician and
gynecologist. Hamlin and her husband later founded a hospital where
women can seek free treatment for obstetric fistulas, which are
holes that develop between the birth canal and the bladder or rectum
that can develop during long and difficult births.
1960 Mar 9, In Seattle, Wa.,
Clyde Shields (39), was implanted with the 1st kidney dialysis shunt
developed by Dr. Belding H. Scribner (d.2003) and engineer Wayne
Quinton. The process was 1st developed in the 1940s by Dr. Willem J.
Kolff, but had been restricted to operating rooms. Shields lived for
11 more years.
(SFC, 6/21/03, p.A17)
1960 May 9, The US Food and
Drug Administration (FDA) approved the pill Enovid as safe for birth
control use. The pill was made by G.D. Searle and Company of
Chicago. It was commissioned by Margaret Sanger and funded by
heiress Katharine McCormick. In 2001 Carl Djerassi authored "This
Man’s Pill: Reflections on the 50th Birthday of the Pill." Djerassi
synthesized a key hormone in the pill in Mexico City in 1951.
(SSFC, 10/21/01, p.R6)(AP, 5/9/00)
1962 May, Becton Dickinson
became a public company. In Sep, 1963, its shares qualified for
trading on the New York Stock Exchange at $25 per share. The capital
was used to make disposable syringes. There have been four stock
splits since then and the company has paid dividends to shareholders
every year and the rate has been increased annually.
(Horizon, Fall '95, p.13)(Echo, 12/09, p.4)(SFC,
1960 Sep 21, Dr. Albert Starr
performed the first successful heart valve replacement in a human.
He and engineer Lowell Edwards had developed the artificial heart
valve in the 1950s.
1961 Jan 26, Janet G. Travell
became the 1st woman personal physician to the US President (JFK).
1961 The Hayflick limit was
discovered by Leonard Hayflick at Philadelphia’s Wistar Institute.
He demonstrated that a population of normal human fetal cells in a
cell culture divide between 40 and 60 times then enter a senescence
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hayflick_limit)(Econ, 11/5/11, p.95)
1961 Japan established a
universal health care system called kaihoken.
(Econ, 9/10/11, p.47)
1962 Jan 28, Elliot Joslin
(b.1869), American pioneering diabetes researcher, died. He had
argued that controlling the level of glucose in a person’s
bloodstream was the key to managing type 2 diabetes.
1962 Jun 28, Thalidomide was
banned in Netherlands.
1962 Dr. Robert Good (d.2003 at
81) identified the thymus gland as a primary source for the body's
(SFC, 6/19/03, p.A1)
1962-1973 In 2001 the Pentagon began to publicly
release details on the existence of Project SHAD and its umbrella
program, Project 112, which involved distribution of nonlethal
bacteria and occasionally real chemical or biological weapons. In
2008 the US Defense Department said 6,440 service members took part
in 50 tests under Project 112 during this period, including open-air
tests above a half-dozen US states. Defense officials essentially
closed the books on Project 112 in 2003.
1963 Apr 18, Dr. James Campbell
performed the 1st human nerve transplant.
1963 Drs. Vincent J. Freda
(d.2003 at 75) and John G. Gorman of Columbia Univ. discovered that
if an Rh-negative woman was given an injection of a vaccine called
Rhogam, her body would not attack her fetus' blood cells. Up to this
time the 15% of women in birth with Rh-negative blood and a
Rh-positive father faced the potentially fatal hemolytic disease.
(SSFC, 5/18/03, p.A29)
1963 Dr. Michael DeBakey came
out with his interthoracic pump, a device to pump blood in lieu of
the heart. De Bakey made history this year by installing an
artificial pump to assist a patient's damaged heart.
(SFEC, 11/24/96, Z1
1963 The first liver transplant
was performed by a surgical team led by Dr. Thomas Starzl of Denver,
1964 Jan 11, US Surgeon General
Luther Terry issued “Smoking and Health" the first major government
report saying smoking may be hazardous to one's health. The US
surgeon-general announced that smoking contributes substantially to
(WSJ, 4/12/96, p.A-12)(AP, 1/11/98)(WSJ, 1/27/04,
p.A1)(Econ, 1/11/14, p.25)
1964 Jan 31, A US report,
"Smoking & Health," connected smoking to lung cancer.
1964 In Sri Lanka Dr. Hudson
Silva and his wife Irangani de Silva, founders of the Eye Donation
Society, sent their first cornea abroad, hand-carried in an
ice-packed tea thermos aboard a flight to Singapore. By 2012 60,000
corneas have been donated.
1965 Jul 27, Pres. Johnson
signed a bill requiring cigarette makers to print health warnings on
all cigarette packages about the effects of smoking.
1965 Doctors 1st used an argon
laser to repair a detached retina.
(Econ, 6/11/05, TQ p.28)
1965 Chinese military
researchers isolated artemisinin, a compound based on sweet
wormwood, and found to be very effective against malaria.
(SFC, 5/10/04, p.A5)(Econ, 11/20/04, p.81)
1965 Gertrude Hurler (b.1889),
Austrian pediatrician, died. In 1919 she described the autosomal
recessive disease (MPS) that results from deficiency of
alpha-l-iduronidase, which leads to severe mental retardation with a
typical "gargoyle" facial appearance (Hurler's Syndrome). Major
Charles H. Hunter, Canadian Army Medical Corps, 1st described it in
(WSJ, 7/8/03, p.A8)(www.medcyclopaedia)
1966 Jan 1, By law all US
cigarette packs began carrying the warning: "Caution! Cigarette
smoking may be hazardous to your health."
1966 Dr. Harry Martin Meyer
(d.2001 at 72) led a team the introduced the 1st rubella vaccine. A
2 year outbreak in 1964 affected some 20,000 American children.
(SFC, 9/7/01, p.D5)
1966 Researchers showed how
proteins are made from DNA instructions.
(WSJ, 4/5/01, p.B1)
1966 Andreas Rett, an Austrian
doctor, first describe the complex neurological disorder that came
to be called Rett’s syndrome. The cause was later found to be a
mutation in a gene called MeCP2.
(Econ, 10/21/06, p.90)
1966 In 2007 researchers said
HIV was brought to Haiti by an infected person from central Africa,
and then came to the United States in about 1969. The researchers
think an unknown single infected Haitian immigrant arrived in a
large city like Miami or New York, and the virus circulated for
years, first in the US population and then to other nations.
1967 Jun 15, Gov. Reagan signed
the Therapeutic Abortion Act, which permitted abortions in the first
20 weeks of pregnancy if a woman's life or health was threatened or
the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest.
(SFC, 12/27/99, p.A10)(AP, 6/15/07)
1967 Dec 3, Surgeons in Cape
Town, South Africa, led by Dr. Christiaan Barnard, performed the
first human heart transplant at the Groote Shur Hospital. Louis
Washkansky lived 18 days with the new heart. The first heart
transplant operation in the U.S. was on December 6, 1967, in New
York City. Hamilton Naki (d.2005), a black surgery technician,
removed the heart from accident victim Denise Darvall for the
(AP, 12/3/97)(HNQ, 1/9/99)(Econ, 6/11/05, p.84)
1967 Dec 6, Dr. Adrian
Kantrowitz (1918-2008) performed the first US human heart transplant
on a baby in Brooklyn, who died 6 hours later.
(SFC, 11/21/08, p.B6)
1967 Dec 14, DNA was created in
a test tube.
1967 Dec 21, Louis Washkansky
(55) died in South Africa 18 days after undergoing the 1st heart
(AP, 12/3/97)(HNQ, 1/9/99)
1967 The Becton Dickinson plant
in Holdredge, Nebraska, began manufacturing insulin syringes.
(BD Calendar, 7/97)
1967 The first successful heart
transplant was performed in South Africa.
(TMC, 1994, p.1967)
1967 The AMA unanimously
adopted a resolution asking syringe manufacturers to market designs
that would prevent reuse.
(SFC, 10/27/98, p.A5)
1967 Robert Mishell
(1934-2008), immunologist, discovered how to grow antibodies in a
petri dish using air with 7% oxygen rather than the usual 20%. This
later led to the discovery of T cells , B cells and other components
of the immune system.
(SFC, 4/5/08, p.B3)
1967 The World Health
Organization (WHO) launched a global plan to eradicate smallpox by
extensive vaccination. By 1980 the virus was extinct except for some
(ON, 9/01, p.2)
1968 Jan 6, Dr. Norman E.
Shumway of Stanford performed the 1st US adult heart transplant.
Mike Kasperak (54) lived for 2 weeks before he died of massive
bleeding from other organs.
1968 Henry Barnett (d.2001 at
87), founder of the Int’l. Study of Kidney Disease in Children,
(SFC, 8/20/01, p.A15)
1968 Dr. Robert Good (d.2003 at
81) performed the 1st successful human bone marrow transplant.
(SFC, 6/19/03, p.A1)
1968 Milton Wexler (1909-2007),
Hollywood psychoanalyst, launched the Hereditary Disease Foundation,
after his wife, Leonore Wexler, got diagnosed with Huntington’s
disease. Scientists in 1983 found a genetic marker for Huntington’s
disease and in 1993 located the gene itself.
(SFC, 3/23/07, p.B9)
1969 Apr 4, In Houston, Texas,
Dr. Denton Cooley implanted the 1st temporary artificial heart.
1969 Apr 22, The 1st human eye
transplant was performed.
1969 Sep 4, The US Food and
Drug Administration issued a report calling birth control pills
safe, despite a slight risk of fatal blood-clotting disorders linked
to the pills.
1969 Nov 22, The Isolation of a
single gene was announced by scientists at Harvard Univ.
1969 The medical volunteer
organization Interplast, specializing in reconstructive surgery, was
founded at Stanford by Dr. Donald Laub.
(SFEC, 2/8/98, Z1 p.1,4)(www.interplast.org/)
1969 The first hip replacement
in the US was performed at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
(SFC, 7/5/96, PM, p.5)
1969 Robert Byck (d.1999 at 66)
identified MSG, monosodium glutamate, as the cause of headaches for
some people who ate Chinese food with the additive. The psychiatrist
and brain researcher at Yale Medical School in 1979 gave Congress an
early warning that the United States faced an epidemic of smokable
(SFC, 8/24/99, p.A22)(http://tinyurl.com/a6bdpn)
1969-1992 Valium was the most prescribed medicine
in the US. Leo Sternbach of Roche Holding AG helped develop the
(WSJ, 2/11/04, p.A1)
1970 Jun 2, Har Gobind Khorana
(1922-1993), Indian-American chemist at the Univ. of Wisconsin,
announced the synthesis of the 1st artificial gene.
1970 Oct 27, The US Controlled
Substance Act became effective. It classified marijuana, heroin and
LSD as “schedule I," drugs with no accepted medical use. People
arrested for drug offences then rose from an initial 416,000 per
year to 1,890,000 per year in 2007.
1970 Dec, The US Institute of
Medicine was formed as a component of the National Academy of
Sciences. Dr. John Hogness (1922-2007) served as its first
1970 Linus Pauling (1901-1994)
authored “Vitamin C and the Common Cold" in which he declared that
large doses of Vitamin C could ward off colds.
1970 John H. Talbott authored
"A Biographical History of Medicine."
(ON, 10/01, p.8)
1970 The US Controlled
Substances Act implemented the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic
drugs. Cocaine was first listed in the US Controlled Substances Act.
Until that point, the use of cocaine was open and rarely prosecuted
in the US due to the moral and physical debates commonly discussed.
1970 The first radioactive
pacemaker was put into a patient in France.
(Econ, 3/7/09, TQ p.26)
1971 Dec 20, Ten French
physicians created a team that later became known as "Doctors
Without Borders" (Medecins Sans Frontieres) to help the people in
the Nigerian region of Biafra. They formed in frustration with the
neutrality of the Int'l. Committee of the Red Cross. Bernard
Kouchner (1939), later French foreign minister, was among the
(SFC, 10/16/99, p.A17)(SFEC, 12/19/99,
1971 Dec 23, Pres. Nixon signed
the National Cancer Act, an initiative that came to be known as the
“war on cancer." Dr. David A. Wood (1905-1996) helped draft the
National Cancer Act. The act added $100 million to the National
Cancer Institute directed by Dr. Carl Baker (1920-2009).
5/6/98, p.A1)(Econ, 10/16/04, p.13)(SFC, 11/13/96, p.C3)(SFC,
1971 Dr. Judah Folkman
(1933-2008) proposed that tumor growth might be prevented if a way
could be found to keep blood vessels from forming around them to
supply nutrients and oxygen. Proteins were later discovered that
spurred angiogenesis and antibodies were found to block them.
(SFC, 6/2/03, p.A11)(WSJ, 1/19/08, p.A10)
1972 Jul 25, US health
officials conceded that blacks were used as guinea pigs in the 40
year Tuskegee Syphilis Study in Macon County, Ala. By this time 28
participants had died of syphilis, 100 were dead of related
complications, at least 40 wives had been infected and 19 children
had contracted the disease at birth [see 1932].
1972 Paola Timiras (1923-2008),
Italian-born UC Berkeley professor on aging, authored “Physiological
Basis of Aging and Geriatrics." A 4th updated edition was published
1972 UCSF Prof. Henry L.
Lennard (1923-1982) authored “Mystification and Drug Abuse." He
critiqued the medical profession for being too eager to embrace drug
treatments for mental illness and for being too ready to classify
interpersonal and emotional difficulties as mental disorders.
(SSFC, 7/10/05, p.A25)
1972 A team under surgeon Harry
Buncke (1922-2008) performed the first toe-to-thumb transplant at
San Francisco’s Franklin Hospital, later called Ralph K. Davies
Medical Center. Buncke came to be called the father of microsurgery.
1972 Routine vaccination of
children in the US for smallpox ceased.
(WSJ, 10/19/01, p.A9)
1972 Three scientists from the
US National Institutes of Health developed a formula to calculate a
patient’s bad cholesterol using easily measured numbers. The
Friedewald formula set LDL equal to total cholesterol minus HDL
(WSJ, 4/19/05, p.D4)
1972 The hospital ship S.S.
Hope sailed to Brazil to train doctors and nurses for a year under
(SFC, 9/28/02, p.A17)
1972 Mont Liggins (1926-2010),
New Zealand medical doctor, carried out a trial in which synthetic
cortisol was given to women in premature labor. It reduced by half
the number of babies dying. Tests on sheep had shown him that
cortisol helped lungs to mature early. His research changed medical
practice and saved hundreds of thousands of lives.
(Econ, 9/4/10, p.93)
1973 Jan 17, The US Public
Health Service linked smoking to fetal and infant risks.
1973 Dr. Edward Ahrens Jr. was
elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Ahrens led work
from the 1950s that identified the opposite effects of saturated and
unsaturated fats on blood cholesterol.
(SFC, 12/19/00, p.B5)
1973 The first Magnetic
Resonance Image was published and the first study performed on a
human took place on July 3, 1977. Lawrence E. Crooks and Jerome
Singer, professors at UC in SF and Berkeley, invented Magnetic
Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology along with about 20 other univ.
1973 Hans Gruneberg
(1907-1982), British geneticist, began paying attention to a bundle
of nerve cells in mammalian noses that came to be called the
Gruneberg ganglion. In 2009 Swiss scientists said research had shown
that the bundle in mice was used to detect alarm pheromones in other
(SSFC, 3/8/09, Par
1974 Victor Fuchs of Stanford
authored “Who Shall Live," an examination of the American health
(Econ, 7/17/04, Survey p.9)
1974 Cesare Sirtori, a Milan
heart researcher, encountered a patient with a high cholesterol
level. In 1979 Sirtori found that the patient carried a mutant gene,
apolipoprotein A-1, a crucial component of HDL involved in clearing
LDL from the body. This led to a new drug in 2003 that seemed to
shrink arterial blockages.
(WSJ, 11/5/03, p.B3)(SFC, 11/5/03, p.A15)
1975 Feb 26, The 1st televised
kidney transplant was shown on the Today Show.
1975 Sep 23, California’s Gov.
Jerry Brown signed the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act
(MICRA). It imposed limits on attorney fees and capped jury awards
in medical malpractice suits for “noneconomic" damages to $250,000.
(SFC, 4/25/01, p.A7)(WSJ, 7/13/04,
1976 Jan, In SF Robert Swanson
(28), a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, first met with Herb
Boyer, a molecular biologist and co-discoverer of recombinant DNA.
The 10 minute appointment extended to a few hours and the 2 men
proceeded to found Genentech.
(SFC, 5/28/96, p.B1)(SFC, 1/19/98, p.A10)(WSJ,
1976 May 28, Pres. Ford signed
the Medical Device Amendments which established a product approval
process overseen by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with the
authority to regulate medical devices. Sales of silicone breast
implants, already on the market, were allowed to continue without
proof of safety.
(WSJ, 4/9/96, p.B-1)(SFC, 4/13/98, p.A8)(WSJ,
1976 Sep 30, The US House of
Representatives passed the Hyde Amendment 207-167, with no
exceptions for health or life endangerment, even though a similar
but weaker measure had been voted down two years earlier. Henry Hyde
(1924-2007), freshman Congressman from Illinois, had sponsored the
amendment to cut federal funding for abortions by women on Medicaid.
(Econ, 4/23/05, p.32)(SFC, 11/30/07,
1976 Oct 5, Researcher Alan
Dickinson warned the British Medical Research council that their
human growth hormone program was susceptible to contamination from
infected pituitary glands.
(SFEC, 5/21/00, p.A14)
1976 Baruch S. Blumberg
(1925-2011) of NASA Ames Astrobiology Inst. won the Nobel Prize in
medicine or physiology. He had discovered a virus that caused
hepatitis and a vaccine to prevent it.
(SFC, 10/8/01, p.A17)(Econ, 4/30/11, p.92)
1976 The deadly Ebola virus was
1st identified in western Sudan.
(SFC, 1/8/02, p.A6)
1976 The US passed the Medical
Device Amendments which established a product approval process
overseen by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with the
authority to regulate medical devices. Sales of silicone breast
implants, already on the market, were allowed to continue without
proof of safety.
(WSJ, 4/9/96, p.B-1)(SFC, 4/13/98, p.A8)(WSJ,
1976 Henry Hyde (1924-2007),
freshman Congressman from Illinois, sponsored an amendment to cut
federal funding for abortions by women on Medicaid.
(Econ, 4/23/05, p.32)(SFC, 11/30/07, p.A6)
1976 Positron Emission
Tomography (PET), a body scanning technology, first came on the
market. Dr. Michel Ter-Pogossian of St. Louis led a group that built
the first successful prototypes between 1972-1974. In 1998 PET
technology was combined with computed tomography (CT scans). PET/CT
scanners hit the market in 2001.
(Econ, 6/10/06, Survey p.23)
1977 Jul 3, Raymond Damadian
produced the 1st image of a human chest using magnetic resonance
imaging (MRI). In 1970 he found that cancer cells could be
distinguished from healthy tissues using nuclear magnetic resonance
(Econ, 12/6/03, TQp.15)
1977 Oct 12, US Supreme Court
heard arguments in the "reverse discrimination" case of Allan Bakke
(35), a white student denied admission to U of California Med
1977 Dec 12, Dr. Grethe Rask
(b.1930) from Denmark died of Pneumocystis carinii. She had done
research in Africa. Her symptoms had been manifesting in Dec 1976
and she was hospitalized in Africa. In November 1977 after a brief
recovery, she decided it was time to go home to die. A colleague saw
the wasting, and did an autopsy, where P. carinii was found. She is
believed to be one of the first documented cases of probable AIDS
1977 Dr. Stephen J. Mathes
(d.2007), reconstructive surgeon, authored “Clinical Atlas of Muscle
and Musculocutaneous Flaps. In 2007 he produced an 8-volume text on
(SFC, 12/20/07, p.B5)
1977 Dr. Elizabeth Williams of
Fort Collins classified the endemic chronic wasting disease of local
deer as a spongiform disease. It was found to be infectious 2 years
later and then spread across to 8 states and Canada. Research later
suggested that it could infect people.
(WSJ, 5/24/02, p.A1)
1977 German scientist Gunther
von Hagens (b.1945) developed the technique of “plastination" to
preserve bodies or body parts.
1978 Jan 18, Center for Disease
Control (CDC) isolated the cause of Legionnaire's disease.
1978 Feb 9, In Tanzania cholera
broke out and killed 300 people.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)
1978 May 22, Italy legalized
abortion. Voters upheld the law in a 1981 referendum.
1978 Jul 25, Louise Joy Brown,
the first test-tube baby, was born in Oldham, England; she'd been
conceived through in-vitro fertilization.
(TL, 1988, p.119)(AP, 7/25/97)
1978 Aug, Genentech produced
synthetic insulin by combining a rapidly reproducing bacterium with
a gene from a higher organism.
(SSFC, 10/24/04, Par p.4)
1978 David Rorvick published
"In His Image: The Cloning of Man," an alleged tale of a successful
cloning. It was ruled a hoax in 1981.
(NH, 9/98, p.11)(SFC, 12/31/02, p.A2)
1979 Nov 20, The first US
artificial blood transfusion occurred at Univ. of Minn. Hospital.
The patient was a Jehovah's Witness, who had refused a transfusion
of real blood because of his religious beliefs.
1979 Robert Weinberg, Ph.D.,
demonstrated the first biologically active oncogene in human bladder
(WSJ, 2/27/04, p.A1)
1979 AIDS was diagnosed for the
first time. When the first cases of AIDS erupted in 1979 the most
important sign was the occurrence of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), the
so-called "gay cancer" appearing on the bodies of some homosexuals
dying of the disease.
1980 Feb, The first implantable
cardioconverter defibrillator (ICD) was implanted at John Hopkins
Hospital by Dr. Levi Watkins.
(Econ, 3/7/09, TQ
1980 May 8, The World Health
Organization (WHO) announced that smallpox had been eradicated from
1980 Jun 16, US Supreme Court
ruled that new forms of life created in labs could become patents.
1980 Aug 4, Susan G. Komen (36)
died of breast cancer. Her sister Nancy G. Brinker went on to found
the Susan B. Komen for the Cure breast cancer charity. In 2010 she
authored her memoir “Promise Me."
(SSFC, 8/8/10, Par p.8)
1980 Dr. Robert Pollack (d.2003
at 86), pioneer surgeon in oncology, authored "Clinical Aspects of
(SFC, 1/18/03, p.A17)
1980 The US Supreme Court ruled
that "live human-made microorganism is patentable matter." This led
to a rush by Genentech, Biogen and others to commercialize
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R14)
1980 Smallpox was declared
(SFC, 10/19/01, p.A17)
1980 Raymond Damadian and his
company, FONAR, produced the first commercial Magnetic Resonance
Imaging scanner. The Nobel Prize in Physics in 1952, which went to
Felix Bloch and Edward Purcell, was for the development of nuclear
magnetic resonance (NMR), the scientific principle behind MRI. In
2003 Paul Christian Lauterbur was credited for the 1970s idea of
introducing gradients in the magnetic field which allows for
determining the origin of the radio waves emitted from the nuclei of
the object of study.
1980 Dr. Robert Gallo and
colleagues discovered the retrovirus HTLV-1. In 1982 they discovered
the retrovirus HTLV-2 and suggested that AIDS was caused by a new
(Econ, 11/29/08, p.18)
1981 Jun 5, The US Federal
Centers for Disease Control published the first report of a
mysterious outbreak of a sometimes fatal pneumonia among gay men.
Dr. Michael Gottlieb of UCLA and Dr. Joel Weisman (1943-2009)
reported 5 cases of a rare pneumonia among gay men in LA. The
disease was initially called gay related immune deficiency (GRID).
The syndrome was named Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in
1982. Within 10 years the disease killed 110,000 Americans. People
infected with HIV came to be defined as having AIDS when their
immune system became so weak that they got one of 26 specific
illnesses including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, pneumonia, brain
infections and some other cancers.
(SFC, 7/21/00, p.B2)(AP, 6/5/02)(SSFC, 6/4/06,
p.A1)(Econ, 6/3/06, p.24)(SFC, 7/24/09, p.D5)
1981 Aug 28, The US national
Centers for Disease Control, noting a high incidence of Kaposi's
sarcoma and pneumocystis in homosexual men, announced a medical task
force had been formed to find out why. It was later determined the
increased number of illnesses was caused by AIDS.
1981 Dec 28, Elizabeth Jordan
Carr, the first American test-tube baby, was born in Norfolk, Va.
Dr. Mason Andrews (1919-2006) performed the delivery by cesarean
(AP, 12/28/97)(SFC, 10/16/06, p.B6)
1981 AIDS was discovered in New
York City [see 1959, 1979].
(SFC, 1/25/97, p.A1)
1982 May, Dr. Robert Gallo and
Max Essex first proposed that AIDS was probably caused by a new
human retrovirus and suggested that it was in the HTLV family.
Isolates from AIDS patients in 1983 were first named HTLV-3 and
(Econ, 11/29/08, p.18)
1982 Sep 29, Seven people in
the Chicago area died after unwittingly taking Extra-Strength
Tylenol capsules laced with cyanide.
1982 Oct 15, The federal
Centers for Disease Control warned that a new epidemic was impacting
Americans and that over 200, mostly gay young men, had died from
AIDS. In 2001 Jon Cohen authored "Shots in the Dark: The Wayward
Search for an AIDS Vaccine."
(SSFC, 2/4/01, BR p.4)
1982 Dec 2, In the first
operation of its kind, doctors at the University of Utah Medical
Center implanted a permanent artificial heart developed by Dr.
Robert K. Jarvik. Barney Clark, a retired dentist, lived 112 days
with the Jarvic-7 heart.
(AP, 12/2/97)(HN, 12/2/98)
1982 The mysterious syndrome
1st reported by the CDC in 1981 was named Acquired Immunodeficiency
Syndrome (AIDS). Hemophiliacs began to get infected from
contaminated blood transfusions.
(SSFC, 6/3/01, p.A20)
1983 Dr. Constance Wofsy
(1943-1996) and Dr. Paul Volberding founded the AIDS program at San
Francisco General Hospital.
(SFC, 6/5/96, C5)
1983 The Multicenter AIDS
Cohort Study was begun by Dr. Mellors in Pittsburgh. It became the
largest ongoing study with med. info and blood samples over the
lifetime of AIDS patients. Dr. Mellors pioneered the viral load test
that showed how increased viral load hastened the HIV disease.
(WSJ, 9/26/96, p.B1,5)
1983 Dr. Jay Levy at UCSF was
among the first to identify the AIDS virus as the cause of HIV. He
developed an early test for detecting the presence of the virus and
he found that heat inactivates HIV in clotting preparations.
(SFEC, 3/8/98, p.W27)
1983 In Belgium Rom Houben (20)
was injured in an auto accident and fell into a coma. Doctors soon
diagnosed him as having fallen into a vegetative state. After 23
years a PET scan revealed that his brain was functioning and
communication was established via a computer device and a touch
screen. A study of his misdiagnosis was published in 2009.
(SFC, 11/24/09, p.A3)
1983 In China some 14 million
women had abortions, many of them coerced, organized by family
planning committees. By 2009 this dropped to some 6 million.
(Econ, 6/23/12, p.49)
1983 In France Dr. Luc
Montagnier and his team, which included Dr. Francoise
Barre-Sinoussi, published a paper fingering HIV as the cause of
(Econ, 10/11/08, p.110)
1983 In Japan the Green Cross
Corp., a major pharmaceutical firm, was later accused of having sold
unheated blood products at this time even after learning that they
could infect people with the AIDS virus. In 1996 prosecutors raided
(SFC, 8/31/96, p.A14)
1984 Apr 10, Zoe, the 1st
frozen-embryo child, was born in Melbourne, Australia.
1984 Apr 22, The US Centers for
Disease Control (CDC) said French researchers had discovered that a
virus causes AIDS. Scientists identified a retrovirus named human
immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as the cause of AIDS.
(SSFC, 6/3/01, p.A20)(www.avert.org/his81_86.htm)
1984 Apr 23, US Health
Secretary Margaret Heckler said the AIDS-virus was identified as the
cause of acquired immune deficiency syndrome. [see Apr 21]
1984 Jun 4, DNA was
successfully cloned from an extinct animal.
1984 Jul 30, Holly Roffey (11
days) received a heart transplant.
1984 Oct 26, "Baby Fae," a
newborn with a severe heart defect, was given the heart of a baboon
in an experimental transplant in Loma Linda, Calif. Baby Fae lived
21 days with the animal heart.
1984 Oct 25, The genetic
organization of the Hepatitis B virus was published.
1984 Nov 15, Baby Fae died 20
days after receiving a baboon heart transplant in Loma Linda,
1984 Nov 25, William Schroeder
of Jasper, Ind., became the 2nd man to receive a Jarvik-7 artificial
heart, at Humana Hospital Audubon in Kentucky. He lived 620 days on
1984 Nov, The US FDA formally
approved the marketing of the 3M/ House cochlear implant, to provide
hearing by the electrical stimulation of the auditory system.
1984 The American Cancer
Society inaugurated October as National Breast Cancer Awareness
(SSFC, 10/22/06, p.D1)(http://tinyurl.com/q6teg9)
1984 Dr. Jay Katz (1922-2008),
German-born American psychoanalyst and Yale law School professor,
authored “The Silent world of Doctor and Patient."
(SFC, 11/24/08, p.B6)
1984 Scientists identified a
retrovirus named human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as the cause of
(SSFC, 6/3/01, p.A20)
1984 AIDS was reported to have
been transmitted to a health care worker by an accidental needle
(SFC, 4/13/98, p.A6)
1984 Dr. Daniel Peterson
reported 1,700 cases of chronic fatigue syndrome in the town of
Incline Village, Nev.
(SFC, 10/14/96, p.A4)
1984 A landmark study on
cholesterol provided the first conclusive evidence that lowering
blood cholesterol can prevent heart attacks. Basil Rifkind (d.2008
at 73), Scotland-born physician, co-chaired the NIH Consensus
Conference on Lowering Blood Cholesterol to Prevent Heart Disease.
(SFC, 7/1/08, p.B5)
1984 In California cancer cases
began popping up in McFarland in the Central Valley. 21 people over
20 years were struck in the town of 8,000. A state study from
1985-1991 ended inconclusively and the EPA was petitioned to study
the problem. Residents suspected airborne pesticides.
(SFC, 1/17/98, p.A5)
1984 Kathelyn Steimer
(1948-1996) assisted in the first sequencing and cloning of HIV with
colleagues Dino Dina and Paul Luciv at Chiron Corp.
(SFC, 11/21/96, p.C7)
1984 Scientists discovered the
alpha-defensin proteins, used by a class of white blood cells that
kill and eat bacteria. In 2002 they were believed to play a key role
in suppressing AIDS.
(SFC, 9/27/02, p.A14)(WSJ, 9/27/02, p.B1)
1985 Feb 19, William Schroeder
was the 1st artificial heart patient to leave hospital. He spent 15
minutes outside Humana Hospital in Louisville, Ky.
1985 Feb 27, In San Francisco
the Irwin Memorial Blood Bank said that 80 Bay Area residents have
received blood since 1979 from donors who are know to have
(SSFC, 2/21/10, DB p.42)
1985 Mar 2, The US government
approved a screening test for AIDS that detected antibodies to the
virus, allowing possibly contaminated blood to be excluded from the
1985 Mar 8, Thomas Creighton
(33) died after having three heart transplants in a 46-hour period.
(HN, 3/8/98)(MC, 3/8/02)
1985 Apr 6, William J.
Schroeder became the first artificial heart recipient to be
discharged from the hospital as he moved into an apartment in
1985 May 9, Laurent Fabius,
head of the French Socialist government, blocked the sale of an AIDS
virus detection test made by Abbott Laboratories. Fabius and others
were later charged with criminal negligence and manslaughter in the
deaths of hundreds who died from transfusions of tainted blood. In
1999 Fabius and Georgina Dufoix were cleared of the charges. Edmond
Herve, the health minister under Dufoix, was convicted of negligence
in 2 cases.
(SFEC, 2/7/99, p.A2)(SFC, 3/10/99, p.A1)
1985 May 21, Patti Frustaci of
Riverside, Calif., who was expecting septuplets, gave birth to six
live babies, three of whom died in the following weeks.
1985 Jul 15, A gaunt-looking
Rock Hudson appeared at a news conference with actress Doris Day to
promote her cable television program. It was later revealed Hudson
was suffering from AIDS.
1985 Jul 25, A spokeswoman for
Rock Hudson confirmed that the actor, hospitalized in Paris, was
suffering from "AIDS." Hudson died the following October.
1985 Aug 1, The French
government began to require the testing of all donated blood for
AIDS following the launch of a test by Diagnostic Pasteur. By this
time some 1,300 hemophiliacs were contaminated with AIDS-tainted
blood. By 1997 over 500 had died, most of them children. Four health
officials were charged and convicted in the case.
(SFEC, 2/7/99, p.A2)
1985 Rotary Int’l., a
businessman’s club and global charity, following a successful pilot
study in the Philippines announced a plan to eradicate polio by
vaccinating every child under five at risk of catching it.
(Econ, 1/21/12, p.90)
1986 Sep 19, Federal health
officials announced that the experimental drug AZT would be made
available to thousands of AIDS patients.
1985 Oct 2, Rock Hudson, film
star, died at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif., at age 59 after a
battle with AIDS. Upon his death it was publicly made known that he
had been a closet homosexual.
(SFC, 11/28/96, p.C14)(AP, 10/2/97)
1985 Dec 13, France sued the
U.S. over the discovery of an AIDS serum.
1985 Dec 19, In Minneapolis,
Minnesota, Mary Lund became the first woman to receive a Jarvik VII
artificial heart. Lund received a human heart transplant 45 days
later; she died October 14, 1986.
1985 AIDS made the cover of
(TMC, 1994, p.1985)
1985 SF General opened the
nation’s first full AIDS ward.
(SFC, 4/13/98, p.A8)
1985 Cleve Jones and Mike Smith
formed the Names Project to remember those who died of AIDS. The
project went on to develop the AIDS Memorial Quilt.
(SFEC, 9/15/96, C8)
1985 The Nurses Health Study
showed that hormone use lowers heart-attack risk by 50%. In 1991
Women’s Health Initiative was launched to see if hormones protected
women’s hearts. In 1998 a trial of women with heart disease showed a
50% higher heart risk among hormone users. In 2007 a WHI study
showed that hormones do not raise heart risk for recently menopausal
(WSJ, 4/4/07, p.A12)
1985-1987 A bug in the software of Therac-25
radiotherapy machines, produced by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited,
caused massive overdoses of radiation to several patients killing at
(Econ, 6/2/12, TQ
1986 Feb 17, Johnson and
Johnson, maker of Tylenol, announced it would no longer sell
over-the-counter medications in capsule form, following the death of
a woman who had taken a cyanide-laced capsule.
1986 Aug 6, William J.
Schroeder died after living 620 days with the "Jarvik 7" artificial
1986 Nov 20, UN's WHO announced
1st global effort to combat AIDS.
1986 Pres. Reagan signed a law
creating a medical malpractice data base. It began operations in
(WSJ, 8/27/04, p.A6)
1986 Dr. Mark Bogart at UC San
Diego discovered that a fetus with Down's syndrome would exhibit
extremely high levels of the hormone HCG, human chorionic
gonadotropin. He later tried to obtain royalties from all tests in
prenatal screening that used his discovery.
(SFC, 5/24/97, p.A8)
1986 Scientists isolated the
protease enzyme and realized that it could be used to combat HIV due
to its crucial role in virus reproduction. Its 3-d structure was
announced by Merck in 1989.
(WSJ, 6/14/96, p.A4)
1986 Dr. Jay Levy at UCSF
discovered that the CD-8 lymphocytes secrete an antiviral factor
that prevents HIV from replicating.
(SFEC, 3/8/98, p.W27)
1986 Researchers for muscular
dystrophy identified the gene that caused Duchene muscular
dystrophy, the most common and fatal childhood form of the disease.
(SSFC, 9/2/01, Par p.5)
1986 Davina Thompson (d.1998)
became the world's first known triple transplant patient when she
received a new heart, lungs and liver.
(SFC, 8/18/98, p.A19)
1986 The term “non-alcoholic
fatty-liver disease" was coined to described the buildup of fat and
scarring in the liver. Some estimates in 2012 said the condition
affected up to one-third of America’s population.
(Econ, 12/15/12, SR p.7)
1986 Rita Levi Montalcini
(b.1909), Italian scientist, shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine
with American Stanley Cohen for discovering mechanisms that regulate
the growth of cells and organs.
1987 Feb 6, No-smoking rules
took effect in US federal buildings.
1987 Feb 19, An anti-smoking ad
aired for the 1st time on TV and featured Yul Brynner (1920-1985),
who had died of lung cancer.
1987 Mar 20, The Food and Drug
Administration approved the sale of AZT, a drug shown to prolong the
lives of some AIDS patients. Jerome Horwitz of the Barbara Ann
Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University School of
Medicine first synthesized AZT in 1964 under a US National
Institutes of Health (NIH) grant. It was developed by
Burroughs-Welcome (later part of GlaxoSmithKline).
(WSJ, 1/30/96, p.A-16)(AP,
1987 Mar 24, ACT-UP had its
first demonstration at the New York Stock Exchange over the high
prices of AZT and the long FDA process for approving drugs. Earlier
this month writer Larry Kramer had urged the formation of a
"political action" group to fight AIDS in New York.
(SFC, 3/22/97, p.A13)
1987 Apr 1, In his first major
speech on the AIDS epidemic, President Reagan told doctors in
Philadelphia, "We've declared AIDS public health enemy number one."
1987 Apr 30, Education
Secretary William Bennett called for mandatory AIDS testing for
several groups of people, including hospital patients and prison
1987 May 11, In a medical
first, doctors in Baltimore transplanted the heart and lungs of an
auto accident victim to Clinton House who gave up his own heart to a
2nd recipient. House, the nation's first living heart donor, died 14
1987 May 31, Addressing AIDS
research supporters in Washington, D.C., President Reagan called
"for urgency, not panic," but drew scattered boos when he announced
he would seek expanded testing for the disease.
1987 Jun 1, Vice President
George Bush addressed the Third International Conference on AIDS in
Washington, and, like President Reagan before him, drew scattered
boos by calling for more widespread testing for possible carriers of
the AIDS virus.
1987 Aug 28, A fire damaged the
Arcadia, Fla., home of Ricky, Robert and Randy Ray, three
hemophiliac brothers infected with the AIDS virus whose
court-ordered school attendance sparked a local uproar. The Ray
family soon moved to Sarasota, Fla.
1987 Sep 6, Doctors at Johns
Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore succeeded in separating 7-month-old
Benjamin and Patrick Binder, twin brothers from Ulm, West Germany,
who were joined at the head, after 22 hours of surgery.
1987 Sep 9, Appearing before
President Reagan's special commission on AIDS, Surgeon General C.
Everett Koop denounced doctors and other health workers who refused
to treat AIDS patients, calling them a "fearful and irrational
1987 Oct 7, President Reagan's
advisory commission on AIDS was left seemingly in disarray as its
chairman, Dr. W. Eugene Mayberry, and its vice chairman, Dr. Woodrow
A. Myers Jr., resigned.
1987 Oct 11, Thousands of
homosexual rights activists marched through Washington [DC] to
demand protection from discrimination and more federal money for
AIDS research and treatment. The AIDS Memorial Quilt had its
inaugural presentation. In 2000 Cleve Jones and Jeff Dawson authored
"Stitching a Revolution, The making of an AIDS Activist."
(AP, 10/11/97)(SFEC, 6/18/00, BR p.5)
1987 Nov 12, The American
Medical Association issued a policy statement saying it was
unethical for a doctor to refuse to treat someone solely because
that person had AIDS or was HIV-positive.
1987 Dec 29, The antidepressant
drug Prozac was allowed to go on the market. It was based on
fluoxetine, which increases serotonin levels in the brain by
preventing the cells that that produce serotonin from reabsorbing it
too quickly. It was discovered by Dr. Ray W. Fuller (1936-1996), Dr.
David Wong and Dr. Bryan Molloy of Eli Lilly.
1987 Randy Shilts authored "The
Band Played On," in which he chronicled the early days of AIDS.
1987 Dr. Alastair Carruthers of
Vancouver, BC, injected botulinum toxin into the forehead of his
secretary Cathy Bickerton Swann to reduce her frown lines. The FDA
approved Botox for a variety of conditions in 1989.
(NW, 5/13/02, p.50)
1987 Russia recorded its first
case of AIDS. By 1997 the number rose to 7,000. By 2008 the number
(Econ, 11/29/08, p.14)
1988 Jan 11, Alexandria,
Danielle, Erica, Raymond and Veronica L'Esperance, the first US test
tube quintuplets, were born in Royal Oak, Michigan.
1988 Jan 23, Charles Glenn King
(b.1896), biochemist, died. He and a team of students isolated
vitamin C in 1932.
1988 May 16, Surgeon General C.
Everett Koop released a report declaring nicotine was addictive in
ways similar to heroin and cocaine.
1988 May 26, The New England
Journal of Medicine reported that the 1st NYC cases of Rocky
Mountain Spotted Fever struck 4 people between May and July of 1987.
1988 Jun 13, A US federal jury
found cigarette manufacturer Liggett Group liable in the lung-cancer
death of New Jersey resident Rose Cipollone, but innocent of
misrepresenting the risks of smoking. An appeals court later
overturned the jury's award of $400,000 and ordered a new trial; the
family dropped the lawsuit in 1992.
1988 Oct, Sir James W. Black of
Britain won the Nobel Prize in medicine for research that led to
beta-blocker drugs for heart disease and drugs for peptic ulcers.
Gertrude Elion (d.1999) and George H. Hitchings (d.1998 at 92) of
the US were awarded for research leading to drugs for AIDS, herpes,
leukemia and malaria. Elion and Hitchings were later considered as
the founders of the field of chemotherapeutics. They were among the
first to design drugs based on a biochemical understanding of the
(SFEC, 10/8/96, A9)(SFC, 3/3/98, p.D8)(SFC,
1988 The US Centers for Disease
Control (CDC) named "chronic fatigue syndrome" (CFS), to describe
ongoing symptoms of overwhelming fatigue.
(SFCM, 6/5/05, p.6)
1988 Michael Free of PATH, a
nonprofit creator of medical technologies for developing countries,
created a new syringe and needle that became disabled after a single
injection. The autodestruct syringe was licensed exclusively to
Becton Dickinson, which agreed to supply UNICEF and health
ministries of developing nations and to pay a $50,000 patent
(SFC, 10/28/98, p.A1)
1988 Dr. Eliane Gluckman became
the first person to perform a cord blood transplant for a case of
(SFC, 9/7/96, p.A7)
enterococcus (VRE) was first detected in Europe. The vancomycin
antibiotic was developed in 1958.
(SFEC, 9/14/97, p.C1,4)
1988 Iran began paying
unrelated living donors for their kidneys. After 11 years it had
eliminated its kidney transplant waiting list.
(Econ, 10/11/08, p.81)
1989 Jan 13, There was a sit-in
at SF General Hosp. by ACT-UP to call attention to the difficulty of
obtaining foscarnet, a drug to stabilize CMV retinitis, a common
AIDS illness that could lead to blindness.
(SFC, 3/22/97, p.A13)
1989 Jan 24, Physicians 1st
reported a case of AIDS transmitted by heterosexual oral sex.
1989 May 31, Charles A.
Hufnagel (b.1917), artificial heart valve pioneer, died at his home
in Washington, DC.
1989 Sep 14, ACT-UP AIDS
activists shut down the New York Stock Exchange for a short time
when they chained themselves to a balcony overlooking the floor.
(SFC, 3/22/97, p.A13)
1989 Oct 1, The San Francisco
Health Department reported the first two documented cases in which
men became infected with the AIDS virus through oral sex.
1989 The Group O AIDS virus was
identified in West Africa. It had marked genetic differences from
the more common Group M strains that were responsible for a
(SFC, 7/5/96, p.A5)
1989 Scientists used
"positional cloning" to identify the gene that causes cystic
(WSJ, 6/11/01, p.A1)
1989 The Hepatitis C virus was
first isolated. It causes an infection of the liver that is usually
lifelong and incurable. Scientists in 1999 found evidence of the
virus in frozen blood samples from 1948.
(SFC, 3/25/97, p.A4)(SFC, 5/21/99, p.A3)
1989 Merck Corp. announced the
discovery of the 3-dimensional structure of the enzyme protease. It
was seen as a promising target for attacking the virus that causes
(WSJ, 11/5/96, p.A1)
1989 The P53 gene was found to
act as a tumor suppressor gene.
(SFC, 11/12/96, p.A5)
1989 Dr. Ray White led a team
that found the NF-1 gene. A mutation of the gene was found to be
responsible for neurofibromatosis.
(WSJ, 2/27/97, p.B1)
1989 There was an outbreak of
the deadly Ebola virus among 450 primates in Reston, Va.
(FB, 9/12/96, Neighbors p.1)
1989 Bruce Chatwin, travel
writer, died of AIDS. His books included "In Patagonia" (1984)
"Songlines," "The Viceroy of Ouidah," and "On the Black Hill." In
1997 a collection of incidental writing was published: "Anatomy of
(SFEC, 8/10/97, BR p.3)
1989 In Lithuania Dr. Saulius
Caplinskas started an AIDS Center in Vilnius. In 1997 there were 60
reported cases of HIV, but the actual number was estimated to be
(SFC, 4/16/97, p.A10)
1990 Mar 9, Dr. Antonia Novello
was sworn in as surgeon general, becoming the first woman and the
first Hispanic to hold the job.
1990 Mar 29, President Bush,
addressing the National Leadership Coalition on AIDS, declared his
administration "on a wartime footing" against the disease, and
called for compassion, not discrimination, toward those infected
with the virus.
1990 Apr 8, Ryan White, the
teen-age AIDS patient whose battle for acceptance gained national
attention, died in Indianapolis at age 18. The Ryan White Foundation
was established for AIDS education programs after his death and it
closed its doors due to dwindling funds in 1999.
(AP, 4/8/97)(SFC, 10/19/99, p.A3)
1990 May 3, The federal
government approved the use of the drug AZT to treat children
infected with the AIDS virus.
1990 Jun 24, Health and Human
Services Secretary Louis Sullivan was virtually drowned out by
jeering demonstrators as he addressed the Sixth International AIDS
conference in San Francisco.
1990 Jul 26, The US Centers for
Disease Control reported that a young woman, later identified as
Kimberly Bergalis, had been infected with the AIDS virus, apparently
by her dentist.
1990 Sep 3, Dr. David Acer, a
Florida dentist, died of AIDS after apparently infecting five of his
patients with the HIV virus.
1990 Sep 7, Kimberly Bergalis
of Fort Pierce, Florida, came forward to identify herself as the
young woman who had been infected with AIDS, apparently by her late
dentist. Bergalis died the following year.
1990 Nov 11, Stormie Jones, the
world’s first heart-liver transplant recipient, died at a Pittsburgh
hospital at age 13.
1990 Sep, The 1st gene therapy
experiment took place at the NIH.
(SFC, 10/4/02, p.A7)
1990 The AIDS activist group
Visual AIDS created their Red Ribbon Project to symbolize the fight
against AIDS. NYC artist Frank Moore (d.2002 at 48) was instrumental
in the project.
(SFC, 4/27/02, p.A21)
1990 At the Mayo Clinic a lung
transplant program was begun.
(SFC, 7/5/96, PM, p.5)
1990 The KE family were brought
to the attention of the scientific community about this time. Over
three generations of this family, about half the family members
suffer from a number of problems, the most obvious of which is
severe difficulty in speaking. A mutation of the FOXP2 brain gene
was later related to language loss.
1990 GHB, gamma hydroxy
butyrate, began to be reported as a cause of illnesses. The paint
thinner gamma butyl lactone was being mixed with water and alcohol
that when ingested metabolized to GHB, later called "liquid ecstasy"
or "blue nitro."
(SFC, 1/14/99, p.A16)
1990 The Human Genome Project
began and planned to sequence all human DNA by 2005. The database
did not just store sequences, but linked them with citations to
enable new discoveries. James Watson served as its 1st head. His
opposition to gene patents helped force him from the position in
(Wired, 8/96, p.198)(SFEM, 7/30/00, p.10)
1990 Rainaldo Arenas (b.1943),
gay writer, took his own life in the US after suffering from AIDS.
He left Cuba during the 1980 Mariel boatlift. His books included
"Before Night Falls" (1993) and "The Color of Summer" the 4th of 5
called the "Pentagonia" a "secret history of Cuba." In 2000 the film
version of Before Night Falls was directed by Julian Schnabel
(SFEC, 7/30/00, BR p.4)(SSFC, 12/17/00, DB p.49)
1990 In Nigeria 109 children
died after taking paracetamol laced with a compound similar to
diethylene glycol and also used in engine coolants.
1991 May 20, The American Red
Cross announced measures aimed at screening blood more carefully for
the AIDS virus.
1991 Apr 29, George Sperti
(91), inventor of Preparation H, died.
1991 Jun 16, The seventh
International Conference on AIDS opened in Florence, Italy. The
conference was marked by pleas from African and Asian countries for
more help and criticism directed at the United States for its
refusal to allow visits by foreigners infected with the AIDS virus.
1991 Nov 28, Ryan Thomas (10),
hero, AIDS victim who won a federal court battle to stay in
kindergarten class, died.
1991 Dec 8, AIDS patient
Kimberly Bergalis, who had contracted the disease from her dentist,
died in Fort Pierce, Fla., at age 23.
1991 The Aaron Diamond AIDS
Research Center opened in lower Manhattan. Irene Diamond (d.2003 at
92) saw the project completed after the death of her husband.
(SFC, 1/29/03, p.A18)
1991 PBS broadcast the film
"Absolutely Positive," the story of Doris Butler (1953-1996) and her
son Jared (1988-1992) who were both infected with AIDS.
(SFC, 8/22/96, p.E5)
1991 Composer John Corigliano
composed his "Symphony No. 1," a memorial to the victims of AIDS.
(WSJ, 9/24/97, p.A20)
1991 Basketball star Magic
Johnson announced that he was HIV-positive. He left the Lakers
Basketball team and his $3.5 mil salary and founded the Magic
Johnson Foundation to help fight AIDS.
(SFC, 6/30/96, PM, p.2)
1991 Miami urologist, Harold
Reed brought to the US a procedure to lengthen the penis invented by
a Chinese surgeon named Long Daochao.
(WSJ, 6/6/96, p.A1)
1991 A method to fertilize a
human egg by a single sperm was developed. Intracytoplasmic sperm
injection (ICSI) was used to help couples in where the man has a low
(SFEC, 3/28/99, DB p.32)
1991 Stephen Fodor and
colleagues at Affymetrix published a strategy for creating micro
arrays for identifying DNA fragments.
(SFC, 9/2/02, p.A8)
1992 Mar 12, This issue of
Rolling Stone magazine contained an article by Tom Curtis that
outlined a theory for the origin of AIDS based on the Wister vaccine
developed by Hilary Koprowski and given to some 300,000 people in
the Belgian Congo between 1957-1960.
(SSFC, 1/14/01, p.A14)
1992 Apr 8, Tennis great Arthur
Ashe announced at a New York news conference that he had AIDS,
saying he was forced to go public because a newspaper had inquired
about his health. Ashe died the following February of AIDS-related
pneumonia at age 49.
1992 May 1, It was reported in
the WSJ that a new study indicated that peptic ulcers were caused by
a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori.
(WSJ, 10/24/05, p.A15)
1992 Jul 26, Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA) went into effect.
1992 Sep 6, An unidentified
35-year-old man who was the recipient of a transplanted baboon liver
died at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, 10 weeks after
receiving the organ.
1992 Aug 8, AIDS activist
Alison Gertz died in New York at age 26.
1992 Oct 6, President Bush
appointed Mary Fisher to the National Commission on AIDS, replacing
1992 Oct 23, A French court
convicted three former health officials of charges they knowingly
allowed blood tainted with the AIDS virus to be used in
1992 The film "Lorenzo’s Oil"
starred Peter Ustinov, Nick Nolte, Susan Sarandon and Laura Linney.
It was based on the true story of Augusto Odone (1933-2013) and his
wife Michaela, whose son Lorenzo became ill at age 6 with
(SFEC, 11/12/00, Par p.36)(WSJ, 10/8/05,
p.A1)(Econ, 11/16/13, p.98)
1992 Scientists at Novartis
synthesized the compound that would become Gleevec (Glivec). It had
been identified as promising compound for treating leukemia. In
2001, the US FDA approved Gleevec for chronic myeloid leukemia
1992 Pfizer Corp. received FDA
approval for the antibiotic Zithromax.
(SFEC, 8/27/00, p.B4)
1992 Fen-phen, a combination of
fenfluramine and phentermine, began to be prescribed for weight loss
by American Home Products. A wrongful death suit due to pulmonary
complications was filed in 1997. A class action suit later resulted
with 300,000 plaintiffs. In 2001 Alicia Mundy authored "Dispensing
with the Truth," story of how the cases developed.
(WSJ, 5/10/01, p.A16)
1992 Anthony Perkins (60), lead
actor in the 1960 Hitchcock film Psycho, died of AIDS. His biography
was written in 1996 by Charles Winecoff: Split Image, "The Life of
(SFC, 10/1/96, p.B3)(SFEC, 11/10/96, Par p.2)
1992 Ireland’s Supreme Court
ruling found abortion should be legalized for situations when the
woman's life is at risk from continuing the pregnancy. However five
following governments since have refused to pass a law resolving the
confusion. In 2010 the European Court of Human Rights called on
Ireland to clarify its abortion law.
(AP, 11/14/12)(Econ, 2/2/13, p.43)
1993 Jan 6, Ballet dancer
Rudolf Nureyev died of AIDS in Paris at age 54.
(AP, 1/6/98)(WSJ, 10/1/98, p.A20)
1993 Feb 6, Tennis
Hall-of-Famer and human rights advocate Arthur Ashe died of AIDS in
New York at age 49. He was the first black man to win the Wimbledon
(SFC, 7/4/96, p.A3)(AP, 2/6/97)
1993 Mar 3, Albert Sabin (86),
physician, developer of the oral polio vaccine, died in Washington.
(AP, 3/3/98)(SC, 3/3/02)
1993 Mar 23, Scientists
announced they'd found the renegade gene that causes Huntington's
1993 Jun 28, The National
Commission on AIDS ended its work after four years, with members
expressing frustration over how little national leaders had done to
combat the disease.
1993 Jul 23, Surgeon
General-designate Joycelyn Elders stuck by her firm stands on sex
education and AIDS prevention in a one-day confirmation hearing on
1993 Dr. Sherwin Nuland
authored “How We Die."
(Econ, 9/5/09, p.41)
1993 French Dr. Luc Montagnier
created the World Foundation for AIDS Research and Prevention under
the auspices of UNESCO. He was one of the first to isolate the AIDS
(SFC, 11/16/96, p.A1)
1993 The Terra Nova Medical
Reserve was established as the world’s 1st ethno-biomedical forest
reserve in western Belize.
(AM, 7/01, p.2)
1993 An E. coli outbreak made
hundreds ill and several children died. It was traced to hamburgers
at Jack in the Box restaurants. The bacteria was identified as E.
coli 0157:H7, a renegade strain of the normally harmless group.
(WSJ, 7/15/96, p.B1)(SFC, 11/1/96, p.A4)
1993 The hantavirus was
discovered in the American Southwest and killed at least 26 people.
(SFC, 2/3/00, p.A6)
1994 Jan 15, A Hague motorist
with .51% alcohol in blood broke the Dutch record of .47%.
1994 Apr 8, Smoking was banned
in Pentagon and all US military bases.
1994 Aug 7, The 10th
International Conference on AIDS opened in Yokohama, Japan.
1994 Aug 11, The Tenth
International Conference on AIDS concluded in Yokohama, Japan.
1994 Nov 7, James Winston Watts
(90), developer of the Frontal Lobotomy, died.
1994 Dec 3, Elizabeth Glaser,
who became an AIDS activist after she and her two children were
infected with HIV via a blood transfusion, died in Santa Monica,
Calif., at age 47.
1994 Leonard Hayflick (b.1928)
authored “How and Why We Age."
1994 Richard Lipton, Princeton
computer scientist, published a paper on molecular computing titled:
"Speeding to Computation via Molecular Biology."
(Wired, 8/95, p.166)
1994 Marvin Minsky wrote in a
Scientific American article that: "In the end we will find ways to
replace every part of the body and brain and thus repair all the
defects and injuries that make our lives so brief."
(Hem., 2/96, p.95)
1994 The World Journal, a
Chinese-language newspaper based in New York reported that blood
products in China were contaminated with the AIDS virus.
(SFC, 10/25/96, p.A14)
1994 In America 80 million
prescriptions were written for drugs that act as calcium channel
blockers (CCBs). They were used to treat high blood pressure,
angina, cardiac arrhythmias and migraine headaches.
(WSJ, 8/2/96, p.A12)
1994 Polly C.E. Matzinger,
immunologist, began challenging the self/nonself concept of immune
activation and proposed the "danger" theory where the immune system
lies quietly on guard until it receives a signal that tissues
somewhere in the body are dying unnatural deaths.
(WSJ, 3/22/96, p.B-5)
1994 The breast cancer gene,
BRCA1, was discovered. Its presence boosted the likelihood of
developing the disease to 87%.
(SFC, 6/26/96, p.A7)
1994 Researcher Janet Daling
and a team at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found
a 50% increase in the risk of breast cancer for women who’s had
(WSJ, 2/28/97, p.A12)
1994 At the Mayo Clinic the
first successful heart-lung transplant was performed.
(SFC, 7/5/96, PM, p.5)
1994 The stent was 1st
introduced. It was a metal scaffold used to prop open arteries that
were cleared with angioplasty balloons.
(WSJ, 9/10/03, p.A1)
1995 Feb 17, Federal judge
allowed a lawsuit claiming US tobacco makers knew nicotine was
addictive and manipulated its levels to keep customers hooked.
1995 Apr 4, It was reported
that Nuclear Matrix Proteins that act as a type of scaffolding for
DNA were being used as markers for cancer. They were also thought to
help turn genes off and on.
(WSJ, 4/4/95, B-1)
1995 Jul, In Vancouver, Canada,
at the Int’l. AIDS Conference researchers said that at least 10
genetically different sub-types of HIV-1 were identified. HIV-2 was
another strain principally found in Africa.
(SFEC, 10/8/96, A4)
1995 Dec 14, AIDS patient Jeff
Getty received the first-ever bone-marrow transplant from a baboon.
The experimental procedure at a San Francisco hospital was
criticized by animal rights activists.
1995 Genentech began Phase III
clinical trials for Herceptin to fight breast cancer. Doctors Dennis
Slamon and Alex Unrich worked with the HER-2/neu gene and protein
that triggered breast cancer and developed an antibody against it.
The drug was approved by the FDA in 1998.
(SFEC, 1/17/99, BR p.5)
1995 Dr. Paul Dowd (1936-1996)
suggested that Vitamin E, a potent antioxidant, can help keep
cholesterol from clogging arteries.
(SFEC, 12/1/96, p.C14)
1995 Jeffrey Friedman of
Rockefeller Univ. and others announced the discovery of leptin, a
protein produced by fat cells, that signal the brain to reduce
(SFC, 6/30/00, p.A3)
1995 The American Pain Society
urged that pain be treated as a 5th vital sign. In 1999 American VA
hospitals began a system-wide notation for pain.
(SFC, 2/1/99, p.A2)
1995 Prof. Pamela Ronald and
colleagues isolated the blight-resistance gene from a variety of
wild rice cultivated in Mali. The blight was caused by the
Xanthomonas orizae bacterium. She pushed for a got a percentage of
the royalty rights to be used for fellowships for scientists from
(SFC, 5/26/97, p.A16)
1995 Protease inhibitors, a
cocktail drug therapy for AIDS, were first introduced. AIDS became
the leading cause of death among Americans aged 25-44. Hoffman-La
Roche, a Swiss drug firm, launched the first protease inhibitor.
(SSFC, 6/3/01, p.A21)(Econ, 6/2/12, p.80)
1995 The GB virus C was
discovered. It was thought to be another hepatitis virus but was
found to be benign. It was later found to slow damage to the immune
system from AIDS.
(SFC, 9/6/01, p.A5)
1995 Pat Brown of Stanford
published a low-cost strategy for creating micro arrays for
identifying DNA fragments and posted the instructions on the Web.
(SFC, 9/2/02, p.A8)
1995 Poet James Merrill died
from AIDS. In 2001 Alison Lurie authored "Familiar Spirits: A Memoir
of James Merrill and David Jackson."
(SSFC, 3/11/01, BR p.3)
1995 The FDA approved Riluzole,
the 1st drug for use in treating amyotrophic lateral schlerosis
(ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
(SSFC, 9/2/01, Par p.5)
1996 Jan 23, Sandra Jensen
became the first person with Down syndrome to receive a new heart
and Lungs. The surgery was done at Stanford Univ.
(SFC, 1/31/97, p.A19)
1996 Jan 30, The FDA licensed
indinavir, viracept, Abbott Lab’s ritonavir (trade name Norvir) and
saquinavir based on short term clinical data between 1995-1997. The
new protease-blocking drugs were effective in combating AIDS
especially when used in combination with current medicines. The
drugs were later found to cause metabolism problems related to fats.
(WSJ, 1/30/96, p.A-16)(SFC, 2/5/98, p.A7)(WSJ,
1996 Feb 10, President Clinton
signed a $265 billion defense bill, but said he would battle for
repeal of a section forcing the discharge of service members with
the AIDS virus.
1996 Mar 1, The Food and Drug
Administration approved a powerful new AIDS drug, saying ritonavir
could prolong slightly the lives of severely ill patients.
1996 Jun 20, Scientists
announced the identification of the co-factor involved in human AIDS
viral reproduction. Chemokin receptor-5, CKR5, is the name of the
(SFC, 6/20/96, p.A3)
1996 Jul 5, An LA County woman
was identified as the first person in the US to carry the rare AIDS
virus strain known as Group O. She was discovered by epidemiologists
several months ago. Group O is only detected in 4 of 5 cases with
current testing methods. Blood supply tests will need to be changed.
(SFC, 7/5/96, p.A5)
1996 Jul 5, A cloned lamb,
named Dolly (d.2003) after Dolly Pardon, was born in Edinburgh
Scotland. The event was not announced until Feb 23, 1997 when it was
made public that researchers under Dr. Ian Wilmut at Edinburgh,
Scotland, created a clone lamb from adult sheep DNA. In 2001 it was
reported that Dolly suffered from arthritis, a sign of premature
(SFEC, 2/23/96, p.C1)(SFC, 1/5/02, p.A2)(SFC,
1996 Jul 11, A report stated
that Malaria infects 300 million people each year and kills 1.5 to
2.7 million. A drug, artemether, derived from a Chinese herb was
appearing to be as effective as quinine.
(SFC, 7/11/96, p.C1)
1996 Jul 26, It was announced
that researchers had devised a new small molecule that may be used
in pill form to replace large molecules which up to now needed to be
(WSJ, 7/26/96, p.A1)
1996 Jul 26, Researchers
announced the discovery of a gene, fosB, associated with infant care
(SFC, 7/26/96, p.A10)
1996 Aug 8, Medical researchers
successfully cured patients with sickle-cell anemia by using a risky
bone-marrow transplant technique.
1996 Aug 29, Researchers
reported that gene therapy was used to halt the growth of some
cancer tumors. The therapy centered on the p53 gene, which regulates
the speed of cell division.
(SFC, 8/29/96, p.A1,15)
1996 Aug 29, Japanese
authorities arrested Dr. Takeshi Abe, a hemophilia expert, who
headed a government panel on AIDS in the 1980s when some 1,800
hemophiliacs were infected with AIDS after using blood-clotting
agents contaminated with the AIDS virus. He had failed to recommend
a heat treatment for the products more than 2 years after such
treatment was approved in the US.
(SFC, 8/30/96, p.A18)
1996 Oct 24, In China the
Foreign Ministry acknowledged that some samples of serum albumin
were contaminated with the AIDS virus. Authorities said that 4,305
people in China had HIV. They acknowledged that the number could be
as high as 100,000.
(SFC, 10/25/96, p.A14)
1996 Nov 5, In California
elections Prop. 215, an initiative to make marijuana legal for
medical used, was passed. A measure to end public sector affirmative
action was also passed. Prop 218, the right to vote on taxes act,
also passed with a 56% approval. Prop. 204 bond funds were approved
[for ecological restoration of the Bay Area and Sacramento-San
Joaquin River deltas]. Prop 208, a campaign spending limit measure,
was approved but later struck down by a federal judge. Arcata soon
established a photo ID program to verify medical use.
(SFC, 11/6/96, p.A1)(SFC, 12/20/96, p.A1)(SFC,
1996 Nov 8, Cheyenne Pyle, the
youngest heart transplant patient (90 mins old), was born in Miami
and flown to California for surgery. The infant did not survive.
1996 Dec 21, Dr. David Ho, AIDS
researcher, was named ‘Man of the Year" by Time Magazine.
(SFEC, 12/22/96, p.A2)(AP, 12/21/97)
1996 Dec 30, The Clinton
administration said that doctors who prescribe marijuana could be
excluded from Medicare and Medicaid programs and lose the right to
prescribe drugs. Voters in California and Arizona had approved
measures for medical use of marijuana.
(SFC, 12/31/96, p.A1)
1996 Dr. Stuart Meloy found
that an electro-stimulator, designed by Medtronic to interrupt pain
signals, induced orgasms in women when applied to a certain point in
(SFC, 2/8/01, p.A3)
1996 In California a
63-year-old woman, Arceli Keh, gave birth to a healthy baby girl
after taking fertility drugs. She became the oldest known woman to
(SFC, 4/24/97, p.A1)(SFEC, 4/27/97, p.A14)
1996 In Nigeria Pfizer Inc.
tested an unapproved drug on children for an often deadly strain of
meningitis. In 2006 Nigerian medical experts concluded that Pfizer
violated international law and was never authorized by the Nigerian
government to give the unproven drug Trovan to nearly 100 children
and infants at a field hospital in Kano, where they were being
1996 The South Africa Council
for Scientific and Industrial Research patented the active chemical
of hoodia, called P57, and licensed development rights to a British
firm. They did not acknowledge the San Bushmen who used the cactus
raise energy and fight hunger. In 2003 an agreement was reached to
pay the San 6% of the royalties. Some 100,000 San lived in South
Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Angola.
(SFC, 4/11/03, p.D5)
1997 Jan 23, Cancer experts who
were supposed to settle a furious controversy over whether women
should start having mammograms at age 40 or 50 decided instead to
leave the decision up to patients.
1997 Feb 23, It was announced
that researchers under Dr. Ian Wilmut at Edinburgh, Scotland,
created a clone lamb from adult sheep DNA. The lamb was born in Jul,
1996, and named Dolly after Dolly Pardon. Dolly was put down Feb.
14, 2003, after a short life marred by premature aging and disease.
(SFEC, 2/23/97, p.C1)(AP, 2/23/98)
1997 Feb, Lipitor, a
cholesterol reducing drug from Warner-Lambert, became available. It
was developed by Bruce D. Roth. In 2003 sales of Lipitor, marketed
by Pfizer, reached $9.2 billion.
(WSJ, 1/24/00, p.B1)(WSJ, 3/904, p.A1)
1997 Mar 5, Brain researchers
announced that some instinctual behavior was successfully
transferred between chicken and quail embryos. The young birds did
not live past 14 days.
(SFC, 3/5/97, p.A4)
1997 Mar 23, The American
Cancer Society recommended that women begin annual mammograms at age
1997 Apr 18, Scientists
reported the discovery of a fusion protein that governed the ability
of the HIV virus to fuse with the protective membranes of immune
(SFC, 4/18/97, p.A4)
1997 May 18, President Clinton
announced creation of a research center at the National Institutes
of Health devoted to the goal of developing an AIDS vaccine within
the next decade, but offered no new federal spending.
(WSJ, 5/19/97, p.A1)(AP, 5/18/98)
1997 Jul 2, US Aid to Honduras
had dropped this year to $28 million from a high of $229 million in
1985. The country had the highest AIDS rate in Central America.
(WSJ, 7/2/97, p.A1)
1997 Jul 8, The Mayo Clinic and
the government warned the diet-drug combination known as "fen-phen"
could cause serious heart and lung damage. The drugs were withdrawn
in September. In 2000 a federal judge approved a $3.75 billion
national settlement of health claims due to use of the drugs.
(AP, 7/8/98)(SFC, 8/29/00, p.A4)
1997 Jul 25, An FDA drug panel
endorsed Rituximab, a drug designed to treat B-cell lymphoma. It was
made by Genentech and IDEC Pharmaceuticals.
(SFC, 7/26/97, p.A1)
1997 Aug 2, In Nigeria Fela
Anikulapo-Kuti (b.1938), pop superstar, died of AIDS at 58. He was a
saxophone player who fused rock with African rhythms into a blend
known as "Afrobeat." His albums included: "Zombie," "Army
Arrangement," and "Vagabond in Power." He recorded more than 50
albums in the 1970s and 1980s and his 27 wives mourned his death.
(SFC, 8/4/97, p.A16)
1997 Aug 8, It was reported
that researchers have discovered how the defective gene in
Huntington’s disease causes the disorder. A genetic "stutter"
inserts from 30 to 150 copies of the amino acid glutamine into key
proteins and alters their properties.
(SFC, 8/8/97, p.A3)
1997 Aug 9, In Brazil Herbert
Jose de Souza, sociologist, died at age 60 of AIDS that he acquired
as a hemophiliac from contaminated blood. He spent his life fighting
inequality, hunger and police brutality.
(SFC, 8/11/97, p.A15)
1997 Aug 15, Scientists at
Geron corp. reported that an "immortality gene" had been cloned. The
key gene carries the code for a key section of the enzyme
telomerase, that rebuilds the telomere of DNA. It could lead to new
cancer-prevention drugs and even be used to slow the process of
(SFC, 8/15/97, p.A1,17)(SFC, 8/16/97, p.D1)
1997 Aug 27, It was announced
that the diet drugs, Redux and Pondimin, caused brain damage in
animals at doses similar to those taken by humans.
(WSJ, 8/27/97, p.A1)
1997 Oct 23, AIDS researchers
reported a new chemokine molecule that blocks HIV from infecting
(WSJ, 10/24/97, p.A1)
1997 Oct 27, Authorities in
Chautauqua County, N.Y., said Nushawn Williams (20), an HIV-positive
man who allegedly traded drugs for sex with young women and teens,
had infected a number of them with the AIDS virus. Later 48 partners
were identified and 13 women and girls tested positive.
(SFC, 8/20/98, p.A5)(AP, 10/27/98)
1997 Oct 27, Researchers from
the Univ. of Mich. reported that they found a hormone to stimulate
the growth of the myelin sheath that surrounds nerves.
1997 Nov 21, "The Food and Drug
Administration Act of 1997" was signed into law by President
Clinton. The new law was designed to enhance the product development
and review process; streamline the way the Agency regulates medical
devices; simplify enforcement procedures; and move the Agency toward
greater use of national and international standards. The law gave
the FDA new powers to speed the approval of drugs to combat a host
of killer diseases, including cancer and AIDS.
(PR, NPTH, 6/4/98)(AP, 11/21/98)
1997 Virologist Jaap Goudsmit
of the Univ. of Amsterdam published "Viral Sex: The Nature of AIDS."
(SFEC, 9/7/97, BR p.9)
1997 Roy Porter (1946-2002),
British historian, authored “The Greatest Benefit to Mankind," a
survey of the history of medicine.
(WSJ, 10/4/08, p.W8)
1997 The Rezulin pill for
diabetes, made by Warner-Lambert, was first found to cause
fatalities due to liver failure in some patients.
(SFC, 2/19/00, p.A2)
1997 A British team discovered
that pig viruses can infect human cells.
(WSJ, 8/28/00, p.B1)
1997 Prionics AG of Switzerland
developed the 1st efficient test for mad cow disease, bovine
(WSJ, 1/08/00, p.A23)
1997 Researchers discovered one
of the genes that cause Leber's congenital amaurosis, a retinal
condition that affects about one in 50,000 Americans.
(WSJ, 8/29/03, p.B11)
1998 Feb 2, The government
released statistics showing deaths from AIDS fell by almost half
during the first half of 1997, a decrease attributed to increased
use of powerful combinations of medicines.
1998 Feb 13, Dr. David Satcher
was sworn in as US surgeon general during an Oval Office ceremony.
1998 Feb 16, Mr. Jefferson, the
1st cloned calf, was born in Virginia.
1998 Mar 3, Dr. Hans J.
Muller-Eberhard, one of the first scientists to explain the
importance of the complement system, died in Houston. He showed that
front line attack of the immune system was a complex of about 20
separate protein molecules that together attacked cells through a
series of reactions referred to as a cascade.
(SFC, 3/8/98, p.C5)
1998 Mar 18, A study of Finnish
smokers reported in the Journal of the national Cancer Institute
indicated that vitamin E reduced the risk of prostate cancer.
(WSJ, 3/18/98, p.A1)
1998 Mar 27, The Food and Drug
Administration approved the drug Viagra, made by Pfizer, saying it
helped about two-thirds of impotent men improve their sexual
function. Viagra’s effects were shown to last 8-12 hours. Pfizer had
originally tested the compound UK 92,480 as a drug for angina and
found that male volunteers were getting frequent erections. They
renamed it Viagra and sought sales approval.
(AP, 3/27/99)(SFC, 5/28/02, p.A4)(Econ, 7/16/05,
1998 Apr 10, The anti-impotence
drug Viagra appeared on the market and became one of the
best-selling new medications of all time.
1998 Apr 14, A new blood test
for cancer used enzyme-coated iron particles to attract cancer cells
(WSJ, 4/14/98, p.A1)
1998 Apr 20, A report was
published that suggested that the drug raloxifene, sold by Eli Lilly
as Evista, can prevent breast cancer in addition to tamoxifen. Both
synthetic drugs block the action of estrogen.
(SFC, 4/21/98, p.A7)
1998 May 4, The FDA approved
the first commercial surgical glue, Tisseel, made by Baxter Labs.
(USAT, 5/4/98, p.10D)
1998 Jun 8, In Russia the
number of AIDS was reported to have quadrupled since 1996 to 8,313,
mainly due to intravenous drug-taking.
(SFC, 6/9/98, p.A14)
1998 Jun 19, A study published
in the British medical journal The Lancet said smoking more than
doubles the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
1998 Jun 20, On the eve of
Father's Day, President Clinton used his weekly radio address to
announce the release of the first wave of almost $60 million in
prostate cancer research grants.
1998 Jun 28, The 12th World
AIDS Conference opened in Geneva.
1998 Jun 29, The 12th Int’l.
AIDS Conference opened in Geneva with some 12,000 participants.
(SFC, 6/29/98, p.A1)
1998 Jun 30, In Geneva AIDS
specialists from SF reported a patient infected with a strain of HIV
resistant to the new anti-viral drugs.
(SFC, 7/1/98, p.A1)
1998 Jul 3, The 12th World AIDS
Conference ended in Geneva.
1998 Jul 8, Dow Corning agreed
to settle a suit with women claiming injury from silicone breast
implants for $3.2 billion. A federal bankruptcy judge tentatively
approved a settlement under which an estimated 170,000 women, who
said silicone breast implants had made them sick, would get $3.2
billion dollars from Dow Corning Corp.
(SFC, 7/9/98, p.A1)(AP, 7/8/99)
1998 Jul 17, Scientists
reported in the journal Science that the syphilis genome, 1.1
million base pairs of DNA, had been mapped.
(SFC, 7/17/98, p.A7)
1998 Aug 14, A federal appeals
court in Richmond, Va., ruled that the Food and Drug Administration
had no authority to regulate tobacco, striking down FDA rules making
it harder for minors to buy cigarettes; the Clinton administration
said it would appeal. In 2000 the US Supreme Court ruled that the
government lacked the authority to regulate tobacco as an addictive
1998 Sep 2, A new strain of
HIV-1 was reported by French researchers from a Cameroonian woman
who died if AIDS in 1995.
(SFC, 9/1/98, p.A4)
1998 Oct 28, In Botswana the
life expectancy was reported to have dropped from 61 in 1993 to 47
to the AIDS epidemic.
(SFC, 10/28/98, p.A12)
1998 Oct 28, In Zimbabwe it was
reported that 1 in 5 adults was infected with the AIDS virus.
(SFC, 10/28/98, p.A12)
1998 Oct 29, The government
cleared the powerful drug tamoxifen as a way for healthy women at
very high risk of breast cancer to cut their odds of getting a
1998 Nov 24, A UN report on
AIDS said 33 million people were infected, and that two-thirds of
them were in sub-Saharan Africa.
(WSJ, 11/25/98, p.A1)
1998 Dec 1, Pres. Clinton
marked World Aids Day by announcing an increase in NIH funding for
an AIDS vaccine to $200 million.
(WSJ, 12/2/98, p.A1)
1998 Dec 16, Researchers in
South Korea claimed to have cloned a human embryo, but destroyed it
early in its development.
(SFC, 12/17/98, p.A10)
1998 Dec 22, In South Africa
Gugu Dlamini (36), an AIDS activist, died from wounds inflicted by a
(SFC, 12/28/98, p.A7)
1998 Dec 27, A vaccine for AIDS
by VaxGen Inc. of South San Francisco was reported to be in Phase
III clinical trials. It was derived from g-120, a genetically
engineered protein copied from a protein found in the HIV virus.
Other vaccines were also under development.
(SFEC, 12/27/98, p.A3)
1998 The US FDA approved Actiq,
a potent narcotic, for cancer patients suffering from pain that
other narcotics did not relieve. By 2006 its use had spread to a
much wider cohort.
(WSJ, 11/3/06, p.A1)
1998 The US began to fortify
grains for bread and cereal with folic acid. By 2009 this led to a
31% decline in cases of spina bifida.
(Econ, 8/29/09, p.70)
1998 Celera Genomics joined the
race to map all human genes.
(WSJ, 4/5/01, p.B1)
1998 Celgene was founded to
sequence the human genome.
(Econ, 7/10/04, p.72)
1998 The Second Sight company
was founded By Dr. Robert Greenberg and Sam Williams (d.2009) to
develop an implantable device to help blind people see. By 2010 the
company developed a commercial retinal implant.
(SFC, 12/22/10, TQ p.4)
1998 A brain implant let a
paralyzed stroke victim move a cursor on a computer screen to point
out simple phrases. [see Apr 13, 2004]
(SFC, 4/14/04, p.C8)
1998 Cybernetics Prof. Kevin
Warwick had a chip implanted into his arm for 9 days to monitor his
body's electrical signals and transmit results to a computer. He
followed up with a more sophisticated chip in 2000.
(SFC, 4/3/00, p.E16)
1998 Dr. James Thomson, Univ.
of Wisconsin research biologist, announced that he had successfully
grown human embryonic stem cells in a privately funded research lab.
(WSJ, 8/23/01, p.A18)
1998 The Roll Back Malaria
Partnership was founded WHO, UNICEF, UNDP and the World Bank, in an
effort to provide a coordinated global response to the disease.
1998 Some 2 million Africans
south of the Sahara died of AIDS in this year.
(SFC, 10/20/99, p.A10)
1998 Research led by Dr Andrew
Wakefield, then a reader in experimental gastroenterology at
London's Royal Free Hospital, became the first to suggest that the
MMR vaccine might be linked to an increased risk of autism and bowel
disorders. Dr Wakefield said he has evidence that children's
behavior changed drastically shortly after they received the MMR
jab. He said: "This is a genuinely new syndrome and urgent further
research is needed to determine whether MMR may give rise to this
complication in a small number of people." Dr Wakefield theorized
that the combination of the three virus strains contained in MMR may
overload the body's immune system and cause the bowel disorder to
develop. The British journal Lancet published a study by Dr. Andrew
Wakefield that linked the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine to autism.
The Lancet later issued a full retraction. The research was later
widely discredited and a report in 2011 said Wakefield and
colleagues had altered facts about patients.
p.A12)(SFC, 1/6/11, p.A2)
1998 Researchers in India
enrolled 75,360 women to be screened every two years with a simple
vinegar test. Another 76,178 women were chosen for a control. In
2013 it was reported that this low-tech visual exam cut the cervical
cancer death rate by 31%.
1999 Jan 31, Scientists from
the University of Alabama at Birmingham reported that the AIDS virus
originated from a subspecies of chimpanzee in western Africa and
that it jumped to humans in the last 50 years.
(SFC, 2/1/99, p.A1)(AP, 1/31/00)
1999 Feb 3, In Zimbabwe
officials said that 70,000 people will die of AIDS this year. 1.6
million of the nation's 12 million people were infected.
(WSJ, 2/4/99, p.A1)
1999 Feb 15, Scientists
announced that a new vaccine against malaria would be tested in
(SFC, 2/16/99, p.A3)
1999 Mar 3, From South Africa
it was reported that 3.6 million people, one in eight adults, were
carrying the AIDS virus by the end of 1998. This compared with 2.7
million in 1997.
(SFC, 3/4/99, p.C5)(SFC, 4/27/99, p.A10)
1999 Mar 17, A US science panel
commissioned by the Clinton administration called for clinical
trials of medical marijuana. Medical experts concluded that
marijuana has medical benefits for people suffering from cancer and
(SFC, 3/17/99, p.A1)(AP, 3/17/00)
1999 Apr 8, An enzyme called
presenilin was reported to be a critical factor in Alzheimer's
(SFC, 4/8/99, p.A2)
1999 Apr 18, During a speech on
the 19th anniversary of independence Pres. Mugabe said that over
1200 Zimbabweans were dying each week from AIDS.
(SFC, 4/19/99, p.A10)
1999 May 3, Bill Gates pledged
$25 million over 5 years to help develop a vaccine against AIDS.
(SFC, 5/4/99, p.A3)
1999 May 6, Bristol-Myers
announced a plan to spend $100 million over the next 5 years in 5
southern African nations, that included Botswana, to fund AIDS
(WSJ, 5/6/99, p.A1)(WSJ, 7/7/00, p.A1)
1999 May 6, Scientists reported
that the salmonella bacteria becomes disabled when stripped of a
gene that produces the DNA adenine methylase (Dam). The research was
seen as a potent new source for vaccines.
(SFC, 5/7/99, p.A1,17)
1999 Jun 22, Zimbabwe reported
that an estimated 3,000 people were dying per week, nearly 70% of
them from AIDS-related illnesses. 25% of the population was said to
be infected with the AIDS causing virus.
(SFC, 6/23/99, p.A14)
1999 Jun, Cheryl L. Johnson
(1950-2007), a nurse at the Univ. of Michigan, and Susan
Bianchi-Sand were among the co-founders of the United American
Nurses union (UAN). During the week of June 17-20, ANA's House of
Delegates (HOD) voted in Washington, DC, to create the United
American Nurses (UAN), a labor entity within ANA that will further
strengthen its labor activities.
(WSJ, 11/10/07, p.A8)(http://tinyurl.com/2tvqo9)
1999 Jul 9, In China the number
of AIDS cases was reported to have climbed past 400,000.
(SFC, 7/10/99, p.C1)
1999 Jul 29, It was reported
that research led by Dr. Robert Weinberg of MIT had created a
cancerous human cell by genetic modification of a normal one.
(SFC, 7/29/99, p.C2)
1999 Aug 5, Researchers
reported the discovery of a gene that causes narcolepsy in dogs.
(WSJ, 8/6/99, p.A1)
1999 Sep 9, In NYC it was
reported that 3 people had died from mosquito-borne St. Louis
encephalitis in the last few weeks. The virus was later identified
as the West Nile Virus, never before reported in the Western
(SFC, 9/10/99, p.A3)(SFC, 9/28/99, p.A9)
1999 Sep 13, Researchers
reported that gene therapy restored vigor to aged brains in
experiments with monkeys.
(WSJ, 9/14/99, p.A1)
1999 Sep 13, In Zimbabwe AIDS
activists gathered in Lusaka for a 4-day conference on the disease
that had already killed 11 million Africans. 5 Africans were being
infected every 2 minutes.
(SFC, 9/14/99, p.A12)
1999 Sep 15, It was reported
that AIDS killed 2 million Africans in 1998.
(SFC, 9/16/99, p.A13)
1999 Oct 22, US Sec. of State
Albright visited Kenya and discussed efforts to curb AIDS which was
claiming 500 Kenyans a day.
(SFC, 10/23/99, p.A11)
1999 Dec 1, On World AIDS Days,
United Nations officials released a report estimating that eleven
million children worldwide had been orphaned by the pandemic.
1999 Alice M. Hodge (d.2001 at
48) authored "Taking Charge of Your Health," a self-help book for
patients with life-altering diseases.
(SFC, 10/24/01, p.C6)
1999 Edward Hooper authored
"The River," a detailed hypothesis for the origin of AIDS in Africa.
He suspected that the Wister polio vaccine, which was given to some
300,000 people in the Belgian Congo between 1957-1960, was produced
from monkey kidney cells that contained SIV virus.
1999 Audrey Gordon’s family
founded the Progeria foundation, after her nephew was diagnosed with
the disease. In 2003 the Boston-based foundation was instrumental in
the discovery of the progeria gene.
1999 The PATH Malaria Vaccine
Initiative was founded with money from the from the Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation.
1999 The UN estimated the
worldwide death toll from AIDS to reach 2.6 million for this year.
(SFC, 11/24/99, p.A1)
2000 Feb 18, In South Africa
the telephone company, Telkom, announced that it would buy and
distribute 5 million condoms to its employees in an effort to fight
AIDS which had infected some 13% of the adult population.
(SFC, 2/19/00, p.A12)
2000 Mar 4, On the AIDS crises
it was reported that 1 in every 50 black men in the US was HIV
positive. It was also reported that 1 in 300 of all people in the US
were HIV positive.
(SFEC, 3/5/00, Z1 p.1)
2000 Mar 23, Researchers
reported that a blood test for C-reactive protein could serve as a
good indicator for heart attack risk.
(SFC, 3/23/00, p.A4)
2000 Mar 23, Scientists
reported that the genetic code of the fruit fly, Drosophila
melanogaster, had been decoded. 60% of the flies 13,600 genes are
identical to human genes.
(SFC, 3/24/00, p.A2)
2000 Mar, The FDA forced the
withdrawal of Rezulin, a diabetes pill made by Warner-Lambert. In
2002 documents showed that early indications of the drug’s danger to
the liver were masked.
(SSFC, 6/30/02, p.A7)
2000 Apr 5, The WHO and UNAIDS
recommended that the drug trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (or
cotrimoxazole) be used to fight AIDS in Africa. The antibiotic, also
known as Bactrim, would help victims live longer.
(SFC, 4/6/00, p.A10)
2000 Apr 6, A private company
mapping the human genetic blueprint announced it had decoded all of
the DNA pieces that make up the genetic pattern of a single human
2000 Apr 17, The IMF and World
Bank ministers ended their meetings and pledged to speed debt relief
to poor countries and to increase support for fighting AIDS. Police
blocked all protestor attempts to disrupt the meetings.
(SFC, 4/18/00, p.A1)(AP, 4/17/01)
2000 Apr 24, It was reported
that officially 5000 new AIDS cases were registered in Irkutsk,
Russia, over the last year along with 8,500 heroin addicts. 40% of
Russian prostitutes were reported to be HIV-positive.
(SFC, 4/24/00, p.A12)
2000 Apr 30, The Clinton
administration defended their decision to classify AIDS as a threat
to national security as a means to garner attention and funding to
fight the disease worldwide.
(SFC, 5/1/00, p.A7)
2000 May 2, In Rwanda health
minister Ezechias Rwabuhihi reported that some 500,000 Rwandans, 6%
of the population, were infected with AIDS.
(SFC, 5/4/00, p.A18)
2000 May 10, Pres. Clinton
issued an executive order to make drugs for AIDS less expensive in
(SFC, 5/11/00, p.A1)
2000 May 19, Scientists led by
Robert Gallo announced plans for an oral AIDS vaccine to be tested
in Uganda for less than $1 per dose. Trials might begin within 18
(SFC, 5/20/00, p.A1)
2000 Jul 7, German drug maker
Boehringer Ingelheim said it would donate nevirapine, a drug to help
prevent the transmission of AIDS from mothers to infants, to every
nation in the developing world that asks for it.
(SFC, 7/8/00, p.A1)
2000 Jul 9, The 13the Int’l.
AIDS Conference convened in South Africa. Pres. Thabo Mbeki opened
the conference and insisted that poverty was a greater enemy than
the AIDS virus. Hundreds of delegates walked out.
(SFC, 7/7/00, p.A1)(SFC, 7/10/00, p.A1)
2000 Jul 14, In South Africa
Nelson Mandela closed the 13th Int’l. Conference on AIDS with a call
for scientists to set aside differences with Pres. Thabo Mbeki and
to concentrate on fighting the disease.
(SFC, 7/15/00, p.A1)
2000 Jul 19, The US announced a
plan to offer sub-Saharan African nations $1 billion in loans
through the Export-Import Bank to finance the purchase of American
AIDS drugs and medical services.
(SFC, 7/19/00, p.A10)
2000 Aug 3, It was reported
that scientists had developed the genetic blueprint of the cholera
(SFC, 8/3/00, p.A10)
2000 Aug 19, Pres. Clinton
signed the Global Aids and Tuberculosis Relief Act of 2000. It
included a trust fund to care for African AIDS patients. AIDS was
killing 6,000 people a day and had orphaned 15% of the children in
the worst affected cities.
(SFC, 8/19/00, p.A5)(SFEC, 8/20/00, p.A7)
2000 Aug 27, Pres. Clinton
visited the village of Ushafa in Nigeria and urged Nigerians to
confront the "tyranny" of AIDS.
(SFC, 8/28/00, p.A1)
2000 Sep 8, The UN Millennium
Summit ended in NYC with the adoption of an 8-page plan to cure the
world’s direst problems. Pledges were made to halve the proportion
of people in poverty, to reverse the spread of AIDS, and to
strengthen the UN’s ability to keep peace.
(SFC, 9/9/00, p.A1)
2000 Sep 11, In Barbados
officials at a conference on AIDS in the Caribbean pledged $120
million to fight the disease.
(SFC, 9/13/00, p.A13)
2000 Sep 25, It was reported
that synthetic versions of the natural enzymes superoxide dismutase
and catalase extended the lives of microscopic roundworms by as much
(SFC, 9/25/00, p.A6)
2000 Oct 9, The Nobel Prize in
physiology or medicine was awarded to Paul Greengard and Eric Kandel
of the US and Arvid Carlsson of Sweden for research in how memory
works and for laying the foundation for the development of
(SFC, 10/10/00, p.A3)
2000 Oct 23, Senegal struck the
1st cut-rate deal for AIDS drugs with discounts as much as 90% from
US retail prices.
(WSJ, 10/24/00, p.A1)
2000 Nov 21, Research published
in a British medical journal showed children who use mobile phones
risk suffering memory loss, sleeping disorders and headaches. The
study said that those younger than 18 are more vulnerable to cell
phone radiation because their immune systems are less robust.
2000 Dec 1, Pres. Clinton on
World AIDS Day urged Congress to provide more money for the
prevention and treatment of AIDS. In the US 40,000 people were being
infected each year and 420,000 had died since 1981. Worldwide almost
60 million people were infected and 16,000 more were being infected
(SFC, 12/2/00, p.A6)
2000 Dec 1, In South Africa the
government agreed to accept a $50 million donation of the drug
fluconazole from Pfizer to treat a brain inflammation associated
with AIDS. Recent approval was also given for nevirapine, a drug to
reduce transmission of the AIDS virus to a fetus.
(SFC, 12/2/00, p.A12)
2000 Dec 4, It was reported
that a mutated oral polio vaccine infected at least 3 people in the
Dominican Republic and Haiti. That standard vaccine appeared to work
against the mutated strain.
(SFC, 12/4/00, p.E2)(WSJ, 4/16/02, p.A1)
2000 Dec 4, Scientists reported
that the Novartis leukemia drug STI-571 brought cancer into
remission in most patients in clinical trials.
(SFC, 12/5/00, p.A13)
2000 Dec 22, A 2nd genetic link
factor for Alzheimer’s was reported on Chromosome 10. the 1st
variant was known as ApoE4. the new gene was suspected in playing a
role in the production of the AB42 protein that makes the plaques
scattered through the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.
(SFC, 12/22/00, p.D3)
2000 A woman gave birth to a
baby that was screened to ensure a birth free of a family genetic
trait for Alzheimer’s disease.
(WSJ, 2/27/02, p.A1)(SFC, 2/27/02, p.A1)
2000 Abbott Labs introduced
Kaletra, an AIDS drug that included Norvir, a protease inhibitor. In
2003 Abbott quintupled the price for Norvir. Abbott pricing went
under investigation in 2004.
(WSJ, 1/3/07, p.A10)
2000 Canadian researchers began
pancreatic islet transplants to patients with diabetes with 70-80%
success to eliminate insulin shots.
(WSJ, 4/10/02, p.A1)
2001 Jan 11, Researchers in
Oregon reported the 1st genetically altered monkey produced to
contain a jelly-fish gene for florescence.
(SFC, 1/12/01, p.A1)
2001 Jan 27, Bill Gates pledged
$100 million for an AIDS vaccine.
(SSFC, 1/28/01, p.A18)
2001 Feb 6, Genset released
early test results that showed weight loss in mice injected with
(WSJ, 2/6/00, p.A1)
2001 Feb 6, In India the Cipla
Ltd. Corp. of Bombay offered to supply triple-therapy anti-AIDS
cocktails to Doctors Without Borders in Africa for $350 per year per
(SFC, 2/7/01, p.A12)
2001 Feb 10, It was reported
that Zovan, a genetically engineered version of human activated
protein C, significantly cut the death rate from sepsis. It was also
reported that LIF, leukemia inhibitory factor normally found in
human placentas, blocked the AIDS virus in lab studies.
(SFC, 2/10/01, p.A3)
2001 Feb 11, It was reported
that scientists had found the human genome to consist of 30,000
genes and that only some 300 were unique to humans as when compared
(SSFC, 2/11/01, p.A1)
2001 Feb 12, Scientists
published their first examinations of nearly all the human genetic
2001 Mar 6, In Kenya the 1st
experimental AIDS vaccine, specifically designed for Africa, was
(SFC, 3/7/01, p.A10)
2001 Mar 8, A new AIDS vaccine
was reported to be successful in monkeys.
(WSJ, 3/9/01, p.A1)
2001 Mar 14, Bristol-Myers
proposed a $1 a day price per patient for its 2 AIDS medicines to
sub-Saharan African countries.
(SFC, 3/15/01, p.A12)
2001 Mar 20, In South Africa
new AIDS statistics indicated that 25% of the adult population, one
of every 9 people, was infected with HIV.
(SFC, 3/21/01, p.A13)
2001 Apr 4, Myriad Genetics
announced a plan, with partners Oracle and Hitachi, to map out how
human proteins interact.
(WSJ, 4/5/01, p.B1)
2001 Apr 10, Doctors in San
Diego implanted genetically modified cells in to the brain of a
60-year-old woman with early Alzheimer’s disease in an effort to
slow her mental decline.
(SFC, 4/11/01, p.A3)
2001 Apr 12, It was reported
that antiseizure drugs caused higher than normal birth defects among
children born to epileptic mothers.
(SFC, 4/12/01, p.A1)
2001 Apr 14, It was reported
that 8 cases of childhood leukemia were recorded in 2000 in the area
of Fallon, Nevada. 12 children were diagnosed with leukemia since
1997 and high levels of arsenic in the drinking water was suspected.
Jet fuel at a nearby air base and a nuclear detonation in 1963, and
pesticides were also cited as possible causes. In 2002 a 16th case
(SFC, 4/14/01, p.A6)(SFC, 7/29/02, p.A4)
2001 Apr 28, It was reported
that researchers at the Univ. of Pennsylvania had used gene therapy
to reverse a form of congenital blindness in dogs.
(SFC, 4/28/01, p.A3)
2001 Apr 26, Kofi Annan
addressed an AIDS summit in Nigeria and called for an increase of
funding against AIDS to at least $7 billion.
(SFC, 4/27/01, p.D2)
2001 Apr 26, It was reported
that a meningitis outbreak had killed at least 3,500 people in
Africa and that vaccine had been shipped to Ethiopia and Burkina
(SFC, 4/26/01, p.A14)
2001 Apr 27, In Nigeria 53
African states signed a joint declaration to boost health spending
to 15% to fight AIDS.
(SFC, 4/28/01, p.A10)
2001 May 10, The US FDA cleared
Gleevec, a cancer drug made by Novartis. The drug disrupted enzymes
that make white blood cells proliferate.
(WSJ, 5/11/01, p.A3)(SFC, 5/11/01, p.A3)
2001 May 22, It was reported
that researchers had identified a gene linked to Crohn’s disease, an
inflammatory bowel disorder.
(WSJ, 5/22/01, p.A1)
2001 May 24, US Sec. of State
Colin Powell traveled to South Africa as part of his 4-nation
African tour to promote the fight against AIDS.
(WSJ, 5/25/01, p.A11)
2001 May 24, It was reported
that St. Jude Medical had designed a new aortic connector to make
operations easier in bypass surgery.
(WSJ, 5/24/01, p.A1)
2001 Jun 1, In South Africa
Nkosi Johnson (12), a victim of AIDS, died. In 2000 he had spoken to
int’l. delegates and implored South Africa to provide HIV-positive
pregnant women with anti-retroviral drugs to block transmission of
the virus to children at birth.
(SFC, 1/12/01, p.A18)(SFC, 6/2/01, p.A8)
2001 Jun 4, It was reported
that the AIDS HIV-infection rate in Botswana was 38.5% of the adult
(SFC, 6/4/01, p.A10)
2001 Jun 6, Pfizer announced
that it would distribute Diflucan, a treatment for cryptococcal
meningitis, for free to AIDS patients in 50 of the world’s least
(SFC, 6/7/01, p.C2)
2001 Jun 25, In NYC the UN
General Assembly convened for a special 3-day session on AIDS.
(SSFC, 6/24/01, p.A12)
2001 Jul 2, In Louisville, Ky.,
the 1st self-contained artificial heart, AbioCor, made by Abiomed
was implanted at Jewish Hospital to Robert L. Tools (59). Tools
lived 151 days with the device and died Nov 30.
(SFC, 7/4/01, p.A1)(WSJ, 7/5/01, p.A1)(SFC,
8/22/01, p.A3)(SFC, 12/1/01, p.A3)
2001 Jul 5, Researchers
reported that cloned mice have profound genetic abnormalities not
apparent at birth.
(SFC, 7/6/01, p.A1)
2001 Jul 12, In Virginia a
woman delivered 5 boys and 2 girls by C-section. This was only the
3rd set of septuplets known to have survived birth.
(SFC, 7/14/01, p.A3)
2001 Jul 31, The US House of
Representatives voted 265-102 to criminalize all human cloning.
(SFC, 8/1/01, p.A1)
2001 Aug 21, Robert Tools, the
first person to receive a self-contained artificial heart (Jul 2),
was introduced to the public at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Ky.,
through a video link from his doctor's office. Tools survived with
the device for 151 days, and died Nov. 30, 2001, of other health
2001 Aug 22, Brazil moved to
produce a generic version of the anti-AIDS drug nelfinavir under
int’l. patent protection by Roche.
(SFC, 8/23/01, p.A8)
2001 Aug 23, It was reported
that surveys had indicated that two-thirds of China’s 1.26 billion
people were infected with hepatitis B.
(SFC, 8/23/01, p.A9)
2001 Aug 25, Univ. of Chicago
doctors announced that they a kept a human kidney operating for 24
hours in a machine that simulated a warm human body.
(SSFC, 8/26/01, p.A10)
2001 Aug 27, It was reported
that AIDS victims in Thailand were packing stadiums to receive V-1
Immunitor, a locally produced drug advertised as a clinically tested
oral AIDS vaccine. Salang Bunnag sponsored the giveaway directed at
Thailand’s 755,000 AIDS patients.
(SFC, 8/27/01, p.A1)
2001 Aug, Gary Padgham (50), an
elk hunter from Bozeman, Montana, died in Monterey, Ca., with
symptoms similar to mad cow disease. Seattle doctors had diagnosed
him with Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease (CJD).
(SFC, 9/7/02, p.A13)
2001 Oct, The FDA approved
tenofovir (Viread), made by Gilead Sciences, to fight HIV. It
blocked a key enzyme in HIV called reverse transcriptase. Gilead
acquired it from Czech chemist Antonin Holy and turned it into a
(SFC, 7/14/04, p.A14)
2001 Nov 5, Baxter said its
dialysis filters appear to have played a role in the deaths of 53
patients in Texas, Nebraska, and 6 countries in Europe, south
America and Asia.
(WSJ, 11/6/01, p.A3)
2001 Nov 22, Stanford and UCSF
researchers reported a long list of genes responsible for multiple
(SFC, 11/23/01, p.A1)
2001 Nov 28, A UN report on
AIDS noted Ukraine as the 1st European nation to report 1% of its
adults infected. Rapid spread was noted across Eastern Europe.
(WSJ, 11/29/01, p.A1)
2001 Nov, China held its 1st
national AIDS conference in Beijing.
(WSJ, 12/19/01, p.A12)
2001 Dec 4, Edwin Huffine, US
forensic scientist, launched a new DNA ID software program developed
with a team of Bosnian experts at the Sarajevo-based Int’l.
Commission for Missing Persons (ICMP). The program used kinship
(SFC, 12/4/01, p.A3)
2001 Dec 18, It was reported
that malaria scientists have engineered mice that produce vaccine in
(WSJ, 12/18/01, p.A1)
2001 Dec 19, It was reported
that 93 official cases of dengue fever had been confirmed in Hawaii,
with most of them in Maui. The dengue virus had not been seen in
Hawaii since 1943.
(WSJ, 12/19/01, p.B1,4)
2001 Dec 20, It was reported
that researchers had identified red wine pigments (polyphenols) as a
factor in inhibiting the production of a peptide that stimulates
hardening of the arteries.
(WSJ, 12/20/01, p.A1)
2001 Dec 20, Bio-Rad Labs and 3
large licensees were reported to have little incentive to sell a
rapid AIDS test domestically because they already dominated the
slower lab-based testing market.
(WSJ, 12/20/01, p.A1)
2001 Dec 21, Pfizer agreed to
settle a suit over the diabetes drug Rezulin after a jury awarded
$43 million to a Texas woman who said it destroyed her liver.
(SFC, 12/22/01, p.A5)
2001 Dec 22, A cloned cat named
CC (Carbon Copy) was born following a year of experimentation by
scientists at Texas A&M scientists. The $3.7 million
research project was funded by John Sperling (81), founder of the
Univ. of Phoenix. Sperling soon formed the Sausalito firm Genetic
Savings to clone pets.
(SFC, 2/15/02, p.A1)(SFC, 2/16/02, p.A1)(SFC,
2001 The UN said 170,000 people
in Cambodia had HIV. About 2.7% of the adult population was infected
(Econ, 11/22/03, p.41)
2002 Jan 1, It was reported
that the number of AIDS cases in Vietnam, people living with HIV,
had reached 40,000. 12-18k new cases were predicted for the coming
(SFC, 1/1/02, p.A15)
2002 Jan 7, Scientists reported
that symptoms of Parkinson’s were relieved in rats when stem cells
were injected into their brains.
(WSJ, 1/8/02, p.A1)
2002 Jan 9, It was reported
that chlorinated water can react with organic matter to form
trihalomethanes (THMs), that have been linked to cancer,
miscarriages and birth defects.
(SFC, 1/9/02, p.A3)
2002 Jan 22, The Global Fund to
Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was established as a Swiss
2002 Feb, The W135 strain of
meningitis from the Middle East was identified for the 1st time in
Africa in Burkina Faso and by Sep some 12,000 people were infected
with 1,500 deaths.
(SFC, 9/20/02, p.A12)
2002 Mar 2, From Brazil it was
reported that at least 23 people had died from dengue fever in Rio
de Janeiro and that officially some 52,000 had become ill.
(SFC, 3/2/02, p.A10)
2002 Mar 6, It was reported
that a 3-year study of heavy marijuana users showed that long-term
pot smoking impaired brain function.
(SFC, 3/6/02, p.A2)
2002 Mar 6, It was reported
that a diet rich in tomato products can lower the risk of prostate
cancer (Journal of National Cancer Institute).
(SFC, 3/6/02, p.A2)(WSJ, 3/6/02, p.A1)
2002 Mar 7, Doctors in Saudi
Arabia reported that the world’s 1st uterus transplant lasted 99
days before it began to deteriorate.
(SFC, 3/7/02, p.A5)
2002 Mar 8, It was reported
that scientists had found a link between SV40, a simian virus, and
(SFC, 3/9/02, p.A1)
2002 Mar 14, It was reported
that scientists had developed a brain implant that allowed monkeys
to control a computer cursor by thought alone.
(SFC, 3/14/02, p.A2)
2002 Mar 29, It was reported
that Thailand planned to market a drug combination of 3 AIDS drugs
in one cheap pill.
(WSJ, 3/29/02, p.B1)
2002 Mar 29, France reported
the successful cloning of rabbits using genetic material from adult
(SFC, 3/30/02, p.A3)
2002 Apr 2, In California a SF
jury awarded $33.7 million to a former Navy electrician who acquired
mesothelioma from asbestos exposure. Foster Wheeler Corp. was the
(SFC, 4/3/02, p.A13)
2002 Apr 11, China reported
that some 850,000 people were infected with AIDS at the end of 2001.
(SFC, 4/12/02, p.A8)
2002 Apr 15, The FDA approved
Botox to smooth the appearance of wrinkles.
(SFC, 4/16/02, p.A3)
2002 Apr 17, French scientists
reported the successful use of gene therapy to treat 4 boys with the
immuno-deficiency syndrome dubbed "bubble-boy disease."
(WSJ, 4/18/02, p.A1)
2002 Apr 18, Researchers in
Pittsburgh reported a strain of Group A streptococci resistant to
erythromycin (the macrolide class of antibiotics).
(SFC, 4/18/02, p.A4)(WSJ, 4/18/02, p.A1)
2002 Apr 24, Greece closed all
schools as a mysterious virus spread with 3 deaths and 39 diagnosed
(WSJ, 4/25/02, p.A1)
2002 Apr, The Dr. Peter Centre
in Vancouver, Canada, began running a safe-injection site for
drug-addicted patients with HIV and AIDS. The city estimated 12,000
intravenous drug users among 1.3 million in the greater area.
(WSJ, 4/1/03, p.D8)
2002 May 16, The WHO created
the 1st global strategy for traditional medicine.
(SFC, 5/17/02, p.A16)
2002 May 30, It was reported
that China was embarking on a program to inoculate its poorest
people against hepatitis. Half of the population was reported to
have had the disease with 120 million long term carriers.
(WSJ, 5/30/02, p.A1)
2002 Jun 3, It was reported
that scientists had discovered a new amino acid, dubbed pyrrolysine,
in Archaea microbes. This brought the known total to 22.
(SFC, 6/3/02, p.A4)
2002 Jun 17, The 1st oral
"black fever" drug was announced. Visceral leishmaniasis reportedly
killed 60,000 annually, mostly in Brazil, India and Bangladesh.
(WSJ, 6/17/02, p.A1)
2002 Jun, The UN AIDS program
reported that Russia had the highest epidemic of HIV infections in
(SSFC, 7/28/02, p.A1)
2002 Jul 9, The Women’s Health
Initiative announced that estrogen-progestin pills, taken by
millions of women as a hormone replacement therapy, do more harm
(SSFC, 7/14/02, p.A3)
2002 Jul 11, US scientists
financed by the Pentagon announced that they had synthesized a virus
from scratch for the 1st time. They built a polio virus relying only
on genetic sequence information publicly available.
(SFC, 7/12/02, p.A1)
2002 Jul 13, It was reported
that Dr. P.V. Rajiv in southern India saved three sick newborn
babies using a cloned version of the anti-impotence drug Viagra. "We
saved the babies by giving sildenafil citrate, also called Viagra,"
he said. Dr. Rajiv first gave the drug orally to a baby suffering
pulmonary hypertension, after consulting international journals
which reported its use to treat adults in a similar condition. Blue
babies have a condition that contracts vessels carrying oxygen-rich
blood to the lungs.
2002 Jul 17, The National
Cancer Institute published a report that linked estrogen used for
hormone replacement to ovarian cancer.
(SFC, 7/17/02, p.A1)
2002 Jul 20, The number of
Japanese who have died after taking diet pills imported from China
has risen to four and 124 have fallen ill, Kyodo news agency
reported quoting a Health Ministry report.
2002 Jul, Customs inspectors in
Belgium noted irregularities in medical shipments from Senegal. It
was determined that some 3 million doses of Glaxo HIV drugs worth
$18 million had been diverted from Africa back to Europe for sale.
(SFC, 10/3/02, p.A10)
2002 Aug 4, It was reported
that low-grade inflammation is worse for human health than high
cholesterol levels. Increases of C-reactive protein from the
inflammation could trigger the release of lumps of plaque and cause
arterial clots leading to heart attacks. Associated factors included
high blood pressure, smoking and chronic gum disease.
(SSFC, 8/4/02, p.A9)
2002 Aug 5, Dr. Sanford L.
Palay (83), neuroscientist and author of "The Cerebral Cortex" and
other books, died in Concord, Mass.
(SFC, 9/3/02, p.A20)
2002 Aug 6, Surgeons in LA
completed a 22-hour operation on Guatemalan twins, Maria de Jesus
Quiej Alvarez and sister Maria Teresa, joined at their heads. UCLA
doctors donated their services in the $1.5 million operation. They
returned to Guatemala Jan 13, 2003.
(SFC, 8/7/02, p.A1)(SFC, 8/8/02, p.A3)(SFC,
2002 Aug 22, Researchers
reported a new enzyme to treat victims of an anthrax attack and to
help detect the spores.
(SFC, 8/22/02, p.A1)
2002 Sep 19, Scientists urged
stronger warning labels for acetaminophen, a painkiller used in
numerous products including Tylenol. Overdose caused liver damage
and annual deaths numbered some 100.
(SFC, 9/20/02, p.A3)
2002 Sep 20, Scientists urged
stronger warning labels for aspirin, ibuprofen and similar
painkillers due to the risk of ulcers.
(SFC, 9/20/02, p.A3)
2002 Sep 20, It was reported
that cancer in Melanoma patients went into remission following
injections of their own T-cells.
(WSJ, 9/20/02, p.A1)
2002 Sep 22, Gov. Davis signed
legislation intended to make California a haven for stem cell
(SFC, 9/23/02, p.A1)
2002 Sep 30, The National
Intelligence Council said China, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria and Russia
will have 50-75 million HIV-infected people by 2010, more than any
other 5 countries.
(SFC, 10/1/02, p.A5)
2002 Oct 3, Int’l. teams of
scientists declared that the genetic code of Plasmodium falciprum,
the parasite that causes most human malaria, has been identified
along with the genetic code of Anopheles gambiae, the mosquito most
responsible for human malaria transmission.
(SFC, 10/3/02, p.A1)
2002 Oct 21, It was reported
that Prof. Vijay Pende of Stanford successfully led a program to use
shared computing power to decipher protein folding in BBA5, a
man-made chain of 23 amino acids.
(SFC, 10/21/02, p.A4)
2002 Oct 22, It was reported
that a gene was identified that related to attention-deficit
disorders and that it was located in a region of the human genome
identified with autism.
(WSJ, 10/22/02, p.D3)
2002 Nov 7, The US FDA approved
a 20 minute easy to use AIDS test manufactured by OraSure.
(SFC, 11/7/02, p.A4)
2002 Nov 14, The New England
Journal of Medicine reported a study that found C-reactive protein
(CRP) to be a major trigger of heart attacks.
(SFC, 11/14/02, p.A1)
2002 Nov 21, Merck published a
study of vaccine that prevents cervical cancers caused by human
papilloma virus (HPV) that could be available by 2006.
(WSJ, 11/21/02, p.A1)(SFC, 11/21/02, p.A1)
2002 Nov 24, The government of
Vietnam estimated AIDS at 107,000 cases and pointed to the estimated
40,000 prostitutes as the chief source. AIDS workers said 70% of the
infected were drug users and claimed 200,000 cases.
(SSFC, 11/24/02, p.A3)
2002 Nov 26, The World Health
Organization confirmed an outbreak of flu in rebel-controlled
northern Congo, and the country's health minister said more than 500
people have died.
2002 Nov 26, A United Nations
report said that for the first time in the 20-year history of the
AIDS epidemic, about as many women as men were infected with HIV.
2002 Dec 1, World AIDS Day
marked 42 million HIV positive people around the world with 75% in
2002 Dec 5, The genetic code of
the Black 6 mouse, the most common breed of laboratory mouse, was
published in Nature.
(SFC, 12/5/02, p.A1)
2002 Dec 19, It was reported
that AIDS in Thailand infected 1 in 60 people and that by 2006 some
50,000 annual deaths would result from AIDS-related causes.
(SFC, 12/19/02, p.A18)
2002 Dec 26, Brigitte
Boisselier, a chemist and head of Clonaid, said the world's first
human clone, a 7-pound baby girl, was born by Caesarean section. She
was associated with the Raelian religion, founded by Claude Vorilhon
in 1973. The claim was subsequently dismissed by scientists for lack
(AP, 12/27/02)(Reuters, 12/27/02)(SFC, 12/28/02,
2002 Zachary B. Friedenberg
authored "Medicine Under Sail," an account of the experiences of
(WSJ, 7/26/02, p.W10)
2003 Jan 2, It was reported
that scientists had mapped chromosome 14, the 4th of 24 and longest
sequenced to date.
2003 Jan 6, US Surgeon General
Dr. Richard Carmona called obesity the fastest growing cause of
illness and death in the US.
(SFC, 1/7/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 13, It was reported
that Iraq has experienced a dramatic increase in child cancers in
recent years. Blame was cast on the US use of depleted uranium
during the 1991 Gulf War.
(SFC, 1/13/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 26, At the World
Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Bill Gates announced that his
charitable foundation will spend $200 million for medical research
in poor and undeveloped countries. In partnership with the
National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation (BMFG) granted $200 million to the Foundation for the
National Institutes of Health (FNIH).
2003 Jan 28, Pres. Bush in his
State of the Union vowed to use the "full force and might of the
U.S. military" if needed to disarm Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Bush
pledged of $15 billion for AIDS assistance in Africa, a domestic
agenda of tax cuts, medical malpractice caps and a ban on certain
late abortions. Bush also announced a $1.2 billion hydrogen fuel
1/29/03)(WSJ, 1/29/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 28, A Chinese company
began distributing generic drugs for an anti-AIDS cocktail.
(SFC, 1/29/03, p.A5)
2003 Feb 2, Australia's first
cloned sheep, Matilda (b. Apr, 2000) died unexpectedly of unknown
2003 Feb 3, New Jersey doctors
joined the protest against high malpractice insurance premiums.
(WSJ, 2/4/03, p.A1)
2003 Feb 5, It was reported
that genealogical research in Utah identified a gene that causes
(WSJ, 2/5/03, p.A1)
2003 Feb 14, Dolly (b.1996),
the world’s 1st clone sheep and mother of 6 lambs, was put to sleep
by veterinarians in Scotland after they failed to cure her of a
severe lung infection.
(AP, 2/15/03)(SFC, 2/15/03, p.A2)
2003 Mar 19, Doctors in Hong
Kong reportedly identified the deadly pneumonia virus as belonging
to the paramyxoviridae family. The severe acute respiratory illness
(SARS) had killed at least 11 people and left hundreds ill. The
outbreak is believed to have began in southern China in November.
Later reports held that it could be a coronavirus, part of a group
that cause the common cold. Many people treated with corticosteroids
later developed an irreversible bone disease called avascular
necrosis. By July 12, 2003, SARS killed 812 people worldwide.
(SFC, 3/15/03, p.A8)(SFC, 1/19/02, p.A4)(WSJ,
4/3/03, p.B1)(WSJ, 12/23/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 29, Italian Dr. Carlo
Urbani (46), a WHO expert on communicable diseases, died of SARS in
Thailand, where he was being treated after becoming infected while
working in Vietnam. Urbani was the 1st doctor to identify SARS.
2003 Apr 3, It was reported
that Alzheimer’s symptoms were slowed by the drug memantine.
(WSJ, 4/3/03, p.A1)
2003 Apr 4, Pres. Bush issued
an executive order giving federal health officials power to
quarantine anyone suspected of being infected with SARS. The disease
had spread to 17 countries killing at least 90 people and infected
(SFC, 4/5/03, p.A1)(SSFC, 4/6/03, p.A9)
2003 Apr 12, Canada reported 3
more deaths from the deadly SARS virus, lifting the national toll to
13. 274 probable or suspect cases have been reported across Canada,
up from 266.
2003 Apr 14, Scientists
reported that the human genome map was finished with an accuracy of
nearly 100% following 13 years of work.
(WSJ, 4/15/03, p.A1)
2003 Apr 16, SARS deaths
totaled some 154 with at least 3,412 affected in 22 countries. A
World Health Organization team disclosed that there were unreported
cases of the SARS virus in Beijing's military hospitals and that
investigators have been barred from releasing details.
(SFC, 4/16/03, p.A3)(AP, 4/17/03)
2003 Apr 17, It was reported
that scientists had linked a single gene mutation to the
Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome that makes children age
(SFC, 4/17/03, p.A8)
2003 Apr 17, India reported it
1st case of SARS.
(WSJ, 4/18/03, p.A1)
2003 Apr 20, After reporting a
nearly tenfold increase in SARS cases in the capital, China
announced the sacking of its top health official and the capital's
mayor from key Communist Party positions. The number of infections
in Beijing soared from 37 to 346.
2003 Apr 26, Health ministers
from across east Asia came up with a joint plan to fight SARS during
a meeting, and hundreds of medical workers in Beijing were forced to
sleep in their offices because of hospital-wide quarantines.
2003 Apr 28, Scientists
reported the discovery of a type of mouse that appears to the have a
genetic resistance to cancer.
2003 May 2, In Taiwan 11 more
cases of SARS were confirmed with 5 new deaths. Confirmed cases
totaled 100 with the death toll at 8. Mutations of the virus were
(SFC, 5/3/03, p.A7)
2003 May 4, Idaho Gem, the 1st
cloned mule, was born at the Univ. of Idaho.
(SFC, 5/30/03, p.A2)
2003 May 7, It was reported
that scientists had altered a common cold virus to destroy a common
brain tumor in mice.
(WSJ, 5/7/03, p.D7)
2003 May 12, A British
government doctor reported that the brains of at least 20,000
people, many of them depressed or mentally ill when they died, were
removed without their families' consent from 1970-1999.
(AP, 5/12/03)(USAT, 5/13/03, p.10A)
2003 May 16, The US Senate
committed $15 billion to fight global AIDS. Congress approved the
President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). In his Jan 28,
State of the Union address Pres. George W. Bush had made a
commitment to substantially increase US support for addressing
2003 May 27, A study was
released that showed women who took hormones for years ran a higher
risk of Alzheimer's or other types of dementia.
2003 May 29, Scientists
reported the discovery of a "master gene" in stem cells.
(SFC, 5/30/03, p.A5)
2003 Jun 1, Genentech reported
that its drug Avastin lengthened survival time for colon cancer
patients. In 2004 the FDA approved it as a colorectal cancer
treatment. In 2007 researches said it could improve the treatment of
(SFC, 6/2/03, p.A1)(SSFC, 6/3/07, p.G1)
2003 Jun 1, UC Berkeley
researchers revealed a new laboratory method for manufacturing the
anti-malarial drug, artemisinin.
(SFC, 6/2/03, p.A11)
2003 Jul 10, Pres. Bush met
with Pres. Festus Mogae in Botswana. Bush said that AIDS is "the
deadliest enemy Africa has ever faced" and pledged to the nation
with the world's highest AIDS infection rate that it would have a
strong partner in his administration in fighting the disease.
(SFC, 7/10/03, p.A8)(AP, 7/10/08)
2003 Jun 12, EndoVascular
Tech., a unit of Guidant Corp., pleaded guilty for failure to report
malfunctions of their Ancure Endograft system and was ordered to pay
$92.4 million in civil and criminal penalties. Some 2,628
malfunctions between 1999 and 2001 had not been reported.
(SFC, 6/17/03, p.A1)(SFC, 10/17/03, p.A25)
2003 Jun 16, Scientists
reported that they've identified a flawed gene that appears to
promote manic-depression, or bipolar disorder.
2003 Jul 19, The first Human
Tongue Transplant took place in Vienna, Austria. Tongue transplants
had been performed for years on animals, but this was the first
attempt at transplanting a human tongue. It was carried out at
Memorial University Hospital in Vienna, Austria during a 14-hour
operation by Dr. Rolf Ewers and eight surgeons. It was performed on
an unidentified 42-year-old patient who was suffering from a
malignant tumor affecting his tongue and jaw. Doctors believed he
would ultimately be able to talk, have feeling and limited movement,
but probably won’t regain the sensation of taste.
2003 Jun 24, The WHO lifted its
warning against travel to Beijing due to SARS.
(SFC, 6/25/03, p.A7)
2003 Jul 8, Ladan and Laleh
Bijani (29), Iranian twin sisters, joined at the head, died within
90 minutes of each other as neurosurgeons in Singapore worked into a
3rd day to separate them.
(AP, 7/7/03)(AP, 7/8/03)
2003 Jul 9, Canada became the
1st country in the world to start selling marijuana to several
hundred seriously ill people but said the pot project could be
halted at any time.
2003 Jul 9, Research was
released that said PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers), commonly
used in flame retardants, posed a health hazard.
(SFC, 7/9/03, p.A1)
2003 Jul 18, Scientists
reported the discovery of a link between a seratonin-controlling
gene and depression.
(SFC, 7/18/03, p.A23)(WSJ, 7/18/03, p.A1)
2003 Aug 3, Dr. Pater Safar
(79), regarded as the father of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (cpr),
died in Pittsburgh, Pa.
(SFC, 8/5/03, p.A1)
2003 Aug 12, Some 8,000 US
doctors called for a government-financed national health insurance
as a single-payer system similar to an expanded version of Medicare.
(SFC, 8/13/03, p.A3)
2003 Aug 13, Florida's
legislature approved a bill that capped most medical malpractice
damage awards at $500,000.
(WSJ, 8/14/03, p.A1)
2003 Aug 13, Ontario health
officials reported that a family doctor had become the 44th person
to die from SARS in Toronto.
2003 Aug 13, Chinese
researchers reported that they had created hybrid embryos of human
and rabbit DNA as a source for stem cells.
(SFC, 8/14/03, p.A3)
2003 Sep 1, Marijuana went on
sale Monday at Dutch pharmacies to help bring relief to thousands of
patients suffering from cancer, AIDS or multiple sclerosis.
2003 Sep 4, Researchers
reported that the hormone YY3-36 appeared to curb the appetite of
(SFC, 9/4/03, p.A3)
2003 Sep 8, Singapore health
officials confirmed that a local patient tested positive for severe
acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, the 1st new case of the disease
in over 5 months.
(AP, 9/8/03)(WSJ, 9/10/03, p.A1)
2003 Sep 14, The Lasker
foundation presented awards for medical research to Dr. Robert
Roeder for his work on gene transcription, and to Dr. Marc Feldman
and Sir Ravinder Maini for their anti-TVF work that led to drugs for
treating rheumatoid arthritis.
(SSFC, 9/14/03, p.A2)
2003 Sep 16, It was reported
that scientists in Japan have transformed mouse stem cells into
(SFC, 9/16/03, p.A6)
2003 Sep 27, An illness called
"nodding disease" was reported among children in southern Sudan. It
caused victims to convulse with sharp nods of the head while eating
or exposed to unusually cold conditions.
(SFC, 9/27/03, p.A28)
2003 Oct 11, In Italy
4-month-old twin Greek girls joined at the temple were successfully
separated after a 13 hour operation at a Rome hospital.
(AP, 10/12/03)(SFC, 10/15/03, p.A2)
2003 Nov 3, The FDA issued
draft guidelines outlining when drug companies must submit
information on how medicines affect people differently depending on
their genetic makeup.
(WSJ, 11/3/03, p.B1)
2003 Nov 5, President Bush
signed a ban on partial birth abortion, but a federal judge in
Nebraska immediately blocked its implementation in some states.
(AP, 11/5/03)(WSJ, 11/6/03, p.A1)
2003 Nov 6, Patmos, "payment at
the time of service," was reported to be a growing practice among
(WSJ, 11/6/03, p.A1)
2003 Nov 6, Gene scientists
published a map in Nature that shows how DNA controls protein
interactions in the fruit fly.
(WSJ, 11/7/03, p.A1)
2003 Nov 11, It was reported
that gene scientists had determined that a genetic variation helped
slowed the creation of bad cholesterol and helped explain why some
people lived longer. [see 1974]
(WSJ, 11/11/03, p.A1)
2003 Nov 13, The US Energy Dept
reported that Dr. Craig Venter and colleagues had assembled a
bacteriophage containing 5,386 DNA base pairs.
(SFC, 11/14/03, p.A7)
2003 Nov 25, The UN said AIDS
will kill 3 million people this year and infect 5 million. The
global HIV tally was put at 40 million.
(WSJ, 11/26/03, p.A1)
2003 Nov 26, The UN Children's
Fund warned that AIDS has already orphaned more than 11 million
African children under the age of 15, and "the worst is yet to
2003 Nov 27, Researchers in
Cleveland reported on a gene that causes heart attacks.
(SFC, 11/28/03, p.C11)(WSJ, 11/28/03, p.B1)
2003 Nov 28, AIDS in Guatemala
was reported to kill an estimated 10 people a day.
(SFC, 11/28/03, p.C2)
2003 Nov, Jenifer West and
colleagues at Rice Univ. described a sophisticated way of
cauterising cancers using precisely engineered "nanoshells."
(Econ, 11/8/03, p.79)
2003 Dec 3, It was reported
that England planned to spend $17 billion to transform its health
care system with information technology to make all medical records
available in a secure central database.
(WSJ, 12/3/03, p.B1)
2003 Dec 8, Pres. Bush signed
into law the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and
Modernization Act (also called the Medicare Modernization Act or
MMA). It was the biggest expansion of Medicare since its creation in
1965. The $400 billion Medicare overhaul bill included a provision
to put away pre-tax money into interest bearing accounts to save for
(SFC, 12/9/03, p.A1)(WSJ, 12/16/03, p.D1)
2003 Dec 9, Esmond Snell (89),
biochemist, died in Boulder, Colo. He and Texas colleagues
discovered and named folic acid, a B vitamin needed to make DNA and
RNA and to enable red blood cells to carry iron.
(SFC, 12/25/03, p.A18)
2003 Dec 11, The Italian
Parliament imposed controls on medically assisted reproduction.
(SFC, 12/12/03, p.A17)
2003 Dec 12, It was reported
that researchers had found a gene in worms that was responsible for
(WSJ, 12/12/03, p.A1)
2003 Dec 16, Dr. Peter Valk
(63), Sacramento internist and pioneer in the clinical use of P.E.T.
scans, died. He had recently finished editing "Positron Emission
Tomography: Basic Science and clinical Practices."
(SFC, 1/15/04, p.A19)
2003 Dec 17, The US CDC
reported that the average age of US women for their 1st child was
25.1 years, up from 21.4 in 1970.
(WSJ, 12/18/03, p.A1)
2003 Tracy Kidder authored
"Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who
Would Cure the World."
(SSFC, 9/21/03, p.M1)
2003 The Groningen Academic
Hospital in Amsterdam, Netherlands, carried out 4 mercy killings of
terminally ill newborn children in this year. In 2004 the hospital
proposed guidelines for such procedures.
(SFC, 12/1/04, p.A17)
2004 Jan 14, Former Pres.
Clinton announced an agreement with 5 medical technology companies
to reduce the cost of tests for HIV-AIDS treatment in Africa and the
(SFC, 1/15/04, p.A1)
2004 Feb 11, South Korean
scientists reported that they had cloned human embryonic tissue
(SFC, 2/12/04, p.A1)
2004 Mar 3, Harvard reported
that it used private funds to create 17 new stem-cell lines from
discarded fertility clinic embryos.
(WSJ, 3/4/04, p.A1)
2004 Mar 17, Harvard
researchers reported that an enzyme in the brain appears to regulate
appetite and weight.
(WSJ, 3/18/04, p.A1)
2004 Mar 23, The Bush
administration reported that the Medicare Trust Fund would run out
of money in 2019, 7 years earlier that projected in 2003.
(SFC, 3/24/04, p.A1)
2004 Mar 23, Chen Zhongwei
(74), a Chinese surgeon credited with pioneering the process of
reattaching severed limbs, died. Chen successfully reattached the
severed right hand of an injured factory worker in 1963, in the
first operation of its kind.
2004 Mar 24, A group of large
employers proposed "scorecards" for doctors in an effort help
employees choose doctors based on quality care.
(WSJ, 3/25/04, p.A1)
2004 Mar 26, The FDA approved
the 1st HIV test that uses saliva rather than blood. The 20 minute
test, made by OraSure, is able to detect HIV antibodies about 6
weeks after infection.
(SFC, 3/27/04, p.A1)
2004 Apr 10, Some 11% of South
Africans, 5 million people, were reported to be infected with AIDS.
An earlier government report said 100,000 civil servants were HIV
(Econ, 4/10/04, p.39)
2004 Apr 13, The FDA approved a
clinical trial by Cyberkinetics on implants in humans for a
(SFC, 4/14/04, p.C8)
2004 Apr 26, Scientists
reported that a new gene-therapy treatment for Alzheimer's patients
had produced encouraging results.
(SFC, 4/28/04, p.A5)
2004 May 3, A group of British
scientists announced early work on a new procedure that makes teeth
grow from stem cells implanted in the gum.
2004 May 10, Scientists working
with mice reported success in killing fat cells by cutting off their
(WSJ, 5/10/04, p.B1)
2004 May 19, Britain opened the
world’s 1st stem cell bank.
(WSJ, 5/20/04, p.A1)
2004 May 26, It was reported
that a new study showed that aspirin might help reduce women’s
chances of developing the most common form of breast cancer.
(WSJ, 5/26/04, p.A1)
2004 Jun 13, It was reported
that a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon a day helped to reduce glucose,
fat and cholesterol levels by a s much as 30%.
(SSFC, 6/13/04, Par p.8)
2004 Jun 25, Australia's
government decided to cover most of the outside of cigarette
packages with graphic images showing the physical damage caused by
2004 Jun, Doctors at Rhode
Island Hospital implanted a pea-size sensor in the brain of Matthew
Nagle, a quadriplegic, which connected to computer. Over a 9-month
period he learned to use his mind to control motion on a video
monitor and a robotic arm. The journal Nature reported the results
of the experiment on July 13, 2006.
(SFC, 7/13/06, p.A1)
2004 Jul 5, It was reported
that India was logging nearly 1000 new AIDS cases a month and that
there were an estimated 4.6 million people infected with HIV.
(SFC, 7/5/04, p.A8)
2004 Aug 16, The FDA approved
the 1st surgical device to clear clots from the brains of stroke
(WSJ, 8/17/04, p.A1)
2004 Sep 3, US Medicare
announced a 17.4% increase in premiums for doctor visits.
(WSJ, 9/7/04, p.A1)
2004 Sep 13, Scientists
reported a new type of cancer-influencing gene that can either
suppress or trigger tumors.
(SFC, 9/13/04, p.A1)
2004 Sep 23, In Belgium a woman
gave birth to a healthy baby after doctors had transplanted ovarian
tissue, frozen since 1997, back into her abdomen.
(SFC, 9/24/04, p.A1)
2004 Sep 24, Medical experts
said screening for artery disease is a good idea for people over 60.
Carotid ultrasound and ankle-brachial tests were recommended.
(WSJ, 9/24/04, p.B3)
2004 Sep 25, The Lasker
Foundation awarded its prize for clinical research posthumously to
Dr. Charles Kelman, who made cataract removal an outpatient
procedure. The $50,000 award for basic research went to Dr. Pierre
Chambon, Ronald Evans, and Elwood Jensen for opening up the field of
studying proteins called nuclear hormone receptors.
(SSFC, 9/26/04, p.A10)
2004 Sep 30, Merck & Co.
said the arthritis drug Vioxx, used by 2 million people around the
world, was being pulled off the market after a study confirmed
longstanding concerns that it raises the risk of heart attack and
stroke. Global Vioxx sales in 2003 had reached $2.5 billion. In 2007
Merck agreed to a $4.85 million settlement.
(AP, 9/30/04)(WSJ, 10/1/04, p.A1)(WSJ, 11/10/07,
2004 Sep 30, A deal was
announced between Samoa and UC Berkeley researchers to clone a
promising anti-AIDS drug, prostratin, from the bark of the native
(SFC, 10/1/04, p.B1)
2004 Oct 13, The US government
approved a microchip that can be implanted under the skin to provide
doctors with patient data. Two weeks after the device's approval
took effect on Jan. 10, 2005, Tommy Thompson left his Cabinet post,
and within five months was a board member of VeriChip Corp. and
Applied Digital Solutions. He was compensated in cash and stock
options. In 2007 it was reported that a series of veterinary and
toxicology studies, dating to the mid-1990s, stated that chip
implants had "induced" malignant tumors in some lab mice and rats.
(SFC, 10/14/04, p.A1)(AP, 9/9/07)
2004 Oct 18, The US FDA
approved the 1st partially implantable artificial heart intended to
keep patients alive while they wait for a heart transplant.
(WSJ, 10/19/04, p.A1)
2004 Oct, The US FDA approved
the 1st artificial spinal disk, the Charite disc from Johnson &
Johnson. It had been successfully implanted in patients in Europe
since the 1980s.
(WSJ, 11/2/04, p.D1)(WSJ, 6/7/05, p.A1)
2004 Nov 3, Dr. Sidney
Goldring, and early advocate of brain operation for epilepsy, died
in Chesterfield, Mo. He advocated the use of electrodes to find
precise areas involved in setting off seizures.
(SFC, 11/18/04, p.B7)
2004 Nov 8, It was reported
that a new polyester mesh stocking pulled over a weak heart was
effective in reducing heart failure.
(SFC, 11/8/04, p.A2)
2004 Nov 18, The US government
reported a possible case of mad cow disease.
(SFC, 11/19/04, p.A3)
2004 Nov 18, US Army doctors
said some 100 soldiers wounded in the Mideast and Afghanistan had
come down with rare, treatment resistant blood infections.
(WSJ, 11/19/04, p.A1)
2004 Nov 18, FDA officer David
Graham identified 5 drugs with dangerous side effects: Crestor to
lower cholesterol, Meridia for weight loss, Bextra for pain,
Accutane for acne, and Serevent for asthma.
(SFC, 11/19/04, p.A1)
2004 Nov 18, Genentech and its
partners announced FDA approval of the experimental lung cancer
(SFC, 11/19/04, p.A3)
2004 Nov 23, A UN AIDS report
said infections had risen 7.7% to 39.4 million over the last 2
years; growth was fastest in Asia and East Europe. New infections in
2004 were estimated at 4.9 million with 3.1 million deaths.
(WSJ, 11/24/04, p.A1)(Econ, 11/27/04, p.82)
2004 Dec 1, World AIDS Day was
observed around the globe. The CDC said nearly one million Americans
had the AIDS virus.
(AP, 12/1/04)(WSJ, 12/2/04, p.A1)
2004 Dec 12, Researchers said
they may have discovered what causes psoriasis, a common and
irritating skin ailment.
2004 Dec 17, It was reported
that the AIDS drug nevirapine failed to meet int’l. standards in
Uganda. The drug was used to protect babies from HIV infection, but
that infected women could develop resistance.
(SFC, 12/17/04, p.A23)
2004 Dec 28, The US FDA
approved a new drug for severe pain to be marketed by Elan as
Prialt. It was part of a new class known as N-type calcium channel
(SFC, 12/29/04, p.A5)
2004 Marcia Angell authored
“The Truth About Drug Companies."
(WSJ, 8/25/04, p.D10)
2004 Steven Johnson authored
"Mind Wide Open: Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life."
He examined how the functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI)
might reveal the workings of the mind's emotional toolbox and its
alleged 412 distinct emotions.
(SSFC, 2/15/04, p.M8)
2004 The US FDA approved maggot
therapy as a prescription treatment to prevent wound infections.
(SFC, 12/8/12, p.A10)
2004 PatientsLikeMe, a social
networking health site, was founded by three Massachusetts Institute
of Technology (MIT) engineers: brothers Benjamin Heywood and Jamie
Heywood and longtime family friend Jeff Cole.
(Econ, 3/3/12, TQ
2004 Gilead Sciences of
California launched Truvada, a once-a-day, one-pill combination of
two drugs to treat AIDS.
2004 Vytorin, a drug for high
cholesterol, came out. It combined Merck’s Zocor with
Schering-Plough Corp.'s Zetia, which went on sale in 2002 and
attacks cholesterol in a different way. In 2008 a study of Vytorin
failed to show positive results.
2005 Jan 20, Alzheimer’s
scientists said they had reversed brain-cell damage in mice by
clearing plaque with antibodies.
(WSJ, 1/21/05, p.A1)
2005 Feb 4, It was reported
that California’s mysterious explosion of autism cases increased by
13% in 2004. State services for autism had increased from some 5,000
in 1993 to 26,000 in 2004. The US federal Dept. of Education
reported that autism in schoolchildren increased 1,700% nationally
from 1992 to 2002.
(SFC, 2/4/05, p.A1)
2005 Feb 8, It was reported
that a 1991 memo from Merck showed that senior executives were
concerned that the vaccines of an expanded immunization program
contained an elevated dose of mercury by as much as 87 times the
maximum guidelines for daily consumption of mercury from fish.
Thimersol, an anti-bacterial compound in the vaccine, was nearly 50%
ethyl mercury, a neurotoxin. The vaccine program was later tied to
elevated cases of autism.
(SFC, 2/8/05, p.A5)
2005 Feb 18, An advisory panel
said Merck & Co. Inc.'s withdrawn arthritis drug Vioxx is safe
enough to rejoin Pfizer's rival pain relievers Celebrex and Bextra
on the U.S. market, after concluding that all three medicines posed
some level of heart risk.
2005 Mar 3, A UN report on AIDS
in Africa said 80 million may be dead by 2025 with over 10% of the
(WSJ, 3/4/05, p.A1)
2005 Mar 14, Health Day News
reported that an experimental drug that stops cancer cell division
and triggers tumor death has been developed by researchers at Temple
University. The drug, called ON01910, interferes with the activity
of a gene called Plk1.
2005 Mar 15, British and
Spanish scientists reported that they have discovered how green tea
helps to prevent certain types of cancer. They showed that a
compound called EGCG in green tea prevents cancer cells from growing
by binding to a specific enzyme.
2005 Mar 15, It was noted that
Israeli researchers had found that pomegranate juice helps lower
(WSJ, 3/15/05, p.D4)
2005 Mar 24, The US FDA
approved Boniva, a monthly pill to help women fight osteoporosis.
(SFC, 3/26/05, p.A4)
2005 Apr 19, Britain's GW
Pharmaceuticals announced its multiple sclerosis (MS) pain relief
drug Sativex, the world's first containing cannabis, has been
approved for use in Canada.
2005 Jun 2, Researchers
reported that human trust in others was related to the hormone
(Econ, 6/4/05, p.76)
2005 Jun 4, It was reported
that Larry Ellison, head of Oracle Corp., planned to create a
database and journal to track improvements in world health through a
joint venture with Harvard that would be accompanied by as much as
(SFC, 6/4/05, p.C1)
2005 Jun 20, Dutch scientists
reported that folic acid improved the memory of older adults.
(SFC, 6/21/05, p.A3)
2005 Jun 23, The US FDA
approved the heart failure drug BiDil for use by blacks. It will be
the 1st medication targeted for a specific racial group.
(SFC, 6/24/05, p.A3)
2005 Nov 30, French doctors
performed the world’s 1st partial face transplant. They operated on
a woman (38) disfigured by a dog bite.
(SFC, 12/1/05, p.A1)
2006 Mar 28, In China new
regulations viewed on the Health Ministry's Web site forbade the
buying and selling of organs and require that donors give written
permission for their organs to be transplanted.
2006 Jun 2, Four governments
(Brazil, Chile, France, and Norway), the UN and the world's soccer
federation launched a plan to use the proceeds of a new airline
ticket tax to treat people in the developing world suffering from
AIDS, malaria or tuberculosis. Countries that have either approved
or say they expect to approve a new airline ticket tax include
Britain, Cyprus, Congo, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Luxembourg,
Madagascar, Mauritius and Nicaragua.
2006 Jun 3, Doctors reported
that a new experimental drug, lapatinib, from British-based
GlaxoSmithKline PLC, delayed the growth of advanced breast cancer in
women who had stopped responding to the drug Herceptin and were out
of treatment options. The company planned to sell the drug under the
(AP, 6/3/06)(SSFC, 6/4/06, p.A5)
2006 Jul 19, Alain Rappaport
premiered the web site www.medstory.com, a consumer search product
for information on health and medicine.
(SFC, 7/19/06, p.C1)
2006 Sep 5, The US FDA granted
Abiomed approval to sell AbioCor, the world’s first implantable
(SFC, 9/6/06, p.A3)
2006 Sep 6, Reporting in the
Annals of Internal Medicine, European researchers said virgin olive
oil may be particularly effective at lowering heart disease risk
because of its high level of antioxidant plant compounds.
2006 Sep 15, A large
diabetes-prevention study found that the drug Rosiglitazone
(Avandia), made by GlaxoSmithKline, can help keep “pre-diabetics"
from developing Type 2 diabetes. The drug was already being used to
treat the disease, which afflicted over 200 million worldwide.
(SFC, 9/16/06, p.A3)
2006 Sep 27, The US FDA
approved Vectibix (panitimumab), a new colon cancer drug developed
by Amgen and Abgenix.
(SFC, 9/28/06, p.C1)
2006 Sep 28, Novartis
Pharmaceuticals Corp., the US unit of Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG,
said that at least three out of four patients given an experimental
multiple sclerosis treatment were free of relapses for more than two
2006 Oct 9, Panamanian
authorities said they suspect a medicine taken to treat high blood
pressure may be among the factors leading to the deaths of 21 people
since July who have succumbed to a mysterious illness that triggers
kidney failure. Panama's health minister stopped sales of the
medication, Lisinopril Normon, on Oct 6 and began removing it from
pharmacy shelves. About 9,000 Panamanians were taking the medicine.
Total deaths eventually reached at least 116 from contaminated
medications [see Oct 18].
(AP, 10/9/06)(AP, 5/10/08)
2006 Oct, The Howard Hughes
Medical Institute (HHMI) opened its Janelia Farm Research Campus in
Ashburn, Va. the new $500 million lab, designed by Rafael Vinoly,
planned to engage in long-term medical research.
(WSJ, 9/22/06, p.B1)
2006 Nov 21, The UN said an
estimated 39.5 million people are now living with the AIDS virus
worldwide as infection rates and deaths from the disease continue to
2006 Nov 22, China reported
that the number of HIV/AIDS cases is nearly 30% higher than for all
of last year, with intravenous drug use as the biggest source of
2006 Nov 23, Scientists
studying mice said they have found what may be a master cardiac stem
cell, able to change into the three major cell types in a mammal's
heart, in a finding that could help guide heart repair in people.
2006 Dec 1, World AIDS Day was
marked around the globe by somber religious services, boisterous
demonstrations and warnings that far more needs to be done to treat
and prevent the disease.
2006 Dec 26, It was reported
that a large study in Britain had found that taking such popular
heartburn drugs as Nexium, Prevacid or Prilosec for a year or more
can raise the risk of a broken hip markedly in people over 50.
2006 Dec 30, Maria del Carmen
Bousada (66) of Spain became the world's oldest mother after she
gave birth to twins in the northern city of Barcelona. She had
previously undergone in vitro fertilization in Los Angeles. Bousada
(69) died of cancer on July 11, 2009, leaving behind her twin
(AP, 12/30/06)(AP, 7/15/09)
2006 Harriet A. Washington
authored “Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical
Experimentation on Black Americans From Colonial Times to the
(SSFC, 12/31/06, p.M1)
2006 Gilead Sciences of
California launched Atripla, a once-a-day, one-pill combination of
Truvada and another drug to treat AIDS.
(Econ, 6/2/12, p.80)(http://www.atripla.com/)
2006 In Abu Dhabi a diabetes
center was opened by the Imperial College of London. In 2008 almost
a fifth of the UAE’s native population suffered from diabetes.
(Econ, 4/26/08, p.37)
2007 Jan 29, Bayer said the US
Food and Drug Administration has approved a new use of Bayer
Schering Pharma AG's drug YAZ to allow it to be used to treat
moderate acne in women who also want to use an oral contraceptive
for birth control.
2007 Jan, In eastern England a
16-year-old girl lost nearly all her fingers after she put her hands
in a bucket of plaster of Paris during an art lesson. She was
attempting to make a sculpture of her own hands. In 2009 Giles
School, in Boston, was ordered to pay 19,000 pounds ($30,140) for
breaching health and safety regulations and also failing to report
the incident to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
2007 Feb 11, Scientists
reported in the journal Nature that they had successfully prevented
cleft palates in embryonic mice using a technique called chemical
(SFC, 2/12/07, p.A3)
2007 Feb 16, Francisco
Castaneda, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador, died of penile
cancer that went undiagnosed for more than a year while he was in
state and federal custody in California. In 2010 a Los Angeles jury
awarded his family $1.73 million.
(SFC, 11/12/10, p.A9)(http://tinyurl.com/2atfmvw)
2007 Mar 28, The health
department of Philippines said HIV/AIDS is ravaging the large
overseas work force, posing a long-term threat to one of Manila's
key sources of foreign exchange.
2007 Apr 10, Diabetes
scientists reported that 15 Type 1 Brazilians did not need insulin
shots after therapy with stem cells from their own blood. It was
also reported that such stem cells helped repair heart damage due to
Chagas disease, caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, carried
by kissing bugs (barbeiros).
(WSJ, 4/11/07, p.A1)
2007 Apr 15, Researchers
reported that cells that are supposed to nourish and support other
nerve cells instead secrete the poisons that cause amyotrophic
lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
2007 Apr 20, It was reported
that German researchers had discovered a natural anti-HIV factor.
The 20 amino acid peptide chain blocked multiple strains of HIV.
(SFC, 4/20/07, p.A7)
2007 Apr 24, US FDA advisers
endorsed a Pfizer AIDS drug that fights HIV by blocking one of two
cell receptors that are infection routes.
(WSJ, 4/25/07, p.A1)
2007 May 15, Russia's top AIDS
specialist said Russia's AIDS epidemic is worsening with as many as
1.3 million people infected with HIV as the virus spreads further
into the heterosexual population.
2007 May 20, Officials said
Nigeria's largest state has sued US drug firm Pfizer for allegedly
using 200 children as "guinea pigs" for a drug test in 1996 that led
to multiple deaths and deformities. In 2010 a leaked WikiLeaks cable
said Pfizer hired investigators to unearth evidence of corruption
against Nigeria’s former attorney general Michael Aondoakaa to
persuade him to drop legal action over the company’s experimental
(AFP, 5/20/07)(SSFC, 12/12/10, p.A4)
2007 May 21, The US Food and
Drug Administration issued a safety alert for the diabetes drug
Avandia, marketed by GlaxoSmithKline, which disputed a report saying
it was linked to a greater risk of heart attack. A doctor in
Maryland had linked Avandia to congestive heart failure in 2000, but
GlaxoSmithKline rejected her warning and tried to stop her from
talking about it with other doctors and hospitals.
(AP, 5/21/08)(WSJ, 11/19/08, p.B6)
2007 May 25, US and British
researchers reported that stem cells taken from the umbilical cords
of newborns can be engineered to produce insulin and may someday be
used to treat diabetes.
2007 Jun 15, New international
health regulations (IHRS) obliged governments to co-operate with
Margaret Chan, director-general of WHO, and report potential
pandemics at once.
(Econ, 6/16/07, p.67)
2007 Jul 9, Northwest
Biotherapeutics, a US-based biotech company, said it had won
approval for commercial use of the world's first vaccine against
brain cancer in Switzerland.
2007 Jul 9, Novartis said the
first skin patch to treat the dementia that can plague Alzheimer's
patients has gained federal approval. The drug in the patch, called
Exelon or rivastigmine, is the same as that now available in capsule
form but provides a regular and continuous dose throughout the day.
2007 Jul 24, Jolee Mohr (36)
died in Chicago just weeks after beginning an experimental gene
therapy treatment from Targeted Genetics to ease the pain the
rheumatoid arthritis in her knee.
(SSFC, 9/16/07, p.A21)
2007 Jul 29, Scientists said
they have identified two genes that may raise the risk of multiple
sclerosis, lending insight into the causes of the debilitating
(Reuters, 7/29/07)(SFC, 7/30/07, p.A1)
2007 Aug 2, Scientists warned
that bisphenol A (BPA), an estrogen-like compound in plastic, is
probably causing an array of serious reproductive disorders in
(SFC, 8/3/07, p.A3)
2007 Aug 5, Scientists reported
that the skin condition called rosacea is caused by an abundance of
abnormal cathelicidin skin proteins.
(SFC, 8/6/07, p.A10)
2007 Aug 7, The US FDA approved
a new drug to help patients with AIDS. Pfizer’s Selzentry is the
first anti-AIDS drug that blocks the CCR5 receptor, often used by
the HIV virus to enter white blood cells.
(SFC, 8/7/07, p.A4)
2007 Aug 12, Ronald Bracewell
(86), retired Stanford professor, died. He co-wrote the first text
on radio astronomy and helped develop magnetic resonance imaging
(MRI) technology. The Australian-born engineer also led the 1961
construction of the 32-dish radio telescope at Stanford and authored
a book on 350 species of trees on the Stanford campus.
(SFC, 8/16/07, p.B11)
2007 Sep 6, A cocktail of
artificial colors and the commonly-used preservative sodium benzoate
are linked to hyperactivity in children, according to a
ground-breaking study published by The Lancet.
2007 Sep 16, It was reported
that this year’s $150,000 Lasker Prize will go to Dr. Albert Starr
of Portland, Ore., and Dr. Alain Carpentier of Paris, France, for
their work in heart valve replacement. The Lasker Prize for basic
research prize will go to Dr. Ralph Steinman of Rockefeller Univ.
for discovering dendritic cells, which trigger defenses against
(SSFC, 9/16/07, p.A2)
2007 Sep 24, An Australian man
was conscious and spoke to his medical team during life-saving brain
surgery in what doctors are claiming as a world-first procedure with
2007 Sep 24, The Swiss
drugmaker Novartis AG said that the European Commission had approved
its Exelon skin patch to treat Alzheimer's disease.
2007 Oct 4, Microsoft outlined
its vision, dubbed HealthVault, in which a person can view, from one
place, their complete health records.
(Econ, 10/6/07, p.74)(http://tinyurl.com/2fop6p)
2007 Oct 4, Health Canada said
that it has stopped the sale of Novartis Pharmaceuticals
anti-inflammatory drug Prexige and will cancel its market
authorization due to the risk for serious liver-related effects
2007 Oct 16,
A study in Hong Kong reportedly found that Lupeol, a compound
in fruits like mangoes, grapes and strawberries, appears to be
effective in killing and curbing the spread of cancer cells in the
head and neck.
2007 Nov 2, A new study, issued
by the Forum for Collaborative HIV Research, said drug-resistant
tuberculosis and HIV have merged into a double-barreled epidemic
that is sweeping across sub-Saharan Africa and threatening global
efforts to eradicate both diseases.
2007 Nov 6, In Bangalore,
India, doctors began operating on Lakshmi, a 2-year-old girl born
with four arms and four legs, in an extensive surgery that they hope
will leave the girl with a normal body.
2007 Nov 9, Merck & Co.
said it will pay $4.85 billion to end thousands of state and federal
lawsuits over its painkiller Vioxx in one of the largest drug
2007 Nov 26, A new report said
the US District of Columbia has the highest rate of AIDS of any city
in the country. An estimated one in 20 residents had HIV and one in
50 had AIDS.
(SFC, 11/27/07, p.A3)
2007 Nov 29, Cancer researchers
reported a link between night-shift work and a higher incidence of
(WSJ, 11/30/07, p.A1)
2007 Nov 29, According to a new
report released by the UN and the Chinese government the number of
people estimated to be living with HIV in China has risen to
700,000, with increases among intravenous drug users and sex
2007 Nov, Bayer AG removed the
drug Trasylol at the request of the FDA after an observational study
linked the medicine to kidney failure requiring dialysis and
increased death of those patients. Dr. Dennis Mangano, the study's
researcher, later said that 22,000 lives could have been saved if
Trasylol had been taken off the market when he first published his
study in January 2006.
2007 Dec 14, It was reported
that German AIDS researchers have discovered a protein common in
semen that boosts the infectious potential of HIV 100,000-fold.
(SFC, 12/14/07, p.A1)
2007 Dec 19, US researchers
said a highly sensitive microchip may help doctors detect rare
traces of cancer circulating in the bloodstream, offering a way to
better manage treatment.
2007 In Arizona ImaRX began a
trial using microbubbles containing a clot-buster. New technology
allowed bubbles to reach intended targets where they were forced to
burst using ultrasound. Companies such as Nanotrope and Targeson
worked to develop customized bubbles.
(Econ, 6/9/07, TQ p.8)
2007 Mona Lori Frisbie started
OutOfPocket.com as a crowd-sourcing tool for patients. Visitor
posted prices are supplemented with Medicare data.
(SFC, 5/21/12, p.D4)
2007 Dr. Lawrence Wallace of
Carmel Valley began experimenting with thermoplase, a malleable
thermoplastic, and developed low cost dentures that can be made in
about an hour.
(SFC, 2/15/14, p.D2)
2008 Jan 2, US researchers said
a married couple who sailed to America from England around 1630 are
the reason why thousands of people in the United States are at
higher risk of a hereditary form of colon cancer.
2008 Jan 6, Dr. Pramod Karan
Sethi (80), inventor of a low-cost prosthetic foot that has helped
millions of people in developing and war-torn countries, died in
Jaipur, India. The surgeon developed the Jaipur Foot in 1968 with
India's rural poor in mind.
2008 Jan 11, The World Bank
uncovered serious incidents of fraud and corruption in about $750
million of health projects it has funded in India dating back to
(WSJ, 1/14/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 19, James Levoy
Sorenson (b.1921), medical device inventor and Utah real estate
investor, died. He amassed over 40 medical patents and introduced
the disposable paper surgical mask.
(WSJ, 1/26/08, p.A8)
2008 Jan 29, Scientists in New
Zealand reported that smoking a joint is equivalent to 20 cigarettes
in terms of lung cancer risk and warned of an "epidemic" of lung
cancers linked to cannabis.
2008 Jan 30, Police in India
said they broke up an illegal organ transplant ring spanning five
Indian states and involving at least four doctors, several
hospitals, two dozen nurses and paramedics and a car outfitted as a
laboratory (see Feb 7).
(AP, 1/30/08)(WSJ, 1/31/08, p.A1)
2008 Feb 1, Scientists in
Finland said they had replaced a 65-year-old patient's upper jaw
with a bone transplant cultivated from stem cells isolated from his
own fatty tissue and grown inside his abdomen.
2008 Feb 6, In France 7 doctors
and pharmacists went on trial for the deaths of more than 100 young
people who died of a brain-destroying disease after being treated
with tainted human growth hormones.
2008 Feb 7, Nepalese
authorities arrested Amit Kumar, the alleged mastermind of a shadowy
organ transplant operation in India that illegally removed hundreds
of kidneys, sometimes from unwilling donors, at a jungle resort in
southern Nepal (see Jan 30).
2008 Feb 20, The US FDA
inspected a heparin production facility in China. 19 deaths and some
350 allergic reactions had taken place among patients who received
heparin sold in the US by Baxter Int’l. In March officials
identified oversulfated condroitin sulfate, a chemical that does not
occur naturally, as a contaminant in the drug. In April the death
toll linked to contaminated heparin was raised to 62.
(WS, 2/21/08, p.A1)(SFC, 3/20/08, p.C3)(SFC,
2008 Feb 22, The US FDA granted
accelerated market approval for Genentech’s drug Avastin to treat
advanced breast cancer. The drug cost was bout $7,700 per month.
Avastin was already approved for colorectal and lung cancer.
(WSJ, 2/23/08, p.A3)
2008 Mar 11, The US Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention said 26% of US teen girls are
infected with at least one sexually transmitted disease. The rate
was highest among blacks.
(AP, 3/11/08)(WSJ, 3/12/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 16, In northern India
15 poor people were freed from captivity after selling their blood
to private clinics to make money. Five people were arrested and
later charged with illegal confinement of people and attempt to
2008 Mar 20, In the Netherlands
a new attraction officially opened in Oegstgeest called Corpus. The
$31 million project organized led by businessman Henri Remmers
featured a 115-foot seated human shape on the outside and
large-scale exhibits of the human anatomy inside.
(SSFC, 4/6/08, p.E7)
2008 Mar 25, US researchers,
who have identified all 1,116 unique proteins found in human saliva
glands, said the discovery could usher in a wave of convenient,
spit-based diagnostic tests that could be done without the need for
a single drop of blood.
2008 Mar 30, Leading doctors
urged a return to older, tried-and-true treatments for high
cholesterol after hearing full results of a failed trial of Vytorin.
2008 Apr 15, A draft report by
the US National Toxicology Program acknowledged concerns over
bisphenol-a (BPA), a chemical found in thousands of everyday plastic
products, saying it may cause cancer and other serious disorders.
(SFC, 4/16/08, p.A4)
2008 May 18, Surgeon Harry
Buncke (b.1922), Canada-born microsurgery pioneer, died in
California. In 1972 He performed the first toe-to-thumb transplant
at San Francisco’s Franklin Hospital, later called Ralph K. Davies
Medical Center. Buncke came to be called the father of microsurgery.
2008 May 19, Google made
available a free service allowing customers to manage their medical
records online at www.google.com/health.
(SFC, 5/20/08, p.D1)
2008 May 21, Pres. Bush signed
legislation to protect people from losing their jobs or health
insurance when genetic testing reveals they are susceptible to
costly diseases. The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act was
designed to prohibit the improper use of genetic information in
health insurance and employment.
2008 May 25, It was reported
that an estimated 5.4 million of South Africa's 48 million people
have the AIDS virus, the highest total of any country. The epidemic
was killing nearly 1,000 South Africans a day and infecting even
2008 Jun 1, German researchers
reported that the development of a blood-based genetic test for
predicting lung cancer among smokers with 80% accuracy.
(WSJ, 6/2/08, p.B4)
2008 Jun 6, Dr. Paul Tessier
(b.1917), pioneering French surgeon, died in Paris. He introduced
innovative techniques in facial surgery.
(WSJ, 6/28/08, p.A7)
2008 Jun 7, It was reported
that the AIDS epidemic was reckoned to have infected 33 million
(Econ, 6/7/08, p.91)
2008 Jun 10, The nation's top
AIDS doctor said researchers have been undercounting new cases of
HIV infection in the United States, meaning the rate is probably 25
percent higher at 50,000 people per year.
2008 Jun 19, Researchers
reported the survival of an Oregon man with advanced skin cancer
following an experimental treatment that revved up his immune
(SFC, 6/19/08, p.A8)
2008 Jul 11, Dr. Michael
DeBakey (b.1908), the world-famous cardiovascular surgeon, died. He
pioneered such now-common procedures as bypass surgery and invented
a host of devices to help heart patients. He was among the first to
link lung cancer to smoking in a medical journal article in 1939.
(AP, 7/12/08)(SSFC, 7/13/08, p.B6)
2008 Jul 30, President George
W. Bush signed legislation repealing a rule that prevented
HIV-infected immigrants, students and tourists from receiving US
visas without special waivers.
2008 Jul, Alexandra Carmichael
and Daniel Reda launched CureTogether to help the people they knew
and the millions they didn’t who live in daily chronic pain.
(Econ, 3/3/12, TQ
2008 Sep 9, An Italian study
showed a new way to test for cervical cancer is more accurate than a
pap smear and identified more dangerous lesions.
2008 Sep 21, In western Turkey
13 newborn, premature babies died over the weekend at Izmir's
Tepecik hospital. In August, investigators looking into the deaths
of 27 newborns at an Ankara hospital concluded that a staff shortage
had increased the risk of infection. Tainted IV treatment was later
(AP, 9/22/08)(AP, 9/27/08)
2008 Sep 27, The AIDS virus was
reported to afflict some 5.5 million of South Africa’s 49 million
(Econ, 9/27/08, p.19)
2008 Oct 2, A new report
suggested that HIV, the AIDS virus, originated in Africa between
1884 and 1924. Earlier estimates had put the date around 1930. A new
estimate of how many Americans have the AIDS virus put the number at
about 1.1 million.
(SFC, 10/2/08, p.A3)(Reuters, 10/3/08)
2008 Oct 6, It was reported
that Atherton, Ca., philanthropist Lorry Lokey (81) had pledged $75
million to the Stanford Univ. School of Medicine for a major stem
cell research center. In 2007 he had pledged at least $33 million.
(SFC, 10/6/08, p.B1)
2008 Oct 13, First ladies from
seven west African countries gather in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso,
for a conference on ways to end female circumcision, a widespread
practice in the region despite efforts to end it.
2008 Oct 13, Barbara Hogan,
South Africa’s new health minister, broke from a decade of
discredited government policies declaring that AIDS is caused by HIV
and must be treated by conventional medicine.
(SFC, 10/14/08, p.A3)
2008 Oct 16, Brazil's President
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva arrived in Mozambique to launch a project
to make anti-AIDS drugs in the southern African country.
2008 Oct 22, British
researchers said a drug, known by its lab name of alemtuzumab and
licensed for use against leukemia, braked and even reversed the
effects of multiple sclerosis among patients with MS.
2008 Nov 9, Health experts
presented findings of a study, called Jupiter, that found
Crestor, a cholesterol drug made by AstraZeneca, reduced the risk of
heart-related death, heart attacks and other serious cardiac
problems by 44%.
(WSJ, 11/10/08, p.B1)
2008 Nov 12, In Germany Dr.
Gero Huetter said his 42-year-old patient, an American living in
Berlin who was not identified, had been infected with the AIDS virus
for more than a decade. But 20 months after undergoing a transplant
of genetically selected bone marrow, he no longer shows signs of
carrying the virus.
2008 Nov 13, In Chile
authorities said public health services failed to tell 512 people
that they tested positive for HIV. Private-sector health services
also fell down, failing to inform an estimated 1,700 people that
tests show them carrying the AIDS virus.
2008 Nov 17, A report was
released concluded that Gulf War syndrome is a legitimate illness
suffered by more than 175,000 US war veterans who were exposed to
chemical toxins in the 1991 Gulf War.
2008 Nov 19, Spanish doctors
reported the successful transplant to a woman of a new windpipe with
tissue grown from her own stem cells, eliminating the need for
2008 Nov 21, Vadim Pokrovsky,
Russia's anti-AIDS coordinator, said the number of registered HIV
cases is growing 10 percent a year despite increased government
funding. He said that the actual number of people with HIV was
likely higher than 1 million.
2008 Nov 24, In Indonesia
health workers and rights activists sharply criticized a plan by
lawmakers in remote Papua province, who have thrown their support
behind a controversial bill requiring some HIV/AIDS patients to be
implanted with microchips, part of extreme efforts to monitor the
2008 Nov 30, Chinese health
authorities and the UN AIDS agency pledged to fight discrimination
against people with the disease in China with the unveiling of a
massive red ribbon, the symbol of AIDS awareness, at the Olympic
Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing.
2008 Dec 1, US researchers
reported that almost 20% of young American adults have a personality
disorder that interferes with everyday life, and that even more
abuse alcohol or drugs.
(SFC, 12/2/08, p.A10)
2008 Dec 16, An Indonesian
province beleaguered by a spiraling HIV infection rate scrapped
plans to implant microchips in those with full-blown AIDS, following
strong opposition from government officials, health workers and
2008 Dec 2, Henry Molaison
(82), a native of Connecticut, died. In the 1950s he had his medial
temporal lobes removed by surgery to alleviate his grand mal
epileptic seizures. From that point on he was unable to form new
memories. Scientists learned from Molaison that the hippocampus is
crucial in forming some long term memories, but not for maintaining
or retrieving them.
(Econ, 12/20/08, p.146)
2008 San Francisco-based
Castlight Health was founded to enable employers and health plans to
lower the cost of health care and provide individuals unbiased
pricing and quality information to make smart health care purchase
2009 Jan 14, A French court
acquitted six doctors and pharmacists in the deaths of at least 114
people who contracted a brain-destroying disease after being treated
with tainted human growth hormones.
2009 Jan 26, In Bellflower,
California, a woman gave birth to eight babies, only the second time
in history octuplets have survived more than a few hours. The woman
already had six other children and never expected to have eight more
when she took fertility treatment. Her mother later said the woman
had conceived all 14 of her children through in vitro fertilization,
is not married and has been obsessed with having children since she
was a teenager.
(AP, 1/27/09)(AP, 1/30/09)(AP, 1/31/09)
2009 Feb 9, In Montreal,
Canada, researchers said that an Indevus Pharmaceuticals gel
formulated to protect women from the virus that causes AIDS appeared
to protect about a third of them from infection, the first time a
so-called microbicide has been shown to work.
2009 Feb 9, Scientists in Japan
reported that they have identified an enzyme which appears to
suppress breast cancer and they hope the finding will spur new
therapies to control the second most common cancer in the world.
2009 Feb 17, British experts
that they have found the first evidence of a hemophiliac contracting
mad cow disease from contaminated blood products.
2009 Feb 18, A Chinese state
news agency said AIDS was the top killer among infectious diseases
in China for the first time last year, with 6,897 people dying in
the nine months through September.
2009 Feb 20, A Swaziland
government report said about 42 percent of pregnant women in the
country are infected with the virus that causes AIDS, a 3 percent
jump in a single year. An estimated 185,000 of Swaziland's 1 million
people are HIV positive, and about 30,000 are receiving
2009 Mar 16, US researchers
said a new test can accurately detect Alzheimer's disease in its
earliest stages, before dementia symptoms surface and widespread
2009 Mar 30, Findings were
presented for an experimental combo pill, to prevent heart attacks
and strokes, indicating it as effective as nearly all of its
components taken alone, with no greater side effects. The study
tested the Polycap, an experimental combo formulated by Cadila
Pharmaceuticals of Ahmedabad, India.
2009 Apr 3, In Nigeria a source
close to negotiations said Pfizer has agreed to pay $75 million
compensation over a 1996 drug trial that caused the death of 11
children in northern Nigeria.
2009 Apr 8, Genentech, a unit
of Roche, said it is voluntarily withdrawing its psoriasis drug
Raptiva due to a link with a rare but often fatal brain disorder.
(WSJ, 4/9/09, p.B3)
2009 Apr 8, The international
Red Cross said a polio outbreak, that now affects 15 African
countries, threatens efforts to eradicate the disease.
2009 Apr 8, China said that it
would build a clinic in each of its nearly 700,000 villages within
three years, part of a sweeping 850 billion yuan ($124 billion)
investment in health care reform.
2009 May 1, US government
health officials warned dieters and body builders to immediately
stop using Hydroxycut, a widely sold supplement linked to cases of
serious liver damage and at least one death.
2009 May 4, An analysis of
"real-world" clinical data indicated that vitamin E, and drugs that
reduce generalized inflammation, may slow the decline of mental and
physical abilities in people with Alzheimer's disease (AD) over the
long term according to National Institutes of Health-sponsored
2009 May 8, In Panama City,
Florida, Dr. Jason Newsom resigned from the Bay County Health
Department under pressure following his launch of a one-man war on
obesity by posting sardonic warnings on an electronic sign outside.
After the lawyers threatened to sue, his bosses made him
remove the anti-fried doughnut rants and eventually forced him to
2009 May 12, Medicare’s
trustees warned that the program’s biggest fund would run out of
money in 8 years.
(SFC, 5/13/09, p.A4)
2009 May 14, Scientists
reported that ginger, long used as a folk remedy for stomach aches,
limits nausea caused by chemotherapy used in cancer treatments.
(SFC, 5/15/09, p.A14)
2009 May 15, A Minnesota couple
who refused chemotherapy for Daniel Hauser, their 13-year-old son,
was ordered to have the boy re-evaluated to see if he would still
benefit from cancer treatment for his Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or if it
may already be too late. On May 18 Colleen Hauser and her son,
Daniel, who has Hodgkin's lymphoma, apparently left their home
sometime after a doctor's appointment and court-ordered X-ray showed
his tumor had grown. Hauser and her son returned on May 25.
(AP, 5/15/09)(SFC, 5/16/09, p.A5)(AP,
2009 May 18, The US Justice
Department accused Wyeth, one of the nation's biggest drug makers,
of cheating Medicaid programs out of hundreds of millions of dollars
by overcharging for a stomach acid drug.
2009 May 21, South Korea’s
Supreme Court said that doctors treating a comatose woman (76) must
remove her from life support as her family requested, the first time
it has ruled in favor of a patient's right to die.
2009 May 31, In Kansas abortion
Dr. George Tiller (67) was shot and killed while serving as an usher
during morning services in the foyer of Reformation Lutheran Church
in Wichita. Scott Roeder (51) fired one shot at Tiller and
threatened two other people who tried to stop him. Roeder was taken
into custody some 170 miles away in a Kansas City suburb about three
hours after the shooting. Tiller’s clinic had been bombed in 1986,
blockaded and vandalized in 1991 and in 1993 he was shot in both
arms. On Jan 29, 2010, Roeder (51) was convicted of first degree
murder. The sentence carried a life term in prison.
(AP, 6/1/09)(SFC, 6/3/09, p.A7)(Econ, 6/6/09,
p.30)(SFC, 1/30/10, p.A4)
2009 Jun 16, US FDA said
consumers should stop using Zicam Cold Remedy nasal gel and related
products because they can permanently damage the sense of smell.
2009 Jun 16, Rhode Island
became the 3rd state in the US to allow marijuana sales to
chronically ill patients as the General Assembly voted to override a
veto by Gov. Don Carcieri.
(SFC, 6/17/09, p.A7)
2009 Jun 20, The US
pharmaceutical industry agreed to spend $80 billion over the next
decade improving drug benefits for seniors on Medicare and defraying
the cost of President Barack Obama's health care legislation,
capping secretive negotiations involving key lawmakers and the White
2009 Jun 29, It was reported
that Australian scientists have developed a "trojan horse" therapy
to combat cancer, using a bacterially-derived nano cell to penetrate
and disarm the cancer cell before a second nano cell kills it with
chemotherapy drugs. Sydney scientists Dr Jennifer MacDiarmid and Dr
Himanshu Brahmbhatt, who formed EnGenelC Pty Ltd in 2001, said they
had achieved 100 percent survival in mice with human cancer cells by
using the "trojan horse" therapy in the past two years.
2009 Jul 13, China's Health
Ministry ordered a hospital to stop using electric shock therapy to
cure youths of Internet addiction, saying there was no scientific
evidence it worked.
2009 Jul 13, Japan passed a law
that will allow children to receive organ transplants for the first
time, reversing a ban that doomed many young patients or forced them
to seek medical care abroad.
2009 Jul, Oswaldo Juarez (21),
a Peruvian visiting Florida to study English, Juarez swallowed his
last pills, packed a few small suitcases and left the A.G. Holley
State Hospital following 19 months of treatment. He was the first US
case of a contagious, aggressive, especially drug-resistant form of
2009 Aug 14, In Nigeria the
number of polio cases caused by the vaccine was reported to have
doubled so far this year with 124 children paralyzed, compared to 62
in 2008, out of about 42 million children vaccinated. For every case
of paralysis, hundreds of other children don't develop symptoms, but
pass on the disease.
2009 Aug 26, China’s state
media reported that the majority of transplanted organs in China
come from executed prisoners in a rare disclosure about an industry
often criticized for being opaque and unethical.
2009 Sep 9, President Barack
Obama, in a major speech before Congress, promised to overhaul the
nation's health care system. Not a single Republican has endorsed
any of the plans approved so far by four House and Senate
2009 Sep 16, Sen. Max Baucus
brought out the much-awaited Senate Finance Committee version of an
American health-system remake, a landmark $856 billion, 10-year
measure that starts a rough ride through Congress without visible
Republican backing. The 6 committee members received an average
$74,600 from health industry lobbyists through June. Chuck Grassley,
R-Iowa, led the group with $223,600. Baucus, D-Montana, was 2nd with
(AP, 9/16/09)(SSFC, 9/20/09, p.A1)
2009 Sep 24, In Thailand an
experimental combination of two previously unsuccessful vaccines cut
the risk of becoming infected with HIV by more than 31%, in the
world's largest AIDS vaccine trial of more than 16,000 volunteers.
This was the first time an experimental vaccine has prevented
infection with the AIDS virus.
2009 Oct 5, Drugmaker
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. said its new diabetes drugs, Onglyza, has
been approved for sale in the European Union's 27 countries.
2009 Oct 19, US prosecutors
were told in a new policy memo issued by the Justice Department that
pot-smoking patients or their sanctioned suppliers should not be
targeted for federal prosecution in states that allow medical
2009 Oct 25, Henry P. Becton,
Sr. (b.1914), former Chairman of the Board for Becton Dickinson
Corp., died at his home in Maine. He was the son of BD co-founder
Maxwell W. Becton and saw BD grow from 600 associates and sales of
$2.5 million to 29,000 associates and over $7 billion in annual
(Echo, 12/09, p.1)
2009 Oct 27, A UN official said
more than 300,000 children under the age of five die of preventable
diseases each year in Sudan, almost a third of them before they
reach the age of one month.
2009 Oct 29, After months of
struggle US House Democrats unveiled sweeping legislation to extend
health care coverage to millions who lack it and create a new option
of government-run insurance.
2009 Oct, Researchers found
that a bug named xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus
(XMRV) occurred in 67% of patients suffering from chronic fatigue
syndrome (CFS). The bug had already been implicated in prostate
cancer, breast cancer and lymphoma.
(Econ, 1/9/10, p.80)
2009 Nov 4, Mexican authorities
said 3 doctors and a nurse have been arrested for allegedly selling
newborns after telling mothers their babies had died at a private
hospital in Mexico City.
2009 Nov 17, Australian doctors
successfully separated joined-at-the-head Bangladeshi twins after
more than 24 hours of surgery, saying the girls were "in great
shape" but faced a difficult recovery.
2009 Nov 18, China's health
minister said his country is vaccinating 1.5 million people a day
against swine flu, part of a mammoth effort to reach nearly 7
percent of inhabitants of the world's most populous country by
2009 Nov 21, Th US Senate voted
60-39 to open debate on the health care bill. The vote was hailed a
victory for Pres. Obama, but final passage of the legislation was
far from certain.
2009 Nov 29, In Argentina
Solange Magnano (38), a mother of twins who won the Miss Argentina
crown in 1994, died of a pulmonary embolism after three days in
critical condition following a gluteoplasty in Buenos Aires.
2009 Nov 30, An Algerian health
organization (AnisS) warned that thousands of its people are
unknowingly infected with the AIDS virus and called for more testing
and prevention efforts.
2009 Dec 3, Nigerian AIDS and
malaria activists said at least 144 women die each day in Nigeria
during pregnancy or childbirth, according to the UN and World Bank
statistics. Activists premiered three short but hard-hitting
Nollywood films to push for an urgent change in attitude and
provision of adequate healthcare services to avoid pregnancy-related
2009 Dec 10, US researchers
reported that they have developed a less toxic transplant procedure
using bone marrow transplants to cure sickle cell disease in adults.
(SFC, 12/10/09, p.A22)
2009 Dec 16, Pres. Obama signed
a $163.5 billion appropriations bill for labor, health and education
that included the repeal of a 21-year-old ban on federal funding for
local programs that supply clean needles for drug users.
(SFC, 12/18/09, p.A26)
2009 Dec 18, The European
Medicines Agency (EMEA) recommended the withdrawal of all medicines
containing benfluorex, a diabetes and weight-loss drug, in the
European Union. In 2010 French officials said the drug, marketed as
mediator, may have been linked to the deaths of 500 people over the
33 years it was on the market. Fenfluramine, a related drug, had
been withdrawn from the market in 1997 after reports of heart valve
disease, pulmonary hypertension, and development of cardiac
2009 Dec 19, Sen. Ben Nelson of
Nebraska agreed to provide the 60th and deciding vote for sweeping
health care legislation in the Senate, capping a year of struggle
and a final burst of deadline bargaining on President Barack Obama's
top domestic priority.
2009 Dec 19-2009 Dec 20, In
Israel parts of a 2000 interview were broadcast on Channel 2 TV over
the weekend describing how forensic pathologists in the 1990s
harvested organs from dead bodies, including Palestinians, without
permission of their families. The Israeli military confirmed that
the practice took place and said it had stopped in 2000.
2009 Dec 21, Senate Democrats
won a crucial test vote on President Barack Obama's health care
overhaul, putting them on track for passage before Christmas of the
historic legislation to remake the nation's medical system and cover
30 million uninsured.
2009 David Ewing Duncan
authored “Experimental Man: What One Man's Body Reveals about His
Future, Your Health, and Our Toxic World."
(SFC, 3/9/09, p.E1)
2009 T.R. Reid authored “The
Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer
(SSFC, 8/23/09, Books p.F1)
2009 Gabriel Weston, a member
of the Royal College of Surgeons, authored “Direct Red," a memoir
about the medical world.
(Econ, 6/15/13, p.82)
2010 Jan 15, New Jersey-based
Johnson & Johnson issued a massive recall of over-the-counter
drugs including Tylenol, Motrin and St. Joseph's aspirin because of
a moldy smell that has made people sick.
2010 Jan 19, Mexico’s
telecommunications mogul Carlos Slim pledged $65 million for genetic
research on cancer, type 2 diabetes and kidney disease.
2010 Jan 20, US researchers
reported that shaving 3 grams off the daily salt intake of Americans
could prevent up to 66,000 strokes, 99,000 heart attacks and 92,000
deaths in the United States, while saving $24 billion in health
costs per year.
2010 Feb 9, California
lawmakers called for federal and state investigations into Anthem
Blue Cross regarding new rates hikes of as much as 39% for thousands
of policyholders statewide. On Feb 13 Anthem announced that it would
delay the increase for two months to allow state regulators to
conduct a review. On April 29 WellPoint, the parent of Anthem Blue
Cross, said it was withdrawing the proposed rate increase and
planned to file new rates.
(SFC, 2/10/10, p.A1)(SSFC, 2/14/10, p.A1)(SFC,
2010 Feb 18, The Obama
administration ratcheted up pressure on health insurers, saying some
planned double-digit rate hikes while making billions in profits and
paying executives multimillion-dollar salaries.
2010 Feb 19, A newly released
study by a major US consulting firm found that premiums for Medicare
Advantage plans offering medical and prescription drug coverage
jumped 14.2 percent on average in 2010, after an increase of only
5.2 percent the previous year.
2010 Feb 22, Pres. Barack Obama
put forward a nearly $1 trillion, 10-year compromise that would
allow the government to deny or roll back egregious insurance
premium increases that infuriated consumers. Obama produced a health
care plan of his own. It used legislation already passed by the
Senate as its starting point, making changes designed to appeal to
(AP, 2/22/10)(AP, 2/23/10)
2010 Feb 25, President Barack
Obama and his Democratic allies argued for sweeping health care
overhaul in an extraordinary live-on-TV summit with Republicans who
want far more modest changes.
2010 Feb 27, Egypt's parliament
voted by an overwhelming majority to regulate organ transplants in a
bid to curb illegal trafficking and tourism over the issue.
2010 Feb 28, The US White House
called for a "simple up-or-down" vote on health care legislation as
Speaker Nancy Pelosi appealed to House Democrats to get behind
President Barack Obama's chief domestic priority even it if
threatens their political careers.
2010 Mar 5, An Australian court
ruled that the once-popular painkiller Vioxx doubled the risk of
heart attack and was unfit for consumption, awarding a man leading a
class action suit against the drug's maker 287,000 Australian
dollars ($259,000) in compensation.
2010 Mar 9, University of
Florida researcher Nam Dang and colleagues in Japan said that papaya
leaf extract and its tea have dramatic cancer-fighting properties
against a broad range of tumors, backing a belief held in a number
of folk traditions.
2010 Mar 12, A union
representing Dutch nurses launched a national campaign against
demands for sexual services by patients who claim it should be part
of their standard care.
2010 Mar 15, British and
Italian doctors carried out groundbreaking surgery to rebuild the
windpipe of a 10-year-old boy using stem cells developed within his
own body. Doctors at London's Great Ormond Street children's
hospital implanted the boy with a donor trachea, or windpipe, that
had been stripped of its cells and injected with his own.
2010 Mar 20, Spanish surgeons
completed the world’s most extensive full-face transplant. It was
the 11th known face transplant in the world. The 24-hour operation
provided a young farmer (30) a new nose, jaw and teeth.
(SFC, 4/24/10, p.A3)(http://tinyurl.com/2fqgwfm)
2010 Mar 21, President Barack
Obama announced that he will reaffirm a ban on using federal funds
to pay for abortions, which convinced some holdout Democrats to
support the healthcare overhaul but riled Republicans who said the
decision could be easily reversed. US House Democrats voted 219-212
late in the day to send legislation to Obama that would extend
coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans, reduce deficits and ban
insurance company practices such as denying coverage to people with
pre-existing medical conditions.
(Reuters, 3/22/10)(AP, 3/22/10)
2010 Mar 23, President Barack
Obama signed a historic $938 billion health care overhaul that
guarantees coverage for 32 million uninsured Americans and will
touch nearly every citizen's life, presiding over the biggest shift
in US domestic policy since the 1960s and capping a divisive,
yearlong debate that could define the November elections. Florida
and 12 other states challenged it minutes later. Republican
legislators in more than 3 dozen states sought to challenge the bill
contending that it will infringe on state sovereignty and individual
freedoms. The bill included a 2.3% excise tax on medical devices set
to begin in 2013.
(AP, 3/23/10)(SFC, 3/24/10, p.A12)(SSFC, 3/28/10,
p.A10)(Econ, 3/31/12, p.37)
2010 Mar 29, In eastern China
local residents and firefighters recovered the bodies of 21 babies,
believed dumped by hospitals, which had washed ashore on the Guangfu
River near the city of Jining, Shandong province. Tags on the feet
of eight of the babies traced them back to a hospital in Jining.
2010 Mar 29, In Japan more than
2,000 people who suffer from a rare neurological disorder agreed to
accept a settlement proposal and abandon their lawsuits against the
Japanese government and the company they say made them sick by
dumping mercury. Minamata disease was first diagnosed in 1956 and
later was linked to the consumption of fish from southern Kyushu
island's Minamata Bay, where chemical company Chisso Corp. dumped
tons of mercury compounds.
2010 Mar 30, Pres. Obama signed
into law the final changes to the sweeping medical plan approved by
lawmakers last week, along with reforms in college student loan
2010 Apr 1, Massachusetts
regulators issued their first batch of health care price controls,
rejecting the vast majority of small business health premium
increases sought this year by the state's major insurers. Insurers
said caps on their charges are justified only if there are similar
caps on the costs that health care providers, such as doctors and
hospital networks, charge them. That is the subject of pending
2010 Apr 7, Israel’s police
said 6 Israelis have been detained on suspicion of running an
international organ trafficking ring and breaking promises to donors
to pay for their removed kidneys.
2010 Apr 12, Nebraska
Republican Gov. Dave Heineman signed into law a bill requiring
doctors to screen women for possible mental and physical problems
before performing abortions and a 2nd law that would ban abortions
after 20 weeks, based on the assertion that fetuses feel pain.
(SFC, 4/13/10, p.A4)
2010 Apr 15, A US Senate panel
report was released saying some of the largest US health insurers
are changing their accounting practices to book administration costs
as medical costs in an attempt to circumvent new industry reforms.
2010 Apr 27, British
researchers reported that a single sigmoidoscopy between ages 55 and
64 can reduce deaths by at least 43%.
(SFC, 4/28/10, p.A8)
2010 Apr 27, Sierra Leone
launched a program to provide free health care to mothers and
children in the West African nation, which suffers from high rates
of maternal and child mortality. UNICEF says it will distribute $6
million in medicines.
2010 May 17, US researchers
said eating bacon, sausage, hot dogs and other processed meats can
raise the risk of heart disease and diabetes, in a study that
identifies the real bad boys of the meat counter.
2010 May 27, Mexico's Supreme
Court upheld a law requiring hospitals to offer rape victims a
morning-after birth control pill, rejecting an appeal that argued
the pill's effect constitutes the equivalent of an abortion.
2010 Jun 23, Italian
researchers reported stunning success with correcting the vision of
people who had suffered eye damage from caustic chemicals by using
the patient’s own transplanted stem cells.
(SFC, 6/24/10, p.A2)
2010 Jun 30, A South African
health official said botched circumcisions performed during
traditional initiation rites have killed 40 boys and put more than
100 in hospital this month.
2010 Jul 1, Boston researchers
claimed they have hit upon genetic sequences that can predict
whether you'll live to have "exceptional longevity." The scientists
studied over 1,000 centenarians to develop a system of genetic
analysis by which they can predict, with a 77-percent accuracy rate,
whether someone has a strong chance of "exceptional longevity,"
according to findings published in the journal Science.
2010 Jul 5, US government
estimates said the first stage of President Barack Obama's health
care overhaul would provide coverage to about 1 million uninsured
Americans by next year. Many others, more than 100 million people,
are getting new benefits that improve their existing coverage.
2010 Jul 7, The UN WHO said at
least 2,000 lead-poisoning victims in northern Nigeria may require
treatment to remove brain-damaging lead. The poisoning was believed
to be related to the processing of lead-rich ore for the extraction
(SFC, 7/8/10, p.A4)
2010 Jul 8, US federal
researchers said that they have identified a pair of naturally
occurring antibodies that are able to kill more than 90% of all
strains of the AIDS virus.
(SFC, 7/9/10, p.A6)
2010 Jul 11, Avid
Radiopharmaceuticals presented a study that demonstrated a new brain
scan to detect the brain plaques in patients with Alzeimer’s
(SFC, 7/13/10, p.A7)
2010 Jul 16, In the US 94
people, including several doctors and nurses, were charged in scams
totaling $251 million. Authorities indicted 33 suspects in the Miami
area, accused of charging Medicare for about $140 million in various
scams. Busts were carried out this week in Miami, New York City,
Detroit, Houston and Baton Rouge, La., Federal authorities, while
touting the operation, cautioned the cases represent only a fraction
of the estimated $60 billion to $90 billion in Medicare fraud
absorbed by taxpayers each year.
2010 Jul 19, Scientists
reported that a vaginal gel containing Gilead Science Inc.’s AIDS
drug Viread cut HIV infections by as much as 54% in a trial in South
Africa. The gel was developed by Conrad, a Virginia-based nonprofit
(SFC, 7/20/10, p.D2)
2010 Oct 10, In China the wife
of construction worker Luo Yanquan (36) was taken kicking and
screaming from their home by more than a dozen people and detained
in a clinic for three days by family planning officials, then taken
to a hospital and injected with a drug that killed her baby. Xiao
Aiying (36) delivered the dead baby on Oct 14.
2010 Oct 13, US authorities
said a vast network of Armenian gangsters and their associates used
phantom health care clinics and other means to try to cheat Medicare
out of $163 million, the largest fraud by one criminal enterprise in
the program's history. Federal prosecutors in New York and elsewhere
charged 73 people. The reputed boss, Armen Kazarian (46), was in
custody in Los Angeles.
2010 Oct 20, In Kansas Dr.
Stephen Schneider was sentenced to 30 years in prison for unlawfully
writing prescriptions, health care fraud and money laundering. His
wife was sentenced to 33 years in prison.
(SFC, 10/21/10, p.A6)
2010 Oct 21, US federal
authorities charged Miami-based American Therapeutic Corp. with
Medicare fraud. Prosecutors said the company preyed on patients with
severe dementia and billed some $200 million for services it never
(SFC, 10/22/10, p.A13)
2010 Oct 22, The Lancet journal
published a study online reporting that low doses of aspirin, taken
daily and over the long term, cut cases of colorectal cancer by a
quarter and the death toll from this disease by a third. Aspirin is
believed to have a preventive effect because it inhibits an enzyme
called COX-2, which promotes cell proliferation in colorectal
2010 Oct 28, A Milan court
convicted three doctors of performing unnecessary surgeries.
Prosecutors produced evidence that unneeded operations, including
amputations, were performed on 83 patients at the Santa Rita clinic
in Milan with the aim of getting large reimbursements from the state
health system. Pier Paolo Brega Massone, the hospital's chief
surgeon, was sentenced to 15 1/2 years in prison.
2010 Oct 29, In southern
California 2 doctors were arrested along with 5 others for leading a
scam in which mentally ill homeless patients were paid $100 each for
unnecessary treatments that were fraudulently billed to Medicare and
(SFC, 10/30/10, p.A6)
2010 Oct, It was made public
that some $34 million in funds from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS,
Tuberculosis and Malaria was misused in Mali, Mauritania, Djibouti
(Econ, 2/19/11, p.65)
2010 Nov 2, Arizona voters by a
narrow margin approved a measure to legalize medical marijuana.
(SSFC, 11/14/10, p.A14)
2010 Nov 11, An EU indictment
revealed that at least seven people, including former Kosovo senior
health ministry official Ilir Rrecaj, were suspected of involvement
in an international network that falsely promised poor people
payment for their kidneys and then sold the organs for as much as
euro100,000 ($137,000). Five Kosovo nationals, Turkish doctor Yusuf
Sonmez and Moshe Harel, an Israeli citizen, were listed as wanted by
2010 Nov 17, Researchers
reported that the new drug anacetrapib dramatically raises good
cholesterol and reduces bad cholesterol.
(SFC, 11/18/10, p.A15)
2010 Nov 29, Uganda launched a
program to circumcise over a million men every year in an effort to
stem AIDS infections.
(SFC, 11/30/10, p.A2)
2010 Dec 6, British researchers
said they may have found a way to reverse damage in the central
nervous system caused by multiple sclerosis, in a study hailed by
campaigners as a major breakthrough.
2010 Dec 9, A report in the
medical journal Lancet criticized Canada for exporting chrysotile,
or white asbestos, while it virtually bans the product at home, who
fibers can lead to respiratory diseases and cancers.
(SFC, 12/9/10, p.A2)
2010 Dec 13, A US federal judge
in Virginia ruled that Congress could not order individuals to buy
(SFC, 12/14/10, p.A14)
2010 Dec 16, The US FDA said it
was beginning the process to rescind Avastin’s accelerated approval
in breast tumors. The drug had global sales of $6 billion in 2009.
(SFC, 12/17/10, p.C1)
2010 Siddhartha Mukherjee
authored “the Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer."
(Econ, 11/6/10, p.107)
2010 General Electric developed
a hand-held electrocardiogram called the Mac 400. The $800 device
reduced the cost of an ECG to just $1 per patient.
(Econ, 4/17/10, SR p.6)
2010 Brazil’s government began
allowing taxpayers to deduct costs for cosmetic surgery.
(SFC, 5/1/10, p.A3)
2010 China began introducing
donation schemes for human organs as its source of organs from
prisoners fell due to fewer executions.
(Econ, 8/24/13, p.42)
2010 The AIDS epidemic in China
was expected to infect over 10 million people by this time.
(SFC, 12/2/03, p.A3)
2011 Jan 1, A new policy in US
Medicare became effective and began covering doctor costs for
patient end-of-life counseling.
(SSFC, 12/26/10, p.A10)
2011 Jan 3, Boston scientists
and health care giant Johnson & Johnson announced that they are
joining forces to bring a blood test for cancer to market. Four big
cancer centers also will start studies using the experimental test
this year. The test is so sensitive that it can spot a single cancer
cell lurking among a billion healthy ones.
2011 Jan 23, UN Development
Program spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that the program's policy
bars it from sharing internal audit reports with the Global Fund,
but that it is reassessing that policy. Investigators for the Global
Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria said donated
prescription drugs wind up being sold on the black market. As much
as two-thirds of some grants have been eaten up by corruption.
2011 Jan 31, A federal judge in
Florida struck down President Barack Obama's landmark healthcare
overhaul as unconstitutional in the biggest legal challenge yet to
federal authority to enact the law.
2011 Feb 7, Britain’s Guardian
newspaper reported that scientists in Britain have successfully
tested a vaccine which could work against all known flu strains.
2011 Feb 12, US researchers
said that people who used two specific varieties of pesticide,
paraquat and rotenone, were 2.5 times as likely to develop
2011 Feb 17, US federal
authorities charged 111 doctors, nurses and physical therapists in
nine cities with Medicare fraud totaling over $225 million, part of
a massive nationwide bust that snared more suspects than any other
in history. The indictments were for suspects in Miami, Los Angeles,
Dallas, Houston, Detroit, Chicago, Brooklyn, Tampa, Fla., and Baton
2011 Feb 21, Tom DeBaggio, herb
grower and Alzheimer’s patient, died in Virginia. His work included
“Losing My Mind" and “When It Gets Dark."
(Econ, 3/5/11, p.93)
2011 Mar 6, Scientists from
Cyprus, England and Greece reported their ability to diagnose Down
Syndrome using a simple blood test on pregnant women.
(SFC, 3/7/11, p.A7)
2011 Apr 8, According to a
study about one in 10 cancers in men and one in 33 in women in
western European countries are caused by current and past alcohol
2011 May 3, The US Centers for
Disease Control reported that nearly one in ten US children and one
in 12 Americans of all ages have asthma.
(SFC, 5/4/11, p.A7)
2011 May 5, Vermont’s
legislature passed a bill outlining steps for a single-payer health
system. Gov. Peter Shumlin was expected to soon sign the bill.
(Econ, 5/14/11, p.40)
2011 May 10, In Canada Marshall
Zhang, an 11th-grade student at Richmond Hill's Bayview Secondary
School, received first place in the 2011 Sanofi-Aventis BioTalent
Challenge. The Toronto area student used a supercomputer system to
find a new drug combination that shows potential in treating the
genetic disorder cystic fibrosis.
2011 May 16, British scientists
said they have found that a gene, called KLF14, linked to diabetes
and cholesterol is a "master switch" that controls other genes found
in fat in the body, and say it should help in the search for
treatments for obesity-related diseases.
2011 May 19, Doctors in Oregon
announced that electrodes implanted on the spinal cord of Rob
Summers (25) had reactivated nerve circuits and allowed him to
consciously move body parts that had been paralyzed following a 2006
hit and run accident.
(SFC, 5/20/11, p.A8)
2011 May 31, A World Health
Organization panel reported that radiation from cell phones “is
possibly carcinogenic" to humans.
(SFC, 6/1/11, p.A5)
2011 Jun 5, Cancer researchers
reported that the drug vemurafenib (aka PLX4032) made melanoma
tumors shrink significantly in nearly half the patients studied. In
August it was approved for use in America.
(SFC, 6/6/11, p.A9)(Econ, 12/31/11, p.65)
2011 Jun 10, In a surgical
procedure that took more than twenty hours, Charla Nash (57), a
Connecticut woman disfigured in a Feb 16, 2009, attack by her
friend’s chimpanzee Travis, received a face transplant at Brigham
& Women’s Hospital in Boston. She is only the third person in
the United States to receive a full face transplant. At the same
time, surgeons also attempted to give Nash a hand transplant, but
this procedure was not successful.
(Boston Globe, 6/10/11)(AP, 6/10/11)
2011 Jun 24, In Indiana a
federal judge issued an injunction barring the state from cutting
off funding for general health services by Planned Parenthood
clinics just because the organization also provides abortions.
(SSFC, 6/26/11, p.A11)
2011 Jul 4, Two studies were
released indicating that environmental factors may play a greater
role in autism than previously thought, tipping the scale away from
a strict focus on genetics.
2011 Jul 7, Swedish officials
said a man (36) with tracheal cancer has received a new lab-made
wind pipe seeded with his own stem cells in the first successful
attempt of its kind.
(SFC, 7/8/11, p.A2)
2011 Jul 11, Spanish officials
said a surgical team in Valencia, led by Dr. Pedro Cavada, has
carried out the world’s first double leg transplant.
(SFC, 7/12/11, p.A2)
2011 Jul 19, British health
bosses at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, where three patients
died after contaminated saline solution was found, said they were
dealing with a "criminal act" as a fourth person was revealed as
being critically ill. On July 20 a 26-year-old nurse at the hospital
was arrested on suspicion of murder.
(AFP, 7/19/11)(AP, 7/20/11)
2011 Jul 28, Scientists
reported that they have found a single gene responsible for a
disease called the Proteus syndrome, believed to been responsible
for the disfigured “Elephant Man," who toured Europe in the 19th
(SFC, 7/29/11, p.A8)
2011 Aug 3, Stanford Univ.
researchers reported that they have found a way to kill cancer cells
by turning off their ability to absorb glucose, often the primary
source of energy in rapidly growing tumors.
(SFC, 8/4/11, p.A1)
2011 Aug 10, Scientists at the
University of Pennsylvania reported the first clear success with a
new approach for treating leukemia, turning the patients' own blood
cells into assassins that hunt and destroy their cancer cells.
2011 Aug 11, South Africa
announced it has approved a national health insurance proposal aimed
at overhauling weak public facilities that serve more than 80
percent of the population. The National Health Insurance (NHI)
scheme will be piloted in 10 areas next year and rolled out
nationally over 14 years.
2011 Aug 21, Northwestern
University researchers reported that they found that the basis of
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a malfunctioning protein
recycling system in the neurons of the brain and spinal cord.
2011 Aug 24, One of Taiwan's
best regarded hospitals mistakenly transplanted HIV-infected organs
into five patients after a hospital staffer misheard the donor's
test results by telephone.
2011 Aug 29, Adult film
productions in Los Angeles shut down temporarily after an adult film
performer tested HIV-positive.
(SFC, 8/30/11, p.A6)
2011 Aug 30, A US federal judge
temporarily blocked key provisions of a Texas abortion law that
would require women seeking the procedure to view a sonogram and
listen to the heartbeat of their fetus. On Jan 10, 2012, a federal
appeals court restored the law.
(Reuters, 8/30/11)(SFC, 1/11/12, p.A7)
2011 Sep 7, The Obama
administration announced charges against 91 people for bilking
Medicare out of nearly $300 million and victimizing elderly and
disabled people dependent on the federal insurance program.
(SFC, 9/8/11, p.A12)
2011 Sep 12, Indian officials
said at least 23 children who received blood transfusions have
tested positive for HIV, as authorities launched an investigation
into a government hospital.
2011 Oct 20, A Brazilian jury
convicted three doctors of killing four patients by removing their
organs, which prosecutors said were used for transplants at an
expensive private clinic. The case took 25 years for a verdict to be
handed down. Doctors Rui Sacramento, Pedro Torrecillas and Mariano
Fiore Junior were sentenced to 17 years and six months each in
2011 Oct 27, Levy Izhak
Rosenbaum of New York admitted in federal court in Trenton, NJ, that
he had brokered 3 illegal kidney transplants for New Jersey
customers in exchange for payments of $120,000 or more. Experts said
this was the first US case of black-market organ trafficking in the
(SFC, 10/28/11, p.A9)
2011 Nov 25, A study by
Canadian scientists found that South Africa and Zimbabwe suffer the
worst economic losses due to doctors emigrating, while Australia,
Canada, Britain and the United States benefit the most from
recruiting doctors trained abroad.
2011 Dec 13, Chilean doctors
successfully separated conjoined twin girls in a marathon 20-hour
surgery, saying that the operation went extremely well despite
challenges. Doctors at Luis Calvo Mackenna Hospital separated Maria
Jose Paredes Navarrete from her twin sister Maria Paz at the thorax,
abdomen and pelvis. Maria Jose died on Dec 18.
(AP, 12/14/11)(AP, 12/18/11)
2011 Dec 19, In northern Brazil
say a woman gave birth to conjoined twin boys with one body and two
heads at the Santa Casa de Misericodia Hospital in Belem.
2011 Dec 20, American
authorities said they had asked the world’s leading scientific
journals to withhold research on bird flu after researcher teams in
Madison and Rotterdam engineered the virus so that it could be
transmitted through the air from ferret to ferret. In January
scientists agreed to suspend their research for 60 days. On April
20, 2012, the US reversed its stance.
p.A4)(Econ, 4/28/12, p.14)
2011 Dec 22, Francisco Morales
(52) was arrested in Brownsville, Texas, for posing as a physician
and performing procedures using stem cells on patients in Mexico.
Three other were later charged in the operation.
(SFC, 12/29/11, p.A9)
2011 Dec 22, French officials
prepared to decide if thousands of women should have their implants
surgically removed. Silicone gel implants, made by a company called
Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) which was shut down in 2010, appear to
have an unusually high rupture rate and have sparked an
investigation in France into possible links to cancer. Fears over
the safety of the breast implants made by PIP spread to
Australia, South America and across Europe.
2011 Dec 28, Two out-of-state
doctors who traveled to Maryland to perform late-term abortions were
arrested and charged with multiple counts of murder. Dr. Steven
Brigham, of Voorhees, N.J., was taken into custody and held in the
Camden County jail. Authorities also arrested Dr. Nicola Riley in
Salt Lake City. Each was awaiting an extradition hearing.
2011 Dec 29, Virginia
Republican Gov. Robert McDonnell signed off on state rules to
regulate abortion clinics like hospitals.
(SFC, 12/30/11, p.A8)
2011 Dec 30, Britain’s National
Health Service (NHS) Information Center reported that the use of
anti-depressant drugs in England has soared by 28 percent in the
past three years, coinciding with the country's fall into recession
and the global economic crisis.
2011 Dec 31, Britain's biggest
cosmetic surgery chain revealed that rupture rates on allegedly
faulty French-made breast implants are seven times higher than
2011 Marc Agronin authored “How
We Age: A Doctor’s Journey into the Heart of Growing Old."
(Econ, 2/12/11, p.93)
2011 Annual health care
expenditure in the US grew to almost 18% of GDP. In 1960 it was just
over 5% of GDP.
(Economist, 9/29/12, p.82)
2012 Jan 17, Rotary
Int’l. announced it had raised another $200 million to eradicate
polio. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will contribute a
further $504 million. One of three active strains was eliminated in
(Econ, 1/21/12, p.90)
2012 Jan 17, Britain said it
has signed deals with China to research stem cells and smart grids,
after Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne held 2-day talks
with officials in Beijing aimed at attracting investment.
2012 Jan 20, The US Department
of Health and Human Services ruled that religiously affiliated
nonprofit organizations, including hospitals and universities, will
have to offer birth-control coverage to women employees but gave the
organizations an extra year to comply.
2012 Jan 20, The European
Medicines Agency said it is investigating a multiple sclerosis drug
made by Novartis after at least 11 patients taking the drug died.
The drug, Gilenya, was licensed last year in the EU to treat
patients with a severe type of multiple sclerosis.
2012 Jan 22, Indian authorities
said at least 26 infants have died in the past five days in a
state-run hospital in West Bengal state. Most of them were
underweight and had been suffering from birth asphyxia.
2012 Jan 22, A Turkish doctor
whose 25-member team performed the world's first triple limb
transplant, two arms and a leg, said the leg has been removed due to
2012 Jan 25, A study of
freakish condition called Morgellons was released. It concluded that
Morgellons exists only in the patients' minds. Federal health
officials began the study in 2008. The syndrome wasn't named until
2002, when "Morgellons" was chosen from a 1674 medical paper
describing similar symptoms.
2012 Jan 26, The Journal of the
American Medical Association (JAMA) published a new study showing an
estimated 7% of American teens and adults carry the human
papillomavirus in their mouths.
(SFC, 1/27/12, p.A6)
2012 Jan 26, Pakistani
government officials in Punjab said around 100 heart patients have
died after taking faulty medicine made locally and dozens more are
in a critical condition in hospitals in Lahore.
2012 Jan 30, US federal
regulators approved the first drug for people with advanced forms of
basal cell carcinoma. It was made by Genentech, a subsidiary of
(SFC, 1/31/12, p.C1)
2012 Jan, Kalydeco became the
first approved drug to target the mutated gene that causes cystic
fibrosis. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation spent $75 million on early
research for the drug, owned by Vertex.
(Econ, 4/21/12, p.79)
2012 Feb 7, The US Centers for
Disease Control said smokers have twice the number of problems with
their teeth than nonsmokers.
(SFC, 2/8/12, p.A6)
2012 Feb 11, It was reported
that a mysterious epidemic is devastating the Pacific coast of
Central America, killing more than 24,000 people in El Salvador and
Nicaragua since 2000 and striking thousands of others with chronic
kidney disease at rates unseen virtually anywhere else. Scientists
say they have received reports of the phenomenon as far north as
southern Mexico and as far south as Panama. Researchers suspected
chronic dehydration. Elsy Brizuela, a doctor who works with an El
Salvadoran project to treat workers and research the epidemic,
discounts the dehydration theory and insists "the common factor is
exposure to herbicides and poisons." In Nicaragua, the number of
annual deaths from chronic kidney disease more than doubled in a
decade, from 466 in 2000 to 1,047 in 2010. In El Salvador there was
a similar jump, from 1,282 in 2000 to 2,181 in 2010.
2012 Feb 18, It was reported
that more than 3,000 children in northern Uganda are suffering from
a debilitating mystery ailment known as nodding disease. For several
years, scientists have tried and failed to determine the cause of
the illness. Scientists did not know if the disease is linked to
similar outbreaks in neighboring South Sudan and Tanzania.
2012 Feb 24, In Turkey doctors
at Hacettepe University transplanted two arms and two legs on Sevket
Cavdar (27). He had lost his arms and legs in 1998 when he was
accidentally electrocuted. The world's 1st quadruple limb transplant
soon failed due to tissue incompatibility.
2012 Feb, Universities across
America took delivery of the first brood of Raves, an open source
medical robot designed for surgery.
(Econ, 3/3/12, TXp.6)
2012 Mar 22, Deaths from liver
disease have risen 25 percent in England in less than a decade,
mainly due to increased alcohol consumption, a study revealed.
Alcohol-related liver disease accounted for over a third (37
percent) of the deaths, according to the National End of Life Care
Intelligence Network report.
2012 Apr 12, Brazil's supreme
court voted 8-2 to authorize abortions in cases of fetuses with no
2012 Apr 13, The Texas Medical
Board approved controversial new rules on the use of adult stem
(SFC, 4/14/12, p.A8)
2012 Apr 20, European
regulators recommended approval of a new type 2 diabetes drug from
AstraZeneca, Britain's second biggest drugmaker, and Bristol-Myers
Squibb, in a decision that contrasts starkly with its failure to win
approval in the United States.
2012 May 9, Argentina's senate
overwhelmingly approved a "dignified death" law giving terminally
ill patients and their families more power to make end-of-life
decisions. The law passed by a vote of 55 to zero, with 17 senators
declaring themselves absent. It passed the lower house last year.
2012 May 21, US Roman Catholic
leaders filed federal lawsuits against the Obama administration
mandate that employers provide workers birth control coverage.
(SFC, 5/22/12, p.A7)
2012 May, In Mexico Gabriel
Granados (52), a father of two whose arms were amputated just below
the elbow, received the arms of a 34-year-old shooting victim. He
became the first patient in Latin America to receive a double arm
2012 Jun 21, Doctors in
Britain's state-funded health service took industrial action for the
first time in 37 years in a dispute over changes to their pensions,
cancelling thousands of patients' non-urgent appointments and
operations. The Department of Health claimed the next day that only
8% of NHS doctors took part in the industrial action.
(Reuters, 6/21/12)(AFP, 6/22/12)
2012 Jun 22, In Zimbabwe a
handful of male lawmakers underwent voluntary circumcision in a new
public drive to curb the spread of HIV, which affects about one in
10 people in the southern African country.
2012 Jun 27, The US FDA
approved Arena Pharmaceuticals’ anti-obesity pill Belviq, the first
weight loss drug approved since 1999.
(SFC, 6/28/12, p.A11)
2012 Jun 28, The US Supreme
Court upheld Pres. Obama’s signature health care law's individual
insurance mandate in a 5-4 decision. The mandate was upheld as a
tax, with Chief Justice John Roberts, a Bush appointee, joining the
liberal wing of the court to save the law.
(SFC, 6/29/12, p.A1)
2012 Jul 1, A US federal judge
temporarily blocked Mississippi from enforcing a new law that
requires doctors who perform abortions at the state's sole abortion
clinic to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. The
Mississippi legislation, signed by Rep. Gov. Phil Bryant in April,
was due to go into effect today. Abortion clinic doctors had applied
to 7 area hospitals for admitting privileges.
(SFC, 6/23/12, p.A5)(Reuters, 7/1/12)
2012 Jul 14, In Malaysia
conjoined 15-month-old twins attached at the pelvis and sharing
three legs were successfully separated at a hospital in a complex
2012 Jul 16, Indian officials
suspended 12 doctors for allegedly conducting prenatal sex tests, a
practice banned to stop the abortion of female fetuses that has
widened India's gender gap.
2012 Jul 18, China’s Ministry
of Health issued a new code of conduct banning medical staff from
prescribing unnecessary tests and the prescription of expensive
tests to boost income.
(Econ, 7/21/12, p.38)
2012 Jul 21, Mozambique
launched a Brazilian funded pharmaceutical plant that will make
anti-retroviral drugs to battle the HIV/AIDS scourge in the southern
African country. The plant will initially package drugs from Brazil
but start producing the pills by the end of the year.
2012 Jul 22, The 19th
International AIDS Conference opened in Washington, DC, with the
theme: "Turning the Tide." It returned to the United States for the
first time since 1990, after being kept away by laws that barred
people with HIV from traveling to the country.
2012 Aug 27, The US FDA said it
has approved a request by Gilead Sciences to sell a pill for new HIV
patients that combines four of the company’s drugs into one. The
Stribild therapy contains two new rugs and two previously approved
compounds for the Truvada HIV medicine.
(SFC, 8/29/12, p.D2)
2012 Aug 30, Swiss authorities
said a self-styled healer has been indicted by a Swiss court on
charges that he intentionally infected 16 people with HIV, the virus
that causes AIDS, in cases (2001-2005) going back more than a
2012 Sep 6, The US Institute of
Medicine said in a report that the US health care system squanders
$750 billion a year, roughly 30 cents of every medical dollar,
through unneeded care, byzantine paperwork, fraud and other waste.
2012 Sep 7, In a taped
interview in Colorado Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan
said the federal government shouldn't interfere with states that
have legalized medical marijuana.
2012 Oct 4, A US federal strike
force charged 91 doctors, nurses and other licensed medical
professional across the country in connection with phony bills
totaling nearly $430 billion.
(SFC, 10/5/12, p.A8)
2012 Nov 14, The debate over
legalizing abortion in Ireland flared after the government confirmed
Savita Halappanavar, a miscarrying Indian woman suffering from blood
poisoning, was refused a quick termination of her pregnancy and died
on Oct 28 in an Irish hospital.
2012 Dec 9, It was reported
that 9 leukemia patients were cancer free after being treated with
genetically altered versions of their own immune cells.
(SFC, 12/10/12, p.A6)
2012 Dec 10, PM Cameron said
Britain will be the first country to introduce a database of genetic
sequences into a mainstream health service, giving doctors a more
advanced understanding of a patient's illness and what drugs and
other treatments they need.
2012 Dec 31, A Texas state
judge ruled that Texas can cut off funding to Planned Parenthood’s
family planning programs for poor women if they advocate for
(SFC, 1/1/13, p.A4)
2012 William Baumol authored
“The Cost Disease: Why Computers Get Cheaper and Health Care
(Economist, 9/29/12, p.82)
2012 Ira Byock authored “The
Best Care Possible: A Physician’s Quest to Transform Care Through
the End of Life."
(Econ, 3/17/12, p.93)
2012 Michigan doctors used
plastic particles and a 3-D laser printer to create an airway splint
to save the life of Kaiba Gionfriddo, a 3-month-old Ohio baby boy
who used to stop breathing nearly every day.
2012 Prescription pain killers
in America accounted for some 16,000 deaths, nearly four out of
every ten fatal drug overdoses.
(Econ, 11/22/14, p.25)
2013 Jan 11, In Zimbabwe
Professor Gordon Chavunduka (82), the leader of the organization of
tribal healers, died. The eminent academic, author, sociologist and
politician, a former head of the main Zimbabwe University, was
widely known for his research and writing that did much to bridge
the gap between Western medical practices and Africa's traditional,
tribal and herbalist healers.
2013 Feb 6, A new British
report said between 400 and 1,200 patients are estimated to have
died needlessly at Stafford Hospital in central England between
January 2005 and March 2009 in one of the worst scandals to hit the
NHS since it was founded in 1948.
2013 Mar 12, The US Food and
Drug Administration warned that the popular antibiotic azithromycin,
sold as Zithromax, can cause a potentially fatal irregular heart
rhythm in some patients.
2013 Mar 26, North Dakota Gov.
Jack Dalrymple signed legislation that that would make North Dakota
the nation's most restrictive state on abortion rights, banning the
procedure if a fetal heartbeat can be detected — something that can
happen as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.
2013 Mar 27, Tennessee Gov.
Bill Haslam said he would not expand Medicaid in his state joining
18 other Republican governors who have rejected expansion for now.
(SFC, 3/28/13, p.A9)
2013 Mar 27, A team of int’l.
scientists reported the discovery of dozens of signposts in DNA that
can help reveal a person’s risk for breast, ovarian or prostate
(SFC, 3/28/13, p.A10)
2013 Apr 1, India’s Supreme
Court rejected a patent application by Novartis for Gleevec, a major
cancer drug. The ruling allows Indian makers of generic drugs to
continue making copycat versions of the drug.
(SFC, 4/2/13, p.A2)
2013 Apr 5, A US federal judge
ordered the Food and Drug Administration to make "morning-after"
emergency contraception pills available without a prescription to
all girls of reproductive age and criticized the Obama
administration for interfering with the process for political
2013 Apr 24, In a new study
scientists reported that some bacteria and other microbes from the
gut turn lecithin - a nutrient in egg yolks, liver, beef, pork and
wheat germ - into an artery-clogging compound called TMAO
(trimethylamine-N-oxide). They also found that blood levels of TMAO
predict heart attack, stroke or death, and do so "independent of
other risk factors."
2013 Apr 29, A Kosovo court
found two citizens guilty of human trafficking and organized crime
in a trial against 7 people suspected of running an int’l. organ
(SFC, 4/30/13, p.A2)
2013 May 15, It was reported
that Ranbaxy Labs, India’s biggest drugmaker, has agreed to pay $500
million to resolve fraud allegations related to adulterated drugs
sold in the US and lying to US regulators. A 2007 whistle-blower’s
lawsuit was unsealed on May 12. Whistelblower Dinesh Thakur had
resigned from Ranbaxy in 2005 and contacted American regulators
regarding invented data to win approval for drugs in American and
treatment for HIV patients.
(SFC, 5/15/13, p.C3)(Econ, 9/21/13, p.65)
2013 May 30, El Salvador's
Health Minister approved the C-section for a 22-year-old woman
suffering from kidney failure and lupus, a day after the Supreme
Court ruled that she could not have an abortion despite her lawyers'
appeal that the pregnancy was life-threatening. Ultrasound images
indicated that her fetus was developing with only a brain stem and
was given no chance of surviving. The C-section was performed on
June 3 and her baby girl was born without a brain.
(AP, 5/30/13)(AP, 6/3/13)
2013 Sep 9, The US Lasker
Awards were announced. Richard Scheller and Thomas Sudhof won the
basic medical research category for their research on how neurons
communicate with one another. They will split the $250,000 prize.
(SFC, 9/10/13, p.C1)
2013 Sep 23, A California
medical laboratory agreed to pay $19.4 million to federal and state
governments and two former employees who said they were fired after
reporting secret discounts and kickbacks. Diagnostic Laboratories
and Radiology was accused of cheating Medicare and Medi-Cal programs
for years by billing them at standard rates while secretly charging
cut-rate fees to nursing homes.
(SFC, 9/24/13, p.C2)
2013 Oct 1, Pres. Obama’s
health insurance exchanges were launched. The launch was plagued
(Econ, 10/12/13, p.38)
2013 Oct 8, British
pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline said it would seek regulatory
approval next year for RTS,S, a vaccine that has shown positive
results against malaria in children.
(Econ, 10/12/13, p.94)
2013 Oct 9, California’s Gov.
Jerry Brown signed a law that expands the definition of who can
provide abortions to include nurse practitioners, certified nurse
midwives and physician assistants.
(SFC, 10/10/12, p.A1)
2013 Oct 18, Canada’s Supreme
Court, in the case of a severely-brain damaged man, ruled that
family, not doctors, should decide when to cut off life support.
2013 Oct 21, Pres. Obama urged
American to buy health insurance by phone, mail and in person
because the website for Obamacare was not working.
(Econ, 10/26/13, p.33)
2013 Oct 31, A US federal
appeals court ruled that most of Texas’ tough new abortion
restrictions can take effect immediately.
(SFC, 11/1/13, p.A7)
2013 Nov 1, Genentech won
federal approval for its Gazyva drug for patients with leukemia.
(SFC, 11/2/13, p.D2)
2013 Nov 2, China, the only
country that still systematically takes organs from executed
prisoners for use in transplant operations, said it plans to end the
controversial practice by the middle of next year.
2013 Nov 14, Pres. Barack Obama
admitted he deserved to be "slapped around" over the chaotic debut
of his health care law, and pledged to work hard to restore
confidence in his reeling presidency.
2013 Nov 14, A French
commercial court ordered TUeV Rheinland, a German product-testing
company, to pay damages to more than 1,600 women and six
distributors after ruling that it failed to properly check silicone
breast implants that turned out to be prone to leakage.
2013 Nov 22, US regulators
approved the use of Johnson & Johnson's Olysio, also known as
simeprevir, as a treatment for chronic infection with the
liver-destroying hepatitis C virus.
2013 Dec 2, US Pres. Obama
announced a $100 million initiative in pursuit of a cure for HIV at
a White House event marking World Aids Day.
(SFC, 12/3/13, p.A7)
2013 Dec 2, In Australia a
class action over birth defects linked to the morning sickness drug
thalidomide was settled in a court, with the British distributor
agreeing to pay victims Aus$89 million (US$81 million).
2013 Dec 5, A study by the US
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said water pollution at
the Camp Lejeune military base in North Carolina has been linked to
increased risk of birth defects and childhood cancers.
2013 Dec 6, US FDA said it has
approved a new hepatitis C drug. The Sovaldi pills from Gilead
Sciences was approved for use in combination with older drugs to
treat the main forms of hepatitis C in the US. The US health
industry soon complained as the US price was the drug was set at
$1,000 a daily pill, or $84,000 for a 12-week treatment.
(SFC, 12/7/13, p.D3)(SSFC, 4/13/14, p.A1)
2013 Dec 9, In Oakland, Ca.,
Jahi McMath (13) suffered a cardiac arrest during a tonsil operation
at Children’s Hospital. On Dec 12 doctors pronounced her brain dead.
Her family contended she was still alive and kept her connected to
breathing and feeding tubes.
(SFC, 12/26/13, p.A10)(SFC, 12/28/13, p.C4)
2013 Dec 11, G8 health
ministers met in London to tackle what experts warn is a dementia
time-bomb, with cases set to soar as the world's population ages.
2013 Dec 27, Danish drugmaker
Lundbeck said it has received marketing authorization from the
European Commission for its antidepressant Brintellix following
approval in the United States in September.
2013 Dec 28, Croatia state
prosecutors said some 300 doctors and pharmacists are among 364
suspects who have been charged with offering and taking bribes in
exchange for prescribing certain drugs. The operation, code-named
Hippocratus, was launched by the USKOSK anti-graft police in
2013 Dec 31, President Obama’s
besieged Affordable Care Act suffered another setback with a US
Supreme Court justice issuing a temporary injunction late today
preventing enforcement of the law’s contraception mandate against a
group of Roman Catholic nuns who provide care to low-income elderly
(SFC, 1/2/14, p.2)
2013 In Sri Lanka a report
published by the World Health Organization found kidney disease in
15 percent of adults across three affected districts. By 2015 the
disease killed up to 20,000 people over the past 20 years and
sickened another 70,000 to 400,000. Research has failed to determine
2014 Jan 9, Health experts
launched Action on Sugar, a drive to cut sugar levels in food in an
effort to tackle obesity and diabetes.
2014 Jan 13, Swedish Dr. Mats
Brannstrom said nine women have successfully received transplanted
wombs donated from relatives and will soon try to become pregnant.
2014 Feb 4, A Cuban doctor
working in Brazil has sought political asylum in the office of a
conservative party complaining that Cuba's government takes too big
a slice of her pay. Under an agreement signed last year with Cuba
through the Pan-American Health Organization, or PAHO, the Cubans
get only one fifth of the 10,000 reais ($4,100) a month that Brazil
pays each physician in the program. The rest goes to the Cuban
2014 Feb 19, In Pennsylvania
Herbert and Catherine Schaible were sentenced to 3½ to seven years
in prison in the death of a 2nd child who never saw a doctor despite
being stricken with pneumonia.
(SFC, 2/20/14, p.A6)
2014 Mar 7, The US Centers for
Disease Control issued an alert after health authorities in the
United States reported that at least 19 women in five states had
developed serious mycobacterial wound infections over the previous
12 months following cosmetic procedures in the Dominican Republic
such as liposuction, tummy tucks and breast implants.
2014 Mar 12, Stephen Power (29)
from Cardiff in Wales was reported to be one of the first trauma
patients in the world to have a procedure in which 3D printing was
used at every stage.
2014 Mar 25, Utah’s Gov. Gary
Herbert signed a law that allows parents of children with severe
epilepsy to obtain marijuana extract to help with seizures.
(SFC, 3/26/14, p.A6)
2014 Mar 27, The US Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention released a report saying one in 68 US
children has been diagnosed with autism. The CDC report was based on
data from 2010.
(SFC, 3/28/14, p.D1)
2014 Apr 1, Chin Long Chiang
(b.1914), UC professor and biostatistics pioneer, died at his home
in Berkeley, Ca. He had begun applying statistical methods to the
world of health care and the study of diseases in the 1950s.
(SFC, 4/25/14, p.D3)
2014 Apr 8, A US jury ordered
Japanese drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. and its US counterpart,
Eli Lilly and Co., to pay $9 billion in punitive damages over Actos,
a diabetes medicine linked to cancer. The drug companies said they
will "vigorously challenge" the decision.
2014 May 17, Colorado Gov. John
Hickenlooper signed the first state law to allow terminally ill
patients to access experimental medications before federal approval.
(SSFC, 5/18/14, p.A7)
2014 May 28, A US Veteran’s
Affairs watchdog reported systemic problems at the Phoenix VA
Hospital with waiting time for care for a first appointment
(SFC, 5/29/14, p.A7)
2014 May 30, A US federal
health board overturned the government’s 25-year ban on providing
Medicare coverage for sex-change surgery for transgender people.
(SFC, 5/31/14, p.C2)
2014 Jun 19, A California state
auditor blasted federal and state oversight of sterilization
surgeries for female prison inmates after finding more than a a
quarter of 144 tubal ligations, performed from 2006 to 2013, were
done without lawful consent.
(SFC, 6/20/14, p.A1)
2014 Jun 24, France's top
administrative court ordered an end to the treatment of a comatose
man — a decision blocked hours later by the European Court of Human
2014 Jun 25, Britain's Supreme
Court said an assisted-suicide ban is incompatible with human
rights, but it dismissed the appeal from two severely disabled men
who argued the law should be changed to allow doctors to legally
2014 Jun 25, A French doctor
was acquitted of poisoning charges after giving lethal injections to
seven terminally ill patients. Relatives of Dr. Nicolas
Bonnemaison's patients had testified in his favor.
2014 Aug 15, China’s state
media reported that two HIV-positive passengers and a friend are
suing a Chinese airline for refusing to let them on board, in the
country's first such lawsuit.
2014 Aug 21, A new study
suggested that there is an oversupply of synapses in at least some
parts of the brains of children with autism.
(SFC, 8/22/14, p.A6)
2014 Sep 15, Gilead Sciences
said it will begin selling its $1,000 per pill hepatitis C treatment
in India and other developing countries at a fraction of the price
it charges in the US. Gilead said it had struck agreements with
seven Indian generic drug makers to sell lower cost versions.
(SFC, 9/16/14, p.D2)
2014 Sep 16, In Syria at least
15 children died after receiving vaccinations for measles in the
northwestern province of Idlib.
2014 Sep, A Swedish woman (36),
in a medical first, gave birth after having received a womb
(SFC, 10/4/14, p.A3)
2014 Oct 9, In Kosovo nine
health officials and doctors were arrested under an investigation
into private clinics suspected of offering bribes to receive heart
2014 Nov 8, In India a doctor
performed more than 80 sterilization surgeries after which 11 women
died. Two days later, another camp was held in the same Bilaspur
district of Chhattisgarh. One woman died and more than a dozen fell
ill with shock and vomiting.
2014 Nov 28, British scientists
announced trials on a 15-minute Ebola test in Guinea as France's
Francois Hollande arrived in Conakry, becoming the first Western
leader to visit one of the countries devastated by the epidemic.
France has pledged 100 million euros ($125 million) in the fight
against the epidemic focusing its efforts on Guinea.
2014 Dec 18, It was reported
that Colorado plans to spend over $8 million to research marijuana’s
(SFC, 12/18/14, p.C6)
2014 Richard Ablin and Ronald
Piana authored “The Great Prostate Hoax: How Big Medicine Hijacked
the PSA Test and Caused a Public Health Disaster."
(Econ, 3/8/14, p.85)
2014 Atul Gawande authored
“Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End."
(Econ, 10/4/14, p.89)
2014 Paul Marks and James
Sterngold authored “On the Cancer Frontier: One Man, One Disease,
and a Medical Revolution."
(Econ, 3/22/14, p.82)
2015 Jan 1, In Poland a
so-called "oncology package" was introduced requiring family doctors
to diagnose and fast-track cancer patients. Doctors said this will
leave less time and attention for all other patients, threatening
their health. Hundreds of doctors refused to sign the new plan and
kept their surgeries closed.
2015 Jan 13, Tanzania banned
witchdoctors to try and stem a surge in murders of albinos, whose
body parts are sold for witchcraft. The ban does not cover
traditional healers who use herbs to help the sick.
2015 Jan 14, Brazil approved
the medical use of a marijuana derivative to treat people suffering
from severe seizures and other conditions.
(SFC, 1/15/15, p.A2)
2015 Jan 31, It was reported
that a mysterious annual epidemic in northern India was likely due
to a toxin found in litchi fruit.
(SFC, 1/31/15, p.A5)