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Telescope And Microscope Essay

1968 words - 8 pages

Individual Discoveries and Inventions
History 458

Microscope and Telescope Discoveries

Two discoveries that came about because of the microscope
Blood types and polio
The most dreaded childhood disease in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s was childhood Polio. Polio is passed on from person to person via the fecal-oral route. Typically it affects the spinal cord and children suffer the paralysis and atrophy of one or both legs. As early as the late 1600’s the scientist Leeuwenhoek discovered the presence of red blood cells as well as microorganisms in water and body fluids.
Karl Landsteiner was an American scientist and is credited for being the first person to identify the ...view middle of the document...

Polio was a terrible and terrifying disease. In the late 19th century children, especially in cities and during the summer months would be struck down with sickness. Over the course of a few weeks one or both legs would be affected, the muscles would be crippled and the limbs would begin to atrophy. Children were struck down in the prime of their lives and suffered for the rest of their lives with crippled limbs and limited movement.
Because Landsteiner was able to isolate the Poliovirus, future scientists were able to create a vaccine that could provide immunity to the dreaded disease. Landsteiner thus benefited humanity in a great way by removing the fear that parents had of their children being struck down with polio. Today, in most nations of the world, Polio is only a distant memory but during Landsteiner’s life it was a dreaded and feared disease. His success in isolating the Poliovirus was a huge step for medicine during that time period.
For thousands of years mankind had suffered from infections that grew gangrenous and threatened the lives of those infected. Other bacterial diseases that man suffered from included syphilis and tuberculosis. A huge step toward fighting these bacteria was discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1928. However with the help of the microscope he was able to isolate and identify the substance penicillin from the mold Penicillium Notatum. Fleming won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1945 for his work regarding penicillin.
Penicillin antibiotics are important because they were the first drugs that had any power over the previously devastating diseases such as syphilis, staph infections, gangrene and tuberculosis. Throughout most of history if someone were infected with any of these types of infections they simply lived a short and miserable life until they died slowly with the infection. With the discovery of penicillin, man now had hope that he could overcome the infection. As a result, infections that had previously been lethal would now become mostly an inconvenience.
Though some infections and bacteria have become resistant to penicillin over the years, Fleming’s discovery still saved thousands or perhaps millions of lives to date. Penicillin is something that we take for granted today but it was really a miracle drug during Fleming’s lifetime. Because of penicillin, explorers especially in tropical countries could leave civilization and explore knowing that they could fight off infections if wounded. Additionally, thousands of lives were saved during wars because penicillin could be administered as soon as wounds were suffered. In most cases this could prevent anti-septic shock and gangrene that resulted from infections deep in the tissue of the body. Another important aspect of penicillin was that surgery candidates could undergo surgery with some confidence that they would come out of surgery without significant and life-threatening infections. Penicillin and the...

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