Wednesday, January 10, 2007

DNA, Antibiotics in Medical History Smackdown

Wednesday, 10 January 2007

DNA, Antibiotics in Medical History Smackdown
Topic: History
_42410361_chloroform203spl_1 The British Medical Journal wants to name the greatest medical breakthrough of the last 166 years -- since its founding -- and you get to vote.    

Here are the finalists:

Chlorpromazine [an anti-seizure drug, perhaps better known as Thorazine]
Evidence based medicine
Germ theory
Oral rehydration therapy
The Pill
[The discovery of the] Risks of smoking
Tissue culture

In terms of saving lives worldwide, it seems like antibiotics, oral rehydration therapy (which helped wipe out cholera), sanitation, germ theory and vaccines (although there were immunizations back in the 18th century) might be the leaders.

And maybe the discovery of the risks of smoking too, although it seems that perhaps the message hasn't sunk in all over the world.

Have the other items saved as many lives?

(The picture, by the way, is of an early chloroform inhaler.)

What is the greatest medical milestone? [BBC]

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