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Ignaz Semmelweis - father of antisepsis

Ignaz Semmelweis was a doctor in the 1800s who discovered that doctors were responsible for childbed fever. He found this out when he observed that women who gave birth with no doctor present had lower rates of infection than those whose births were attended by doctors. The cause of this illness was bacteria being transferred from dead bodies to living ones, which could happen if the doctor went from performing an autopsy then delivering a baby without washing his hands. Despite the fact that he was able to reduce the rate of childbed fever in his institution from 10% to 1%, he had trouble convincing his fellow doctors about sanitation because he had no scientific concept regarding the disease's cause, only its prevention.
He became obsessed with convincing everyone of the necessity of antisepsis, and eventually lost his position at the hospital. After being dismissed from his job, he published a book entitled "The Etiology, Concept, and Prophylaxis of Childbed Fever", which brought him even more criticism. Some doctors pointed out that he had not proved his theory and others said that they could never practice medicine the way he suggested. Some doctors even claimed that a lack of hygiene could be a sign of a higher intelligence.
The widespread acceptance of handwashing in hospitals today is partially due to the Germ Theory, which states that diseases are caused by microorganisms. The theory was developed in the late 1800s, and scientists have been working on developing antimicrobial agents to treat infections since then. Before that it was believed that diseases were the result of being exposed to bad air. The first antibiotic, penicillin, was discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming. Penicillin was widely used during World War II for treating battle injuries and infections. Many other antibiotics were produced over the next few decades.
Of course, this all came too late for Semmelweis, who was committed to an insane asylum in 1865 after being unable to continue his medical practice. He died two weeks later, probably due to an infection he contracted during a procedure on one of the cadavers used for research. Ironically he died of the disease he had spent his life fighting.


When immune system goes rogue

Immune system is a system of the body that protects it from all foreign substances from the outside (viruses, bacteria, fungi, etc.) and controls the destruction of failed or outdated cells (for example, it is immunity that protects us from tumour formations). In order for immune cells not to destroy the cells of their own body, there is immunological tolerance.

Most healthy poisons in the world

While plants do their best to scare away those who want to eat them by producing all sorts of complex poisons and toxins, ironically, some of them are now used by humans only because of those very poisons.

Banana republic the beginning

One of the co-founders of the United Fruit Company (now Chiquita) was Minor Cooper Keith. He built a railroad in Costa Rica and planted many banana trees along the way to feed the workers. When the government could no longer fund the project, Keith had to come up with something to pay back the huge loan he had received. He decided to start using the newly built railroad to export bananas to the United States.

Appendix - a secondary immune organ

Although appendix is no longer used by humans for digestive purposes it still contains a high concentration of lymphoid tissue. Lymphoid tissue is essential for the immune system and may help encourage the growth of some types of beneficial gut flora.

How to survive if you're slow as a sloth?

A sloth can move slowly, but movement is not his primary defense method. Camouflage is a great way to go undetected. And this is where sloths have become experts over a long period of their evolution.