Science History

One year celebrating the most exciting stories in science history.

The First Therapeutic Use of Penicillin

On February 12, 1941 penicillin was first used in the treatment of a patient. This was the first time that an effective drug for the treatment of bacterial infections became available.

Henrietta Lacks' Immortal Cells

65 years ago the first immortalized cell line, today known as HeLa, was established.

The First Synthetic Production of Growth Hormone

On January 6, 1971 Berkeley chemists announced the first synthetic production of growth hormone.

The First Human Gene Therapy

On September 14, 1990, Ashanti DeSilva became the first of only two participants in the world's first approved gene therapy trial.

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

This new chapter of our Science History series takes us only a few years back to one of the more recent discoveries in the field of cell biology and embryology.

Invention of the Hybridoma Technology

On August 7, 1975, César Milstein and Georges Köhler published their seminal paper on the production of monoclonal antibodies in continuous cell culture.

The Discovery of Insulin

On July 27, 1921, Sir Frederick Banting and Charles Best succeeded in isolating insulin from canine pancreases and thereby discovered the first effective treatment for diabetes mellitus

The First Ebola Epidemic

On June 27, 1976 Y.G., a storekeeper at the cotton factory in South Sudan, suddenly became ill with a high fever, chest pain, and headache. This disease would later be named after the Ebola River.

The Discovery of AIDS

On June 5, 1981, Michael S. Gottlieb and Joel Weisman jointly reported an unusual and novel immunological condition in homosexual men. They termed the new disease Gay-Related Immune Deficiency (GRID); it would later be renamed AIDS.

The Cure for Scurvy

On May 20, 1747, James Lind, the ship surgeon of the HMS Salisbury, conducted one of the first clinical trials in medical history and thereby finding a cure for scurvy. Sadly, he did not realize it himself.

The First Modern Vaccine

On May 14, 1796, the English physician and scientist Edward Jenner tested the “world’s first vaccine” on the eight-year-old James Phipps.
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