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February 10 Science History

Science History of February 10

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Learn about the history of science by reading about the significant scientific events that took place on this day in history.

2006 - Norman Shumway died.

Shumway was the American doctor who performed the first successful heart transplant in the United States. He continued to refine the procedure to minimize rejection and increase safety for the patient. Many early heart transplant patients did not live for very long after their operations.

2005 - David Allan Bromley died.

Bromley was a Canadian/American physicist who is considered to be the founder of heavy ion research studying the structure and behavior of atomic nuclei. Heavy ions are ions greater in size than a helium nucleus and used to study larger atomic nuclei.

1923 - Wilhelm Röntgen (or Roentgen) died.

Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (1845 – 1923)
Wikimedia Commons
Röntgen was a German physicist who received the first Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901 for his discovery of Röntgen rays. He did not know the origin of the mysterious rays from his equipment so he named them x-rays to specify the unknown. He also took the first medical x-ray that was an image of his wife's hand.

1912 - Joseph Lister died.

Joseph Lister (1827 - 1912)
Wikipedia Commons
Lister was an English surgeon who pioneered the idea of sterile conditions in surgeries. He introduced the practice of sterilizing surgical instruments and wounds with carbolic acid that led to less post-operative infections.

1902 - Walter Brattain was born.

Brattain was an American physicist who shares the 1956 Nobel Prize in Physics with John Bardeen and William Shockley for the development of the semiconductor transistor. Transistors are electronic devices used to amplify or switch electronic signals and a basic unit in electronic design. Prior to the semiconductor transistor, transistors were high voltage vacuum tubes. The semiconductor transistor is much smaller, generates less heat and is less expensive.

1897 - John Franklin Enders was born.

Enders was an American microbiologist who shares the 1954 Nobel Prize in Medicine with Thomas Weller and Frederick Robbins for their work with the poliomyelitis virus which causes polio. They discovered a means to grow the virus in a medium other than the nervous fibers it naturally infects. This allowed more of the virus to be produced in order to make an effective vaccine. They used these methods later with the virus that causes measles that led to a vaccine.

1846 - Ira Remsen was born.

Ira Remsen (1846 - 1927)
Wikimedia Commons

Remson was a chemist who co-discovered the sweetener saccharin with Constanin Fahlberg. They discovered the sweetener during dinner when a roll Fahlberg ate tasted first sweet, then bitter, and noticed a residue on his fingers from the lab. After testing the chemicals he had been working on at the lab, Ramsen discovered the sweetness was caused was an oxidation of o-toluenesulfonamide and named it saccharine.

1840 - Per Teodor Cleve was born.

Per Teodor Cleve (1840 - 1905)
Wikimedia Commons
Cleve was a Swedish chemist and mineralogist who discovered the elements holmium and thulium. He also discovered the element didymium was not an element at all, but two separate elements, neodymium and praseodymium.

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