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Category: Biology & Life Sciences, U.S. National Library of Medicine

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History of Medicine In 1816, an Englishwoman still in her teens, Mary Shelley, conceived the story of a scientist obsessed with creating life. Shelley's scientist, Victor Frankenstein, succeeds. But while Frankenstein's creature can think and feel, he is monstrous to the eye. Spurned by all, including Victor Frankenstein himself, the embittered creature turns into a savage killer. In 1818, Shelley's story was published as Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus . This story — both in the original novel and shaped into new forms, such as plays, films, and comics — has captivated people ever since, exposing hidden, sometimes barely conscious fears of science and technology.

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History of Medicine Instruction in Surgery. Five physicians and their colleagues in the surgical amphitheatre of the Massachusetts General Hospital watch as the anesthetist administers ether to a patient who is about to have surgery. This illustration appeared in an 1889 issue of Harper's Weekly . The National Library of Medicine was originally established 150 years ago, in 1836, as the Library of the Army Surgeon General's Office. Perhaps the key event in the library's history occurred in 1865, when Dr. John Shaw Billings became director. For the next 30 years he worked tirelessly to expand the library's holdings and open it as a source of biomedical information for all physicians.

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History of Medicine Introduction This Guide to Collections relating to the History of Artificial Organs is a review of materials located in known repositories as well as private and corporate holdings worldwide. This guide is an introduction, not an inventory, to the papers, records, films, tapes, interviews and artifacts relevant to the history of artificial organ developments. Purpose of the Guide This Guide is intended to serve many purposes. It marks an essential first step towards preserving the documentary history of artificial organ developments in the United States and abroad. It is intended to bring attention to the need to preserve recent medical science history before documents and devices are lost.

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The History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine has a rich collection of illustrated anatomical atlases dating from the 15th to the 20th century. The Historical Anatomies on the Web Project has been designed to broaden access to this collection by providing high-resolution downloadable scans of selected important images from the atlases. Atlases and images have been chosen for their historical and artistic significance by the project's content coordinator, Michael North. Important images may be omitted if the atlas is damaged or fragile, or if the work is bound in such a way as to impede high quality scanning. A priority has been placed upon scanning the earliest and/or the best edition of a work in Library's possession. The scans generally omit text.

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History of Medicine Introduction The horse has been one of the most important animals throughout human history, and healing horses has had an important place in veterinary and medical literature. Theories about equine physiology and health often mirrored theories about humans, and the literature of both was inherently linked. Bloodletting, astrology, and ancient texts were used by both physicians and veterinarians to heal their patients, and many discoveries, including the circulation of the blood, developed in tandem. The Hippiatrica: Ancient Texts Medieval and Renaissance veterinary medicine looked to ancient veterinary texts for its inspiration, just as physicians for human healing did.

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History of Medicine Home > From 'Monsters' to Modern Medical Miracles Home > Embryology and Classification of Conjoined Twins Embryology of Conjoined Twins Identical twins develop when a single fertilized egg, also known as a monozygote, splits during the first two weeks of conception. Conjoined twins form when this split occurs after the first two weeks of conception. The monozygote does not fully separate and eventually develops into a conjoined fetus that shares one placenta, one amniotic sac, and one chorionic sac. Because the twins develop from a single egg, they will also be the same sex. The extent of separation and the stage at which it occurs determine the type of conjoined twin, i.e., where and how the twins will be joined.

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History of Medicine Rewriting the Book of Nature Charles Darwin and Evolutionary Theory Charles Darwin’s vision—“from so simple a beginning, endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved”—now forms the foundation of the biological sciences. Radical in sweep, Darwin’s idea of naturally innovating and endlessly changing webs of life undercut all previous sciences. Darwin was instantly seen as a potent sign of a new science, a new way of conceiving the world. His theory was an immediate threat not just to those who were wedded to an older conception, but to all who relied on a given and settled order for meaning and for power.

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