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  • Robert Koch proved that microbes cause infectious diseases and famously identified the etiological agents of anthrax, tuberculosis, and cholera.
  • Louis Pasteur proved that life does not spontaneously generate from non-living material, made a significant advance in chemistry, invented pasteurization, and revolutionized vaccines.
  • Koch and Pasteur had a bitter rivalry over the invention of the anthrax vaccine.
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Electric eels and gladiator blood: the curious beginnings of modern medicine

Hippocrates overturned conventional wisdom and invented modern medicine.

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  • Ancient "medicine" once consisted of sacrificial offerings and divine petition. Disease was a supernatural infliction; health was a gift.
  • Hippocrates invented medical science, and his theory of the humors and holistic health dominated Western medical thought for more than two thousand years.
  • Today, medicine is much more disease centred, and perhaps something has been lost from the Hippocratic doctor-patient relationship.
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