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Why are you alive right now? Chances are, you owe your life to one of the remarkable medical discoveries in this book. Maybe it was vaccines. Or antibiotics. Or X-rays. Revolutionary medical breakthroughs like these haven’t just changed the way we treat disease, they’ve transformed how we understand ourselves and the world we live in. In Breakthrough! How the 10 Greatest Discoveries in Medicine Saved Millions and Changed Our View of the World, Jon Queijo tells the hidden stories behind history’s most amazing medical discoveries. This isn’t dry history: These are life-and-death mysteries uncovered, tales of passionate, often-mocked individuals who stood their ground and were proven right. From germs to genetics, the ancient Hippocrates to the cutting edge, these are stories that have changed the world–and, quite likely, saved your life.
Acknowledgments . . . xv
About the Author . . . xvi
Introduction . . . 1
Chapter 1. The World’s First Physician: Hippocrates and the Discovery of Medicine . . . 7
Chapter 2. How Cholera Saved Civilization: The Discovery of Sanitation . . . 27
Chapter 3. Invisible Invaders: The Discovery of Germs and How They Cause Disease . . . 45
Chapter 4. For the Relief of Unbearable Pain: The Discovery of Anesthesia . . . 67
Chapter 5. I’m Looking Through You: The Discovery of X-Rays . . . 91
Chapter 6. The Scratch That Saved a Million Lives: The Discovery of Vaccines . . . 115
Chapter 7. From Ancient Molds to Modern Miracles: The Discovery of Antibiotics . . . 139
Chapter 8. Breaking God’s Code: The Discovery of Heredity, Genetics, and DNA . . . 163
Chapter 9. Medicines for the Mind: The Discovery of Drugs for Madness, Sadness, and Fear . . . 193
Chapter 10. A Return to Tradition: The Rediscovery of Alternative Medicine . . . 221
Epilogue . . . 251
Appendix A. The Milestones, by Discovery . . . 257
Appendix B. References and Additional Reading . . . 261
Index . . . 279