Bio and Medicine
Erwin Chargaff (born in 1905 in Chernivtsi) determined the quantitative relations of nitrogen bases that are part of nucleic acids. The scientist explained his discovery in the “Chargaff’s Rule”, namely the overall number of adenine surplus in every molecule in the DNA equals to the thymine surplus. By the same token, the number of guanine surplus equals to that of cytosine. Chargaff’s Rule played a decisive role in de-ciphering the DNA structure in a shape of double helix by James Watson and Francis Crick. Chargaff’s studies laid the foundations for a rapid development of genetics research.
The first known successful corneal transplantation took place in Olomouc (now Czech Republic) in 1905. The surgeon planted corneas from the patient’s eye, which was about to be removed, to another eye that was treated. In 1912, Vladimir Filatov (1875-1956) successfully performed his first corneal transplantation from a deceased person. Filatov’s breakthrough in ophthalmology even during his own lifetime helped save the eyesight of hundreds of thousands of people. His techniques are still widely used around the world. Besides, Vladimir Filatov developed an effective methodology of skin grafts and other tissues, which are still used in both human and veterinary medicine. In 1936, he founded the Institute of Eye Diseases and Tissue Therapy in Odesa, Ukraine.
In 1922, the Russian geophysicist Alexander Friedmann, who lectured at the University of Kyiv in 1916-1917, designed a mathematical model of the Universe that expands. Scientists applied the model in retrospective to understand the Universe emerged as a result of explosion. In 1948, George Gamow, a famous American mathematician of the Ukrainian descent (born in 1904 in Odesa) proposed a physical model of the Universe origins known as the Big Bang. Gamow et al predicted the existence of cosmic microwave background radiation, which was scientifically described only in 1964 that proved Gamow’s theory.
After James Watson and Francis Clark discovered a double helix of the DNA structure, scientists struggled to de-cipher the protein codes that form it. Findings of a renowned American mathematician of Ukrainian descent, George Gamow (born in 1904 in Odesa), played a decisive role in these research, as he proposed a mathematical model and introduced the concept of a genetic code that shapes combinations of amino acids in the DNA molecule.
Ilya Mechnikov was the author of fundamental works in the fields of immunology, bacteriology and epidemiology, as well as the pioneer of studying a human aging process (gerontology). He was born in 1845 in Ivanivka village, Kharkiv region, and later studied at the Kharkiv University. He worked
at the Odesa University that now bears his name and then assumed post of the lab director at the Pasteur Institute in Paris. Mechnikov was the first to develop a coherent theoryof protective systems of the human body. He also studied the effect of fungi and bacteria on a human immune system – this research subsequently led to the development of antibiotics. In 1908, Ilya Mechnikov was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the development of phagocytosis theory of the human immune system.
This is a method of connecting soft tissue during surgery using a high-frequency electric current; designed in 1992-93 by the Paton Electric Welding Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine under the leadership of Boris Paton. The method is widely applied in gynecology, urology, thoracic surgery, ophthalmology, oncology, etc.
Created in 2014 in the Kharkiv Aerospace Institute and the National Aviation University (Kyiv), this scalpel uses high pressure to remove non-muscle tissue with minimal damage to the vascular system. The liquid jet scalpel will be used to operate on the liver and the stomach as well as for removing malignant tumors.
Tuberculosis remained a dangerous desease even after the discovery of casusative bacteria in 1882. The mortality rates reached 25 percent in the first five years after being infected. In 1943, a group of American scientists discovered streptomycin as a highly effective antibiotic that neutralizes the disease. Starting from 1946, the mortality rate from tuberculosis plummeted by 90% owing to the wide use of streptomycin, which paved the way to elimination of tuberculosis endemic in developed countries over the next decade. The group of researchers was led by a Ukrainian emigre Zelman Vaksman (1888-1973) who was born in Nova Pryluka village, Vinnytsia region. In 1952, Zelman was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physyology or Medicine.