Thursday, June 23, 2016


Environmental & Science Education
History of Science
Edward Hessler

Biomedical Research & Breakthroughs
See page for author
[CC BY 4.0 (],
via Wikimedia Commons
The Breakthroughs in Bioscience series is a collection of illustrated articles that explain recent developments in basic biomedical research and how they are important to society. They are developed by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) to educate the general public about the benefits of fundamental biomedical research.

The most recent issue is "Vaccines: Essential Weapons in the Fight Against Disease." One of the illustrations is a vaccines timeline from smallpox (1796) to Human Papilloma Virus (2015).

Benjamin Franklin on Variolation
A boxed statement that could serve as an epigraph to the report is from Benjamin Franklin's autobiography in which he advocated for inoculation or variolation, which is inoculation with the live smallpox virus.

David Martin [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
He wrote:

"I lost one of my sons, a fine boy of four yeas old, by the small-pox, taken in the common way. I long regretted bitterly, and still regret that I had not given it to him by inoculation. This I mention for the sake of parents who omit that operation, on the supposition that they should never forgive themselves if a child died under it; my example showing that the regret may be the same either way, and that, therefore, the safer should be chosen." (emphasis added)

Electronic versions of these articles are available in html and pdf format at the Breakthroughs in Bioscience website above. Hard copies are available upon request. In addition to these publications, one page documents, Horizons in Bioscience, describe scientific scientific discoveries on the brink of clinical application.

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