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When was the last time a cure was found for a disease?

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kernel

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Jun 7, 2004
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I'm not having any luck with Google today. I've found some sites matching diseases' symptoms to treatments and cures, but no dates or names of scientists or companies. I'm posting this just in case someone here knows off the top of their head exactly where to go and could save me hours of grief. or someone who's better with search engines. I'd like to make a graph representing the rate of discoveries. Some other questions: Was there ever a period of time when an unusually large amount of discoveries were made? When was the first time a cure (not a treatment) for a disease was found? Has a cure for any venereal disease(s) been found within the last 20 years?

This isn't for anything important, btw. Just curious. Thanks for any help.
 

Loki

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kernel said:
Was there ever a period of time when an unusually large amount of discoveries were made?

1870 to about 1930. Those 60 years were crucial in terms of microbiological and medicinal advances. Pasteur, Koch, and Ehrlich, among others, made huge discoveries during this period, though Pasteur's work began a bit earlier (late 1850's, iirc).
 

kernel

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Oh wait. Do you remember where you found this info? Sheesh i just ran to google with those numbers.
 

Loki

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Keep in mind, though, that I'm not certain if the "rate" of discovery was any greater than what it was from, say, 1940-1970-- it's just that several of the discoveries made during this time laid the foundation for modern microbiology and medical science. It's more the importance of these discoveries than anything else which makes that period, imo, unique.
 

LakeEarth

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I don't know about cures but I'm sure there have been tons of recent vaccines made... I'm not basing it on anything, just .. it seems true :lol

The big discovery was penecillin in 1928. Took years before it became an drug wildly used in medicine, but it showed up just in time.
 

Loki

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kernel said:
Oh wait. Do you remember where you found this info?

Yeah, I took a course in microbiology in college last semester. :p Much of it was gleaned from my professor's powerpoint slides and lecture notes, though our text also had a chapter or two on the history of microbiology-- any worthwhile text should, really. :)
 

kernel

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Re: "Keep in mind, though, that I'm not certain if the "rate" of discovery was any greater than what it was from, say, 1940-1970-- it's just that several of the discoveries made during this time laid the foundation for modern microbiology and medical science. It's more the importance of these discoveries than anything else which makes that period, imo, unique."

Still, i'm better off than I was 30 minutes ago. microbiology sounds like a useful search term.

edit: I'm trying hard to avoid amazon.com and any heavy books. It's the last resort. An html list that i can copy and paste would be ideal.
 

LakeEarth

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Oh yeah I really enjoyed microbiology, especially when we were just talking about diseases. I know I've got the shot but I'm still afraid of getting tetnus from that course.
 

kernel

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Diseases first became fascinating for me after seeing some movie on HBO about an English teacher with cancer. There was a young doctor who explained that cancer cells don't age (or something like that). Haven't seent the movie in years. Scary but fascinating stuff.
 

Loki

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When was the first time a cure (not a treatment) for a disease was found?

Edward Jenner created the first vaccine, which was for smallpox, around the end of the 18th century. Cures I'm not so sure about. Historical info in science courses tends to go in one ear and out the other for me, considering the breadth of material you're expected to learn. :p
 

LakeEarth

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He noticed that milkmaids never got smallpox, and he realized it was because they got cowpox first. He realized that somehow your body fighting off cowpox made it 'ready' for smallpox and took the right logical conclusions.

Of course people didn't think highly about him suggesting people to inject animal serum into them, even if it was purified or whatever he did to them. I remeber in my microbio book there was a pictuer from the 19th century of people being injected and turning into animals :lol

Cures were coming out left and right because antibiotics were very very powerful. Only the diseases we have around now are viral (which are completely different than bacteria) or some of the 'tougher' bacteria out there (like tuberculosis, since it has a lipid coating around it protecting it). But when penecillin came out, so many horrid diseases that plauged mankind for AGES, now not a big deal. In the span of a couple of years.

And all it took was some scientist to make a mistake and leave his window open one weekend and get his bacteria culture contaminated with fungus :lol It probably happened before, but luckily for us Flemming didn't just chuck the plate, he looked at it and noticed that the bacteria around the fungal growth were dying.
 

Phoenix

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A VACCINE TIMELINE

1905 U.S. Supreme Court upholds state law mandating smallpox vaccinations

1906 to 1928 Vaccines against pertussis and diphtheria developed

1944 Pertussis vaccine recommended for universal use in infants

1947 DPT (tri-valent diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus) recommended by the AAP for routine use

1955 IPV (inactivated polio vaccine) licensed (was later modified in 1987)

1961 OPV (oral, live-virus polio vaccine) licensed

1963 Measles vaccine licensed

1959 to 1968 Quadrigen (DPT-IPV combo) used routinely [pulled off the market in1968 for safety and efficacy reasons]

1969 Rubella vaccine licensed

1971 MMR (tri-valent measles/mumps/rubella) licensed

1972 U.S. ended routine use of smallpox vaccine

1981 Japan licenses safer DPT vaccine, the acellular DTaP

1983 to 1985 first Hib (Hemophilus influenza B) vaccine (taken off the market in1985 for safety and efficacy reasons)

1986 Vaccine Injury Compensation Act passed

1986 recombinant Hepatitis B vaccine licensed

1987 Hib vaccine licensed

1988 Hib added to schedule

1988 Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Funded

1990 conjugate Hib vaccine licensed

1991 recombinant Hepatitis B recommended for all newborn infants and children

1993 DPTH (DPT-Hib combo) licensed

1995 Varicella licensed

1996 Dtap licensed; recommended for use instead of whole-cell DPT

1996 Hib-HepB combo licensed

1998 Lyme vaccine (Lymerix) licensed

early 1998 Rotavirus vaccine recommended by CDC for universal use in infants

Aug. 1998 Rotavirus vaccine licensed

Oct. 1999 Rotavirus vaccine pulled off the market due to significant adverse reactions

1999/2000 A Joint Statement by the U.S. Public Health Service, the AAFP, the AAP, and ACIP urging manufacturers to remove the preservative thimerosal as soon as possible from vaccines routinely recommended for infants.

2000 Prevnar (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine) licensed

2000 CDC recommends use of IPV instead of OPV (polio vaccine)

2002 GSK pulled Lymerix off the market

2002 Pediarix (penta-valent DtaP/HepB/IPV) licensed

2002 CDC encourages flu vaccine for children

2003 Inhaled flu vaccine (Flumist) being reviewed for approval by the FDA

2003 Smallpox vaccine for first-responders

http://www.909shot.com/Timeline/timeline.htm

I am the google master :)
 

kernel

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LakeEarth said:
Not exactly what I saw but yeah, same idea.

And I guess Viagra could be considered a cure.

But can impotence be considered a disease? Are bacteria or viruses involved? Or just human nature? Either way, it's a damn good cure.
 

puck1337

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A very promising HPV vaccine was invented/discovered in the last few years, which is notable because it's a leading cause of cervical cancer.
 

LakeEarth

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kernel said:
But can impotence be considered a disease? Are bacteria or viruses involved? Or just human nature? Either way, it's a damn good cure.
Exactly, it's a cure without a disease. It's so good it cures the MENTAL problem of impotance...though it does also help out people with real blood flow problems too.

It's so funny how they discovered Viagra. It was supposed to be for heart attacks, instead it's probably gonna help some older folk get one :lol
 

maynerd

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As far as I know we have never cured a disease. We have found ways to vacinate against certain diseases. By doing that it has basically eliminated some diseases. But I am not sure if we have ever cured one, I think I could be thinking about viruses though.
 

LakeEarth

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maynerd said:
As far as I know we have never cured a disease. We have found ways to vacinate against certain diseases. By doing that it has basically eliminated some diseases. But I am not sure if we have ever cured one, I think I could be thinking about viruses though.
Yes viruses is what you're thinking about. We've cured a great deal of bacterial diseases though. Fungal diseases are harder to cure since they're similar enough to our cells to cause a problem. Cancer IS our cells which makes it extremely impossible to find something that will kill cancer cells but leave normal ones alone (though there are some potential drugs out there that might make the impossible happen).
 

Link

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Wasn't there something about finding a cure for Sickle Cell Anemia a bit back?
 

Aruarian Reflection

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Link said:
Wasn't there something about finding a cure for Sickle Cell Anemia a bit back?

You mean how Viagra helps treat pulmonary hypertension in Sickle Cell Anemia cases? It's funny because I'm working at the NIH this summer and I just went to a lecture last week on that :)

It's not an officially recognized treatment though, at least that I'm aware of. They're still in the process of clinical trials.
 

LakeEarth

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Not a definitive cure (edit, treatments are around yes). Sickle cell anemia a genetic defect. Gene therapy is the only way to cure that and us biochemists haven't worked out the kinks in that. Too many test subjects dying, it's nothing to be worried about.

Fun fact - People who are recessive for the Sickle Cell Anemia trait are resistant to Malaria. This is why scientists believe there is a high percentage of people with the disease in Africa, because Malaria is a problem over there, because having the recessive trait gives a person an advantage.
 

yoshifumi

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viagra actually had no effect on getting a hardon, it actually just allows one to sustain a boner. impotence has to do with too much phosphodiesterase which breaks down cGMP, causing an outflux of blood from the penis. viagra limits phosphodiesterase production, allowing the influx of penis blood to be sustained, keeping you hard.

edit: i just learned this yesterday in my reproductive biology class
 

yoshifumi

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LakeEarth said:
Fun fact - People who are recessive for the Sickle Cell Anemia trait are resistant to Malaria. This is why scientists believe there is a high percentage of people with the disease in Africa, because Malaria is a problem over there, because having the recessive trait gives a person an advantage.

there's a bunch of genetic diseases out there that a heterozygote actually gains an advantage in certain situations, which sort of sucks for humans
 
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