Human health timeline: 1950s
In 1908, Dr Karl Landsteiner and Dr Erwin Popper used extracts from the spinal cord of a boy who had died from polio to replicate the disease in monkeys.
A hip replacement is a common type of surgery where a damaged hip joint is replaced with an artificial one (known as prosthesis).
Research using animals has been involved in developing the techniques of kidney transplants, which give patients freedom from dialysis, allowing them to lead a normal life.
Wilson Greatbatch, an American electrical engineer, invented the first implantable cardiac pacemaker, in 1958. He also invented pacemaker batteries, which were essential to its function. Watch our short film about the history of pacemakers showing one of the original pacecmakers.
Research into Brazilian pit viper venom produced the first in a new class of medicines to lower blood pressure - angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors.
Replacement heart valves
From the 1950s onwards there were many attempts to build artificial valves, that mimicked the anatomy of heart valves, from artificial materials. A team at the University of Minnesota1 established the structure of heart valves taken from cattle and human cadavers.
First synthesized on December 11, 1950, chlorpromazine was the first drug developed with specific antipsychotic action.