Medical Advances Timeline

  • Blood Transfusion

    British obstetrician James Blundell performs the first successful transfusion of human blood.
  • Anesthetics

    Dr. Horace Wells, American dentist, uses nitrous oxide as an anesthetic.
  • Tetanus

    Emil von Behring discovers antitoxins and uses them to develop tetanus and diphtheria vaccines.
  • X-Rays

    German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen discovers X rays.
  • Aspirin

    Felix Hoffman develops aspirin (acetyl salicylic acid). The juice from willow tree bark had been used as early as 400 BC to relieve pain.
  • Diabetes

    Insulin first used to treat diabetes.
  • Tuberculosis

    First vaccine for Tuberculosis created.
  • Influenza

    Vaccine for influenza developed.
  • Test-Tube Baby

    First test-tube baby born in the UK. Healthy baby and very normal.

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is identified.
  • Cloning

    Dolly the sheep becomes the first mammal cloned from an adult cell (dies in 2003).
  • Stem Cell Research

    Scientists discover how to use human skin cells to create embryonic stem cells.