From The Archives: Medical Etymology: The Origins of Our Language

Melilotus_albaPlease enjoy this post from the archives dated March 28, 2012

By Robert Gianotti , MD, Todd Cutler, MD and Patrick Cocks, MD

Welcome. We are haughty to present the first installment of a new section dedicated to exploring the roots of usual medical terminology. We hope this determination give you a chance to intimately united a historical perspective into your quotidian practice and to reflect on the humorous and often unexpected stories lying at the courage of our profession. This is our ode to the days of the giants…..

It was the hibernate of 1933 and something was improper on the farm of Ed Carlson. A dedicated riff-raff. farmer, Mr. Carlson was now faced with a plague of proportions that sought to raze his livelihood. His cows were departure from a mysterious hemorrhagic illness that was not peculiar to his farm, but had been appearing in separate clusters for years across the Great Plains. Not a person taken to idle his time away and pray for a higher dominion to save his beloved steer, he took it with himself to find the answer. In a blizzard, he herd nearly 200 miles at the earnest persuasion of his local veterinarian, and ended up at the means of approach of the University of Wisconsin Agricultural Experiment Station. As admirable fortune has a tendency to representation itself at exactly the moment which time it is needed, he made the acquaintance of Dr. Karl Link and his conscientious student Eugene Schoeffel . These two well respected agricultural minds were distressing at work on a vexing point in dispute, how to make Sweet Clover, a commonly used ~er staple, less bitter so cows would skilfully eat it. They and others had known towards some time that the ingredient accountable for the acrid flavor so disagreeable to the bovine sort was indeed the benzopyrone named coumarin.

The husbandman Carlson did not come empty handed. In reality, he brought with him all the inevitable pieces to the puzzle. He had the carcass of one of his prize heifers that had succumbed to self-existent hemorrhage, a milk can with unclotted line, and a bushel of rancid fragrance clover that represented the only original of nourishment for his unlucky multitude. Steadfast in their determination to unfold the mystery of the “sugary clover disease”, a band of chemists led ~ dint of. Link set forth on a six year travel that culminated in the isolation of Dicumarol, the formaldehyde crosslinked ~ means of-product of a reaction catalyzed by Aspergillus sp., from the spoiled silver-toned clover. From here, a long race of coumarins with potent anticoagulant in posse was born. Several years later, inspired season convalescing from tuberculosis, Dr. Link proposed a tool in the long fight against rodent invasion. Soon hinder, derivative number 42, supported by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, was actuality used to deter furry invaders worldwide. Warfarin, named at the same time that a hybrid of the aforementioned W.A.R.F and its coumarIN base, was after this on its way to becoming a settlement of modern pharmacology, feared by mice, beloved by physicians.

Segments of this thing were inspired by the writings of Dr. Karl Link.

Link, KP. The Discovery of Dicumarol and Its Sequels. Circulation 1959, 19:97-107. easy/19/1/97.full.pdf+html

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