50 inventions prolong the Life of Man

Since the 19th century, the average life expectancy of human beings has increased from more than 30 years old to over 70 years old, thanks to the continuous progress of science and technology. Recently, Apelon Care, an American consulting firm, has compiled 50 inventions that have played an important role in extending life expectancy for 200 years. Many of the most influential inventions were born between the end of the 19th century and the middle of the 20th century, and many of the most common things now seem to be common. Saving billions of lives around the world. 

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Flush toilets end cholera epidemic. 

Of these 50 inventions, the first to save more than a billion lives was the “flush toilet.” Harvard geneticist Gary Lafkun believes that the toilet is the biggest contributor to the increase in human life by an average of 20 years, according to Harvard geneticist Gary Lafkun. A survey by the British Medical Journal found that the most landmark event in medical history was neither penicillin nor contraceptives, but modern sanitation. 

According to historical records, the world’s first flush toilet was born in the early 16th century. John Harrington, an English writer who couldn’t bear the stench of a nightpot to interrupt his writing, devised a night kettle that uses water to send excreta directly to the wild. Later, people continue to improve on this basis, gradually evolved into the present toilet flush. However, before the emergence of the supporting sewage system, there is no opportunity for flushing toilets to display their talents. At that time, people excreted at “random places,” and even city dwellers in Europe followed the Roman custom of dumping excreta directly into the streets and waterways outside their windows, causing pollution of rivers and spreading various diseases. One of the most terrifying is cholera. At the beginning of the 19th century, a cholera outbreak broke out in England, killing more than 6000 people in the first plague in 1831 alone. It was not until the late 19th century, when sewerage systems were built in major European cities, that flush toilets became more common and cholera was greatly reduced. 

Niu Wenyi, professor of social medicine and health education at the School of Public Health, Peking University’s School of Medicine, told the Life Times: “Flushing toilets and their associated sewage systems are the most favorable facilities for public health in cities and towns. It plays an important role in preventing infectious and parasitic diseases of digestive tract. In early times, these two types of diseases were the most life-threatening, many of them through faecal-oral transmission, the British cholera epidemic is fecal bacteria contamination of water, and then oral into the human body. Flush toilets and sewerage systems are a form of centralized management of faeces that can effectively address the problem of transmission. ” 

Unfortunately 2.4 billion people around the world still have no toilets or are in poor condition. Although remarkable achievements have been made in the improvement of toilets in rural areas of China, there are still a small number of toilets in some poor areas, young and old, which remain in the state of “one small pit with two bricks and one broken seat surrounded by four sides”. The incidence of intestinal infectious diseases and parasitic diseases is relatively high. Niu Wenyi appeals that the harmless treatment of rural faeces should be realized as soon as possible so as to prevent and control the occurrence and epidemic of diseases from the source. 


Scientific Blood Transfusion, an important means of Saving Life. 

Blood transfusion as an important means of medical emergency has undoubtedly saved more than 1 billion lives. As early as more than 600 years ago, human beings have tried blood transfusion, but the scientific blood transfusion method has only been applied in clinic for more than a hundred years. The development history of blood transfusion can be said to be a process from “playing with one’s life” to saving one’s life. The ancients believed that blood symbolizes life, is not only the beginning of life but also death, so people are full of worship, confusion and fear. The ancients tried to drink blood in order to rejuvenate children, but also set off a trend of bloodletting in order to cure diseases. They used animal blood to transfuse human blood, regardless of blood type transfusions, and so on, all of which lasted for a certain period of time. It is not hard to imagine how many people have been killed by these bold attempts. Britain and France have also enacted laws that explicitly prohibit blood transfusions in people. 

In the early 20th century, Austrian young medical scientist Karl Landstein first discovered blood typing, unraveling the mystery of death caused by blood transfusions. Later, scientists overcome the problem of blood coagulation, explore appropriate blood conservation methods and blood transfusion equipment, and stipulate standard operations such as laboratory tests and cross-matching, which ensures the safety of blood transfusions. 

At present, the blood transfusion technology has been very perfect, but many patients and their families often have doubts, and even in critical cases, do not dare to sign, delay treatment. In fact, blood transfusion is a routine treatment, just like thirst to water the same, when the human body ischemia, should be under the guidance of doctors to replenish blood. Niu Wenyi reminds that those who need blood transfusions must go through regular channels. This kind of blood collection process is standardized. After strict examination, the operators are professional and strictly observe medical ethics, thus ensuring the safety of blood transfusions to the greatest extent. And some underground illegal institutions, did not operate in accordance with the norms, may cause AIDS, hepatitis B and other diseases spread. In addition, people should correct the wrong understanding that “blood donation is harmful to health”. In fact, each time 200 milliliters of blood donation is not harmful to healthy people, blood donors pay attention to rest and supplementary nutrition can be recovered.


Vaccine, cost-effective method of disease prevention.

Vaccination is the most economical and effective public health intervention to prevent and control infectious diseases. It is also another invention that saves more than 1 billion people. The discovery and promotion of vaccinia pioneered the use of vaccines to combat disease, and its emergence eliminated smallpox virus, which has threatened human for hundreds of years. Over the next 200 years, the vaccine family continued to grow, and humans defeated diphtheria, tetanus, typhoid fever, yellow fever, and so on. In recent years, even therapeutic vaccines have come out. Through vaccination, smallpox has been eradicated in China, and there have been no local polio cases since 1995. Infectious diseases such as measles, pertussis, meningitis, Japanese encephalitis and hepatitis A have dropped to the lowest level in history.

“Vaccine prevention and control of infectious diseases through biological immunization has made a great contribution to human health. Niu Wen-yi said, “vaccination is necessary for the control of infectious diseases, and it is also worth promoting vigorously.” “even so, there is still a lot of misunderstanding about the vaccine, and in some countries there is even a” No Vaccine “campaign. In response, Niu Wen-yi explained that mature vaccines are safe and can be popularized only after a large number of verification studies have been conducted on the safety and suitability of various groups of people, and the people can rest assured.

In addition to the three great inventions mentioned above, from 1850 to the present, Anaesthesia, hypothermic disinfection, synthetic fertilizers, chlorination of water, insulin, antibiotics, mammography, antimalarial drugs, sunscreen, cervical cancer screening, pesticides, “green revolution”, air conditioning, aspirin treatment. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, renal dialysis, motor vehicle safety improvement, organ transplantation, rational drug design, pacemakers, cardiac bypass surgery, anti-smoking actions, bifurcation needles (for smallpox vaccination), oral rehydration therapy. France, higher education, radiotherapy, nuclear energy, angioplasty, AIDS prevention, satellite, robotic surgery, nanotechnology, big data, artificial intelligence, open online courses, drug management applications, 3D printing. , artificial organs, wearable devices, brain maps, global crowdsourced medical data, gene mapping, self-driving cars, the Internet of things, unmanned aerial vehicles, renewable energy, desalination of sea water, and so on, totaling 50 inventions. It has made an important contribution to the prolongation of human life and the improvement of the quality of life.

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