First Human Heart Transplantation II

Lead: Building on two centuries of research and experimentation, South African Dr. Christaan Barnard performed the first heart transplant.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Though he was the first surgeon to successfully transplant a human heart, Dr. Barnard was using a technique developed by an American team at Stanford University Medical Center, led by surgeon Norman Shumway, who was considered by many to be the father of heart transplantation. In 1958 Shumway had transplanted the first heart in a dog. He and his associates had spent most of the early 1960s developing heart-lung machines and progressively removing the obstacles to organ transplantation. By the middle of the decade only the issue of immunosuppression seemed to be blocking the way. The body of the patient had a natural tendency to reject donor tissue as an alien to be destroyed.

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First Human Heart Transplantation I

Lead: In December 1967, surgeons in South Africa performed the first human heart transplant. 53-year-old Lewis Washkansky survived for 18 days.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The work of Dr. Christiaan Barnard in transplanting the heart of 25-year-old auto accident victim Denise Durvall into Washkansky built on more than two centuries of experimentation in immunology and surgery. This progress was enhanced by the late 19th-century work on antibodies by Paul Ehrlich, the blood typing research of Karl Landsteiner in 1900, and Ilya Metchnikoff’s theory of host rejection.

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Flu Epidemic of 1918 II

Lead: Contracted from pigs, in 1918 influenza began to spread through U.S. troops called up for service in World War I. Soon the disease had become an epidemic that spread through a world population already weakened by four years of war.

Tag: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Many experts believe the flu virus exists naturally in birds and is then transmitted to pigs where it mutates into a virulent form that in an infected human body causes fever, chills, weakness of the muscles and nausea. The virus makes its way through the air to its victim’s respiratory apparatus. It is a swift, clever, and sometimes deadly agent, a survivor of great tenacity. Influenza requires little more than a population weakened by hunger, other diseases, or war, to transform itself from a localized irritant to an epidemic of global proportions. In 1918 the world was ripe for the picking. 

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Flu Epidemic of 1918 I

Lead: A case of the flu is considered by most people a minor irritant, the subject of humor, the excuse to take off a day or two from work, one of those occasional hardships of life that must be endured. In the winter of 1918, however, the flu was no joke.

Tag: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Influenza is a virus, a clever survivor, ever vigilant for opportunities to mutate and spread. Many experts believe that the flu virus lives harmlessly in birds. On occasion flu viruses from birds infect pigs, whose immune system then attacks the virus, causing it to mutate. The new virus created in this process is then passed to humans and, depending on the conditions, an outbreak may not be far behind.

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History’s Turning Points: The End of Chastity II

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. Consider one of history’s turning points – conspirators in the death of chastity.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In his 1960 novel Where the Boys Are, Clendon Swarthout mused that “virginity was not all that important…nor do I think a girl’s misplacing it somewhere is as catastrophic as the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.” Perhaps not, but for thousands of years prior, chastity was very important, for families, for religious institutions, for dynastic security. Men might not have to maintain theirs, a classic double standard, but much energy was expended to make sure that females were chaste. Yet, within just a few short decades, it just went away, something considered so precious in previous generations was abandoned with a near careless lack of restraint.

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History’s Turning Points: The End of Chastity I

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. Consider one of history’s great social turning points – the death of chastity.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The expectation that a woman had to remain chaste, a virgin, until marriage or at least until engagement, had been around for millennia. The purpose of sex had been to make babies, propagate the species, extend the family, and in that process women were seen to play the essential role, the depository of the seed of life. It was thought that female chastity was essential. That the other half of the population, the male half, was not expected to maintain quite the same level of virtuous existence became increasingly seen as a double-standard in the modern era. Suddenly women had an ally, a tiny chemical wafer – the Pill - that helped redress an ancient gender imbalance. Now the act of sex could be severed from procreation. The rules governing chastity were being repealed. The invention and wide availability of the Pill sat upon one of history’s great turning points.

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History’s Turning Points: The Black Death II

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. Among history’s turning points: Consider the results of the Black Death.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After the arrival of the bubonic plague in the 1340s, the people of Europe did not know what was consuming them. This ignorance spawned great acts of courage and compassion, particularly among the clergy, but also near barbaric brutality. Many people blamed the Jews, specifically for poisoning the drinking water. Christian civility went out the window and thousands of Jews were murdered. According to one source, 16,000 were killed in 1349 in Strasbourg alone. Many fled to Poland where in the 20th Century their descendants would be consumed in another Holocaust of human origin.

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History’s Turning Points: Black Death I

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. We examine history’s turning points: Consider the Black Death.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In early October 1347, a ship left the city of Caffa in Southern Russia, bound for the Sicilian port of Messina. Along with its cargo it played host to its usual compliment of migratory black rats. They in turn were infested with tiny fleas bearing the deadly bacillus, identified finally in 1800s as pasteurella pestis, the bubonic plague.

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