露西·威尔斯诞辰131周年

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露西·威尔斯诞辰131周年
lucy-wills-131st-birthday

世界各地的孕妇都要感谢露西·威尔斯(Lucy Wills)的重要研究,因为她的这项研究创造了一种有助于预防生出缺陷婴儿的产前维生素。这种维生素就是叶酸,它在红细胞的生成中起着重要的作用,如果孕妇在怀孕前和怀孕期间服用它就可以帮助预防婴儿大脑和脊髓的先天缺陷。

今日Doodle:谷歌庆祝叶酸关键发现人露西·威尔斯诞辰131周年

但这种联系一直直到1931年才为人所知,当时威尔斯发表了一篇关于印度孕妇贫血研究的论文。为了表彰她的开创性工作,谷歌将周五通过doodle的方式庆祝了她的131周年诞辰。

据了解,威尔斯于1888年出生于英格兰伯明翰附近。她出生的那个年代正是年轻女性受教育机会越来越多的年代。得益于这点,威尔斯从小受到了良好的教育,后来她在剑桥大学纽纳姆学院学习植物学和地质学,1911年获得学位。1915年,她进入伦敦女子医学院学习,1920年成为一名具有法律资格的医生。

不过比起行医,威尔斯本人更愿意选择研究和教学,于是在1928年,她前往印度研究孕妇贫血。在对孟买不同阶层女性的观察中,她发现她们的饮食习惯与她们在怀孕期间贫血的可能性之间存在关联。最终通过研究发现,维生素的缺乏是罪魁祸首。在她的临床试验中,她发现实验室里的一只猴子在吃了由廉价酵母提取物制成的英式早餐酱马麦酱后,健康状况有所改善。她的这一发现是创造叶酸的第一步。等到1941年,当人们从菠菜中分离出这种物质,它才正式被命名为叶酸。

1964年,威尔斯去世,享年75岁。而在她的一生中,她既没有结婚也没有孩子,这跟她生活的一战时代背景有关,当时许多年龄跟她接近的男性都因为战争死去。

Today’s Doodle celebrates English haematologist Lucy Wills, the pioneering medical researcher whose analysis of prenatal anemia changed the face of preventive prenatal care for women everywhere.

Born on this day in 1888, Lucy Wills attended the Cheltenham College for Young Ladies, one of the first British boarding schools to train female students in science and mathematics. In 1911, she earned first honors in botany and geology at Cambridge University’s Newnham College, another institution at the forefront of educating women, followed by the London School of Medicine for Women, the first school in Britain to train female doctors.

Wills traveled to India to investigate a severe form of life-threatening anemia afflicting pregnant textile workers in Bombay. Suspecting that poor nutrition was the cause, she discovered what came to be known as the “Wills Factor” when a laboratory monkey’s health improved after being fed the British breakfast spread Marmite which is made of yeast extract. Later research proved the factor to be folic acid, which is now recommended to pregnant women all over the world.

Remembered for her wry sense of humor, Wills enjoyed mountain climbing, cross-country skiing, and rode a bicycle to work rather than driving in a car. She devoted much of her life to traveling the world and working to ensure the health of mothers-to-be.

Happy 131st birthday, Lucy Wills!

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