Marie Curie Changed the World of Medicine

by anthony guerriero on April 21, 2013 - 11:26pm

Marie Curie is known to be the grandfather of radioactivity. She was a Polish scientist who was born in 1867 in the city of Warsaw. The youngest amongst 5 children, Marya Sklodovska (birth name) grew up in a poor but well-educated family. In her time period, it was very unusual for women to go to school and pursue a carrier in Chemistry and Biology. Opportunities in Poland were very limited to Marie so she went to Paris where she worked as a governess and attended the Sorbonne where she got a degree in Physics. She finished top in her school. She later got a degree in Math, this time finishing second.

She met her husband Pierre Curie in Paris. He was the chief of the laboratory at the school of Physics and Chemistry. Pierre conducted many experiments on crystals and electronics. He proposed to her and she initially refused. Later on, the two became inseparable and got married.

            In 1898, while perusing her studies in radioactivity, Marie discovered two new elements. She named one of them polonium after the country she was born in.

            After 4 years of research using uranium tailing from a mine, the Curies were able to extract radium.

            It is because of this discovery that people today are able to cure cancer and other illnesses. Marie dedicated most of her time during WWI to install X ray machines in hospitals because it was easier for doctors to locate shrapnel in injured soldiers and people.

            Not only did she open doors to many scientists to come but she also pushed the boundaries for female scientific and academic achievements. She also won many awards and published a book entitled.

            In 1934 Marie Curie died of cancer form extensive exposure to radiation. Even though her research killed her, she helped save well over millions of lives. Over one million solders in WWI were exanimated by X-ray units. 

I came across an article on March 6th2013 written by Charlie Fidelman for the Montreal Gazette about new GPS-like technology for cardiologist to better locate heart problems. The Montreal Heart Institution developed this technology with a team of researchers. Normally a patient with heart problems is exposed to radiation for about 30 minutes in total. With this new technology, the patient is exposed to radiation for less than 3 minutes.

According to an article by Bob Sullivan for the NBC news, security was “beefed up” at TD Garden and Fenway Park during the Bruins-Sabers and Red Sox home game following the tragedy of the Boston bombings. Bob Karl, who runes the security firm Safety Act Consultants, said that some bombs cannot be detected by metal detectors. They are thinking about putting X-ray machines at sporting events to hype up security.

Too much exposure to radiation is bad but it has undoubtedly saved countless of lives as well, not only through medicine but also through security precautions. People are developing Curie’s research into new forms of alternative treatments and improved security systems. 




Your article written about the life of the incredible Marie Curie was simply amazing! The way you explained her history as well as her successes was brief, concise and to the point which was great. Although it was tragic that she died of cancer from extensive exposure of radiation, you made a great point about her sacrifice to help save the life of well over millions of people. I was intrigued and amazed by how the Curies were able to extract radium which has allowed doctors to locate shrapnel in injured soldiers and how it has been able to cure people will cancer as well as other illnesses. I also admire the fact that she shed a light on female scientific and academic achievements. Oliver Sacks is a best selling author and Neurologist that found ways to help people with autism, parkinsonism, epilepsy and more through music therapy. I believe you will find this article interesting.

Once again, great work!