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Google-Doodle pays homage to Haematologist Lucy Wills

To commemorate the achievements and discoveries made by pioneering researcher, Lucy, in the field of medical science and her efforts to prevent prenatal anaemia, google celebrated her with an animated graphical image.

Saima Siddiqui

Saima SiddiquiBy Saima Siddiqui

Published on 10 May 2019 7:54 AM GMT

Google-Doodle pays homage to Haematologist Lucy Wills
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Google pays homage to Haematologist Lucy Wills with a 'Doodle'
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New Delhi: Google dedicated its Doodle to honor the English haematologist Lucy Wills on her 131st birth anniversary, May 10.

To commemorate the achievements and discoveries made by pioneering researcher, Lucy, in the field of medical science and her efforts to prevent prenatal anaemia, google celebrated her with an animated graphical image.

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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 honours in Botany and Geology at Cambridge University's Newnham College, followed by the London School of Medicine for Women, the first school in Britain to train female doctors.

She travelled to India to investigate a severe form of life-threatening anaemia afflicting poor pregnant women with dietary deficiencies among textile workers of Mumbai, then Bombay. She conducted seminal work here in the late 1920s and early 1930s on macrocytic anaemia of pregnancy.

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In experiments, she attempted to prevent anaemia by adding yeast extract to the diets of rats and then monkeys through the consumption of the popular breakfast spread 'Marmite'.

The extract, which was later identified as folic acid, improved the health of the monkeys - a discovery named the "Wills Factor".

To prevent anaemia and other conditions in pregnant women, Folic acid is now recommended with other important nutrients such as iron and B12.

Lucy Wills spent the rest of her life travelling extensively to Jamaica, Fiji and South Africa, and researching the impact nutrition and anemia have on pregnancy health. She died on 16 April, 1964 at the age of 76 years.

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Saima Siddiqui

Saima Siddiqui

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