An international poll to find out about the best medical discoveries of the last century was conducted by the British Medical Journal.Sanitation and the flushing lavatory won the race with 1795 votes. The discovery of antibiotics came as a close second with 1642 votes.
Fifteen discoveries were short listed which included vaccines, anesthesia, antibiotics and DNA. While doctors considered the discovery of anesthesia to be highly significant, the public considered sanitation and antibiotics.
Doctors and scientists had talked at length about each of the momentous inventions at an award ceremony conducted in London. Later on the results of the poll were announced.
Anne Hardy belonging to University College of London felt that the discovery of sanitation methods and devices helped the human population to gain control over a lot of infectious diseases like cholera, measles, small pox, tuberculosis, diphtheria etc.
Medical fraternity felt that the discovery of DNA and research in stem cells hold a key to understand a lot of diseases.