5 Medical Predictions That Didn’t Pan Out


Medicine and science have made unbelievable gains over the last 100 years and things that once seemed impossible are now a reality. But despite this, a few bold predictions never quite materialized.

Here are five medical predictions that, despite the best efforts of researchers and scientists in some cases, never quite worked out.

Insulin Pills Will Replace Injections: Dr. McDaniel told the AMA in 1955 “[that] insulin will be given in tablet form for the control of diabetes.” Although diabetes pills do exist, they only work to normalize blood sugar and don’t contain insulin. An orally administered insulin pill would get destroyed by the digestive process.

X-Rays Will Be A Hoax: In the late 1800s, British physicist Lord William Thomson Kelvin regarded the announcement of X-rays as pure nonsense. Although it’s still unclear why he doubted it, it’s clear that X-rays are anything but that.

Humans Will Live To Be 150: In 1974, California biologist Bernard Strehler said that humans should plan for 150-year life spans by the end of the 20th century. He even declared that failing to do so would be “ignoring the clear handwriting on the wall.”

Scientists are still figuring out why this hasn’t quite materialized. Some believe that it’s because we haven’t found cures for life-shortening conditions such as cancer and heart disease. Others have suggested that aging itself is a disease, and as such we need to cure it.

Fake Foods Will Eliminate Famine: In 1968, scientists thought that synthetic food could be the key to eliminating world hunger. Although we’ve made meat substitutes from soy and other plants, and meat-like food in labs, these substitutes have proven to be more expensive than their real counterparts and as such aren’t practical for ending world hunger.

Cure For The Common Cold: In 1955, Arkansas physician Dr. Lowry McDaniel told the American Medical Association convention that by the year 2000 the common cold “will be only a memory,” reported the International News Service. But bringing that prediction to fruition is easier said than done. With over 100 different viruses that could cause a cold, finding a medicine that fights all of them is nearly impossible.