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Health Highlights: Feb. 2, 2015

'Father' of Birth Control Pill Dies

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

'Father' of Birth Control Pill Dies

The scientist widely regarded as the father of the birth control pill died of cancer-related complications Friday at his San Francisco home.

Carl Djerassi, 91, led a research team in Mexico City that in 1951 developed norethindrone, which was a main ingredient in the first birth control pill, the Associated Press reported.

Djerassi was born in Austria and came to the United States in 1939 with his mother. At the time of his death, he was a professor emeritus of chemistry at Stanford University.

"Carl Djerassi is probably the greatest chemist our department ever had," Richard Zare, a professor of natural science at Stanford, said in an obituary released by the university, the AP reported. "I know of no person in the world who combined the mastery of science with literary talent as Carl Djerassi."

"He also is the only person, to my knowledge, to receive from President Nixon the National Medal of Science and to be named on Nixon's blacklist in the same year," Zare noted.

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