National Geographic : 1983 Nov
A lifeline for patients with heartbeatirregularities,a pacemaker (left) dischargeselectricalimpulses through platinum electrodes on the tips of leads, or wires. The leads, threaded into a large vein, terminatein the right ventricle of the heart. Platinum'sinertness and conductivity make it the choice metal for such tasks. Displayingone of the bright hopes in the war againstcancer, a worker garbedin protective clothing cradles a dish of cisplatin at the JohnsonMatthey plant in Malvern, Pennsylvania(below). The cancer combatingproperty of cisplatin, a platinum-based drug, was discovered in 1968 by Dr. Barnett Rosenberg, professor of biophysics at Michigan State University (right). The mouse he holds in his left hand will die of a tumor in several days; the other, also cancer-ridden but injected with cisplatin,should enjoy a normal life span.