In Brazil, Religious Gang Leaders Say They’re Waging a Holy War

Brazil’s jailhouse preachers may not explicitly condone violence against people of other faiths, but they’ve remained largely silent as their well-armed followers wage a holy war. Reuters/Ricardo Moraes By Dr. Robert Muggah / 11.02.2017 Associate Lecturer Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) The expression “evangelical drug trafficker” may sound incongruous, but in Rio de[…]

The ‘Rembrandts of Anatomical Preparation’ Who Turned Skeletons into Art

Engraving of a tableau by Frederik Ruysch (1744) Etching with engraving / National Library of Medicine By Dolly Stolze / 06.14.2015 In the 17th and 18th centuries, makers of osteological specimens built fanciful displays with skeletons standing in landscapes made with embalmed human organs, skeletons dangling hearts on a string like a yo-yo, or specimens playing instruments while[…]

One Step at a Time: Simple Nudges Can Increase Lifestyle Physical Activity

A man taking stairs at Washington-Dulles International Airport in 2013. Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-NC-SA      By Natasha Bliss (left), Dr. John Bellettiere (center), and Matthew Mclaughlin (right) / 10.17.2017 Bliss: Researcher in Public Health, San Diego State University Bellettiere: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of California, San Diego Mclaughlin: PhD Student, University of Newcastle You’ve heard this before,[…]

Relics of Junk Science: Phrenology and Bally’s 19th-Century Miniature Plastic Heads

Set of sixty miniature heads used in phrenology produced by William Bally in 1832. Image Credit: Science Museum, London  By Dolly Stolze / 09.08.2015 The Science Museum of London has a set of 60 eerie little plaster heads that look like miniature death masks. Johann Gaspar Spurzheim (1776-1832), a well-known 19th century phrenologist, commissioned these bizarre relics to help his students study phrenology. As[…]

The Long, Strange History of Dieting Fads

Another day, another diet. Yuriy Maksymiv/Shutterstock By Dr. Melissa Wdowik / 11.06.2017 Assistant Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition Colorado State University “Of all the parasites that affect humanity I do not know of, nor can I imagine, any more distressing than that of Obesity.” So started William Banting‘s “Letter on Corpulence,” likely the first diet[…]

Evolutionary Diets, Modern Food, and Malnutrition

By Neil Schoenherr / 11.01.2017 Senior News Director, Law and Social Network Washington University, St. Louis Malnutrition problems can be traced to poor-quality diets lacking in diversity, a recent phenomenon in evolutionary history, according to a new paper from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. “Earlier diets were highly diverse and nutrient[…]

Paul Revere: The First American Forensic Dentist

The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker Hill, by John Trumbull (1786) / Museum of Fine Arts, Boston By Dolly Stolze / 07.04.2017 Paul Revere inadvertently became America’s first forensic dentist when he was given the gruesome task of identifying the body of Dr. Joseph Warren, the man who sent him on his famous “midnight ride.”[…]