Jonas Salk and the War Against Polio

In the years after WWII, America had two great fears: communism, and polio. By Amanda McGowanHistorian For years, the fight against polio was considered one of the most successful vaccination campaigns of all time. But now, the reappearance of the disease in countries like Pakistan, Syria, and Cameroon has thrown that success into jeopardy.  How was[…]

Vaccines through the Centuries

The armamentarium of vaccines continues to grow with more emphasis on safety, availability, and accessibility. Abstract Multiple cornerstones have shaped the history of vaccines, which may contain live-attenuated viruses, inactivated organisms/viruses, inactivated toxins, or merely segments of the pathogen that could elicit an immune response. The story began with Hippocrates 400 B.C. with his description[…]

Evidence Confirms Health Benefits of an Ancient Chinese Sweetness

Examining two recent discoveries in goji berry chemistry and shedding light on how and why they are beneficial to your health. What in the Heck Is a Goji Berry? For those of you who aren’t yet familiar, (worry not, you’re about to be) goji berries (fruits of Lycium barbarum –L. and Lycium chinense –Mill.) originate from and have[…]

Letters and Post in the Ancient World

Surviving letters such as clay tablets and papyrus scrolls contain a mine of information and they have been invaluable to historians. By Mark CartwrightHistorian Introduction Letters and their delivery via a state communication system was a feature of many ancient cultures. The writing medium may have differed but the Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Incas[…]

Helen of Troy, Counter-Ambush Expert

Helen knows both how to spot an ambush in the making and how to tell a great ambush story. Introduction In addition to her superlative beauty, Helen in the Iliad and Odyssey has exceptional talents. She recognizes Telemachos before anyone else in Sparta does (Odyssey 4.138–146). She can also recognize a goddess in disguise (Iliad[…]