An Historical Overview of the Polio Epidemic

Polio was nearly eradicated with the Salk vaccine in 1955. Little was known about this mysterious disease that paralyzed and sometimes killed young children. Introduction The fear and uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic may feel new to many of us. But it is strangely familiar to those who lived through the polio epidemic of the[…]

Edward Jenner and the Search for the Smallpox Vaccine in the 18th Century

His work led to systematically developing, testing, and popularizing inoculation that saved countless lives. Introduction Edward B. Jenner (May 17, 1749 – January 26, 1823) was an English physician and scientist who is most recognized for introducing and popularizing an effective and relatively safe means of vaccination against smallpox, a discovery that proved to be[…]

How Rabies Symptoms Inspired Folktales of Werewolves, Vampires, and Other Monsters

Fear of a disease that seemed to turn people into beasts might have inspired belief in supernatural beings that live on in today’s creepy Halloween costumes. Introduction In 1855, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported on the gruesome murder of a bride by her new husband. The story came from the French countryside, where the woman’s[…]

Medieval Chinese Art and Architecture at the Longmen Caves of Luoyang

The Northern Wei was the most enduring and powerful of the northern Chinese dynasties before reunification. Imperial Patronage Worship and power struggles, enlightenment and suicide—the 2300 caves and niches filled with Buddhist art at Longmen in China has witnessed it all. The steep limestone cliffs extend for almost a mile and contain approximately 110,000 Buddhist stone statues,[…]

‘A Thousand Years of Art’ at China’s Mogao Caves of Dunhuang

The ‘Caves of the Thousand Buddhas’ are a magnificent treasure trove of Buddhist art. A Trove of Buddhist Art The ‘Caves of the Thousand Buddhas’ (Qianfodong), also known as Mogao, are a magnificent treasure trove of Buddhist art. They are located in the desert, about 15 miles south-east of the town of Dunhuang in north[…]