The Poor Child’s Nurse in Victorian England

Charming family scenes in Victorian adverts for children’s medicines were in stark contrast to some of the dangerous ingredients that the products contained. Alcohol and opiates were among the substances helping to ‘soothe’ the nation’s children. By Briony Hudson / 10.12.2017 Pharmacy Historian, Curator, Lecturer British Society for the History of Pharmacy When young Betsy[…]

Goop: A Classicist’s Take on the ‘Power’ of Ancient Remedies

In Ancient Greek texts, the king Lycaon is punished for misdeeds by being turned into a wolf. / Wikimedia Commons Tapping into ancient knowledge can help us feel connected to our ancestors – but that doesn’t mean we should take their advice. By Adam Parker / 10.31.2018 PhD Candidate in Classical Studies The Open University Lifestyle company Goop –[…]

The Art of Healing: Five Medicinal Plants Used by Aboriginal Australians

Balgo artists: Miriam Baadjo (b. 1957),Tossie Baadjo (b. 1958), Jane Gimme (b. 1958), Gracie Mosquito (b. 1955), Helen Nagomara (b. 1953), Ann Frances Nowee (b. 1964) and Imelda Yukenbarri (b. 1954). Bush medicine: a collaborative work by women from Wirrimanu (Balgo), 2018, acrylic on linen, 120×180cm, MHM2018.32, © Warlayirti Artists; Medical History Museum, Author provided At least[…]

The McKeown Thesis: A Historical Controversy and Its Enduring Influence

The historical analyses of Thomas McKeown regarding global population growth from 1700 to the present stirred controversy, and its influence remains. ‘ By Dr. James Colgrove Professor of Sociomedical Sciences Columbia University Abstract The historical analyses of Thomas McKeown attributed the modern rise in the world population from the 1700s to the present to broad[…]

Edward Jenner: The History of Smallpox and Vaccination

With the rapid pace of vaccine development in recent decades, the historic origins of immunization are often forgotten.  By Dr Stefan Riedel, M.D. PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology Johns Hopkins University Introduction Figure 1: Edward Jenner (1749–1823). Photo courtesy of the National Library of Medicine In science credit goes to the man who convinces the[…]

The Origin of Vaccinations

In May 1796, Edward Jenner was asked to inoculate an eight-year-old pauper child named James Phipps. By Dr. Arthur W. Boylston Pathologist In 1796, seventy-five years after Lady Mary Wortley Montague and Charles Maitland introduced inoculation into England (Huth 2005; Boylston 2012), Edward Jenner performed an experiment that would eventually lead to the eradication of smallpox[…]

Health and Medicine in Ancient Greece: From Theology to Science

Hippocrates, the “father of medicine” / Public Domain By the 5th century BCE, there were attempts to identify the material causes for illnesses rather than spiritual ones. By Mark Cartwright / 04.11.2018 Historian Introduction In ancient Greek medicine illness was initally regarded as a divine punishment and healing as, quite literally, a gift from the gods. However, by[…]

The History of Medicine in Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome

Dated to the New Kingdom (c. 1570 – c. 1069 BCE), and specifically to c. 1200 BCE, the text is written in demotic script and is the oldest treatise on anorectal disease (affecting the anus and rectum) in history. / Photo by Ibolya Horvath, British Museum, Creative Commons The history of medicine is a long and distinguished one, as[…]

Some Aspects of Health Care in Medieval India

The Susruta-Samhita or Sahottara-Tantra (A Treatise on Ayurvedic Medicine) / Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Wikimedia Commons Specialization in certain diseases or practices was prevalent and the physicians  enjoyed a high status and respect in the society. By Dr. B. Rama Rao Abstract It appears that from medieval period onwards the subjects having practical[…]

New Study Reveals How Brain Waves Control Working Memory

MIT neuroscientists have found evidence that the brain’s ability to control what it’s thinking about relies on low-frequency brain waves known as beta rhythms. Brain rhythms act as a gate for information entering and leaving the mind. By Anne Trafton / 01.26.2018 MIT neuroscientists have found evidence that the brain’s ability to control what it’s[…]

Why are We So Sleep Deprived, and Why Does It Matter?

As many as 70 million Americans may not be getting enough sleep. Men get fewer hours of sleep than women. Akos Nagy/Shutterstock.com By Dr. Michael S. Jaffee / 03.07.2018 Vice Chair, Department of Neurology University of Florida As we prepare to “spring forward” for daylight saving time on March 11, many of us dread the loss[…]

How Vaccination is Helping to Prevent Another Flu Pandemic

Nurse B.K. Morris gives a flu shot to Winifred Quinn during a press event on the flu vaccine, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015, at the National Press Club in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) By Dr. Nicole Iovine, M.D., PhD / 03.06.2018 Associate Professor, Infectious Diseases University of Florida Researchers believe that over 50 million people worldwide died in[…]

How Historical Disease Detectives are Solving the Mystery of the 1918 Flu

     By (left-to-right) Dr. Gerardo Chowell, Dr. Cecile Viboud, and Dr. Lone Simonsen / 03.05.2018 Chowell: Professor of Mathematical Epidemiology, Georgia State University Viboud: Senior Research Scientist, National Institutes of Health Simonsen: Professor of Population Health Science, Roskilde University One hundred years ago, a novel pandemic influenza virus spread rapidly around the world. It killed about[…]

Plague Bacteria Hiding in Soil and Water Microbes, Waiting to Emerge

Children at a school in Antananarivo, Madagascar, during a plague outbreak, Oct. 3, 2017. AP Photo/Alexander Joe By David Markman / 02.26.2018 PhD Candidate in Biology (Biosecurity and Infectious Disease) Colorado State University Plague is a highly contagious disease that has killed millions of people over the past 1,400 years. Outbreaks still sporadically occur in as[…]

When Chocolate was Medicine: Colmenero, Wadsworth, and Dufour

Poseidon taking chocolate from Mexico to Europe, a detail from the frontispiece to Chocolata Inda by Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, 1644 — National Institute of Health Chocolate has not always been the common confectionary we experience today. When it first arrived from the Americas into Europe in the 17th century it was a rare and mysterious substance, thought[…]

How Rejuvenation of Stem Cells Could Lead to Healthier Aging

Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com By Dr. Elisa Lazarri / 01.16.2018 Postdoctoral Associate in Biomedical Sciences Cornell University “Rampant” and “elderly” are words rarely used in the same sentence, unless we are talking of the percentage of people over 65 years old worldwide. Life expectancy has considerably increased, but it is still unknown how many of those years are going to[…]

Going Viral: How Social Media Can Create Worse Epidemics

In the age of social media, fears and rumors about outbreaks and epidemics can quickly spread out of control. How can health officials help contain the panic? By Mike Ives / 10.28.2016 In the spring of 2014, Vietnam’s state-controlled news media reported that dozens of children had died after turning up at hospitals in the[…]

The Bizarre Reality of Cotard’s ‘Walking Corpse’ Syndrome

Photo from Max Pixel By Dolly Stolze / 10.31.2017 For me, zombies are probably the scariest of the iconic horror monsters because humans are either zombie food fighting for survival in a post-apolocalypic landscape or they are transformed into mindless walking corpses that are doomed to feed on the bodies of other people.  While these stumbling,[…]

Mental Illness is Readily Visible in Brain Imaging

A pair of identical twins. The one on the right has OCD, while the one on the left does not. Brain Imaging Research Division, Wayne State University School of Medicine, CC BY-SA By Dr. David Rosenberg, M.D. / 10.19.2017 Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience Wayne State University As a psychiatrist, I find that one of the hardest[…]

Marie Curie and Her X-Ray Vehicles’ Contribution to World War I Battlefield Medicine

Marie Curie in one of her mobile X-ray units in October 1917. Eve Curie By Dr. Timothy J. Jorgensen / 10.10.2017 Associate Professor of Radiation Medicine Georgetown University Ask people to name the most famous historical woman of science and their answer will likely be: Madame Marie Curie. Push further and ask what she did, and[…]

They Rode Horseback to Deliver Babies. A Century Later, Midwives Are Still Crucial.

Jean Fee shows photos from her time as a nurse midwife for the Frontier Nursing Service. / Photo by Melissa Hellmann In Kentucky, these health care professionals still struggle for acceptance—even in areas that need them most. By Melissa Hellmann / 09.07.2017 Carrie Hall was in the middle of a hair-coloring appointment when she received[…]

How Can Life-Extending Treatments be Available for All?

Elderly Japanese ladies. Photo by Mr Hick46/Flickr By Dr. Christopher S. Wareham / 08.03.2017 Lecturer in Applied Ethics Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics University of Witwatersrand Research into biological ageing suggests that humans might one day be able to prolong youth and postpone death. When that time comes, extended youth could become a province of the wealthy, adding[…]

Can You Pass this Smell Test?

The smell of daffodils is a treat for most people, but some cannot experience the joy because they have lost their sense of smell. Mila Supinskaya Glashchenko/Shutterstock.com By Dr. Steven D. Munger / 08.24.2017 Director, Center for Smell and Taste Professor of Pharmacology and Therapeutics University of Florida Each of our senses gives us a unique[…]