North Korean healthcare poster

North Korea’s Anti-American Propaganda Improved Public Health

During the Korean War, North Korea suffered widespread epidemics of typhus and smallpox. The Communist party blamed U.S. germ warfare.
What is health

What’s the Definition of Health?

The WHO’s definition has been the target of criticism in the medical literature since its first appearance in 1948.
Cousin marriage Queen Victoria

The Genetics of Cousin Marriage

It's conventional wisdom that procreation between first cousins is unhealthy. But what are the actual genetic risks?
Couney incubator

Coney Island’s Incubator Babies

Yes, you read that right.
Underwater view of two technical divers using rebreathers device to locate shipwreck, Lombok, Indonesia

The Science Behind Decompression Sickness

Deep-sea divers now know how to avoid "the bends." But decompression still poses a problem when studying marine organisms from the deep.
Susan La Flesche Picotte

The First Native American to Receive a Medical Degree

Susan LaFlesche Picotte was first Native American to be licensed to practice medicine in the U.S. She opened her own hospital, but didn't live to run it.
Ignaz Semmelweis

The Man Who Invented Modern Infection Control

He's hailed as the "father of infection control" and the "savior of mothers," but the truth about Ignaz Semmelweis is more complicated than that.
Antigua sugar cane slavery

Did Venereal Disease Lead to Abolition?

Many abolitionists seeking to end slavery in the British West Indies were concerned less with human rights, more with the preponderance of interracial sex.
Charles Byrne skeleton

Will an 18th-Century Giant Finally Get a Burial at Sea?

The skeleton of Charles Byrne, the “Irish Giant," has been displayed in London's Hunterian Museum for 200 years. Byrne wanted a different resting place.
A pair of tweezers removing a tick

A Brief History of Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is seeing an upswing. But the-now widespread condition was not formally described until 1977, based on a case in Old Lyme, Connecticut.