Nurses react as community members applaud them on April 30, 2020 at NYU Langone Hospital in New York City.

Will Society Remember the Pandemic’s Heroes?

If history is any guide, probably not.
Palm trees in fog, Florida

Will the Saharan Dust Cloud Damage Our Lungs?

The airborne particles carry microbes and fungi, and can react with human lung tissue.
The ship María Pita departing from Coruña in 1803, engraved by Francisco Pérez

How Children Took the Smallpox Vaccine around the World

In 1803, nearly two dozen orphan boys endured long voyages and physical discomfort to transport the smallpox vaccine to Spain's colonies.
A man nursing a sick person, circa 1850

Blaming People for Getting Sick Has a Long History

Four major theories of disease transmission dominated scientific discourse in the nineteenth century. As one scholar writes, all were political.
Several hundred doctors, nurses and medical professionals come together to protest against police brutality and the death of George Floyd on June 5, 2020 in St Louis, Missouri.

Police Violence Is a Public Health Issue

Research makes the case that people who fear police violence are less likely to seek out health care.
Alondra Nelson

Alondra Nelson: Leave More Genius Work Behind

How do those who have been the objects of scientific study and medical experimentation become the agents or the producers of scientific knowledge?
Navy Anti-Malaria Unit, Guadalcanal, circa 1942

The Origins of the CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began during World War II to prevent the spread of malaria to troops stationed in the South.
Medical staff taking blood from a blood donor at the Princeton Medical Center in New Jersey, USA, circa 1950.

The Weird Ways People Have Tied Blood Types to Identity

Scientific racism. Paternity tests. And mass tattooing, just in case of nuclear attack.

What Is Chronobiology?

Does it explain why we’re having so much trouble sleeping?
T helper cells and interleukin molecules

Cytokine Storms: The Cruel Irony of an Immune Response

When bodies fight back against infection, they can overwhelm themselves with their own destructive force.