An image representing mutating virus

Viral Mutation for the Perplexed

Imagine a game of Telephone, where a phrase or sentence or short story is passed, one person to another, until the last person is reached. They then say what they’ve...
A Red Cross nurse wearing a face mask, c. 1918

Teaching Pandemics Syllabus

...disproportionately deadly among people of color. Long-term environmental racism could be a major factor in this disparity. What’s Behind the Very Real Butch Quarantine Hair Crisis? Liz Tracey April 25,...
Quaran, the official quarantine mascot of Japan

There’s a Mascot for That? Cute COVID-19 Education

In Japan, there are many mascots for many things. They are yuru-kyara (or yuru-chara), “loose” or “wobbly characters,” rooted in and evolved from traditional religious deities, and now ubiquitous in...
A golden retriever on the beach

Dogs and Cancer

Cancer, at its simplest, begins with DNA mutations that cause uncontrolled replication of abnormal cells, resulting in tumors and illness. There is no single “cancer”: each is dependent on the...
A depiction of cholera by Robert Seymour

Disease Theory in Mary Shelley’s The Last Man

Mary Shelley’s third novel, The Last Man (1826), is about the sole survivor of a global plague at the end of the twenty-first century. Um…should we all be reading it...
The North Ronaldsay or Orkney sheep is a breed from North Ronaldsay, the northernmost island of Orkney, off the north coast of Scotland.

Sheep Snarf Seaweed at the Scottish Seashore

When many non-Scots think of Scotland, they envision it as once populated by angry blue-painted men in kilts who fought off the Romans and warred with the English to their...
Children push a fishing boat to shore in Zanzibar

An Islamic Approach to Environmentalism

Environmentalism as we in the U.S. typically think of it began in the nineteenth century, when nature lovers began to draw attention to the loss of wild land and to...
Many cassiopea xamachana, upside down jellyfish

Upside-Down Jellyfish and the Mucus of Death

Jellyfish are a bane to ocean swimmers—the sight of a single small gelatinous mass can make them think the water is filled with stinging crowds of non-sentient Jell-O, and that...
A hedgehog in a porcelain cup

Biomimicry Comes for the Noble Hedgehog

If you had no idea what a hedgehog is, you might read Pliny the Elder’s description and mistake it as fact: They catch apples with their quills, can predict the...
The cover page of Rebecca Lee Crumpler's book

The “Doctress” Was In: Rebecca Lee Crumpler

On March 9, 125 years ago, Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler passed away at the age of sixty-four. As the first Black woman physician in the United States, she had served...