Home Pregnancy Tests
Before the arrival of home pregnancy tests, women had to seek answers at the doctor’s office, which was costly, inconvenient, and potentially embarrassing.
Death by Ice Cream
In the late nineteenth century, ice cream, a popular but poorly understood dessert, brought illness and death to America’s fairs and festivals.
How Physicians Became Scientists
The introduction of formal peer review to journals aided medical doctors in their quest to bring more scientific rigor to their field.
Abortion Remedies from a Medieval Catholic Nun(!)
Hildegard von Bingen wrote medical texts describing how to prepare abortifacients.
Libraries and Pandemics: Past and Present
The 1918 influenza pandemic had a profound impact on how librarians do their work, transforming libraries into centers of community care.
Community Care in the AIDS Crisis
The Shanti Project’s work in caring for people with AIDS provides valuable lessons in the efficacy of mutual aid in fighting disease.
How Scientists Tried to Find a Universal Flu Vaccine
The quest to “conquer” influenza with a shot that could be used every year started out with high hopes, and ended up a hot mess.
The COVID-19 Vaccines Arrived at Warp Speed
Are they safe if they were developed so quickly? Research-backed answers to your virus questions.
The Deadly Bilibid Prison Vaccine Trials
In 1906, physician Richard Strong's already-unethical vaccine experiment went horribly wrong. Then it was swept under the rug.
Choosing Love over Eugenics
Some writers see contagion as a metaphor for community—proof that we exist within an interdependent network and not as autonomous disconnected islands.