mesmerism

The Mystical Practice That Preceded Medical Anesthesia

For a brief period of time in the 19th century, doctors used "mesmerism" for pain-free surgery.
African American life insurance

How Insurance Companies Used Bad Science to Discriminate

In 1881, Prudential announced that insurance policies held by black adults would be worth one-third less than the same plans held by whites.
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.
High Angle View Of Yogurt In Disposable Cup On Table

How America Got Sold on Low-Fat Food

In the 1990s, a "healthy choice" meant eating SnackWell's cookies and sugary reduced-calorie yogurt. Why did America love the low-fat food trend?
Henrietta Lacks portrait

Henrietta Lacks, Immortalized

Henrietta Lacks's "immortal" cell line, called "HeLa," is used in everything from cancer treatments to vaccines. A new portrait memorializes her.
Charles Knowlton portrait

Charles Knowlton, the Father of American Birth Control

Decades after Charles Knowlton died, his book would be credited with the reversal of population growth in England and the popularization of contraception in the United States.