obstetric forceps

Why Male Midwives Concealed the Obstetric Forceps

The history of obstetric forceps shows the dangers of privatizing important medical know-how.
cerebrospinal fluid

What is Cerebrospinal Fluid?

A patient was convinced that her runny nose indicated a deeper problem. She was right. Her case brought cerebrospinal fluid into the national spotlight.
Treadmills atonement

Treadmills Were Meant to Be Atonement Machines

America’s favorite piece of workout equipment was developed as a device for forced labor in British prisons. It was banned as cruel and inhumane by 1900.
Raw beef cure

The Long Tradition of Dangerous “Cures”

Medical cures are usually too good to be true. Numerous doctors wrote to the prestigious British Medical Journal, reporting on their prescription of raw meat juice to patients.
Sir Humphry Davy

When Scientists Perform Experiments on Themselves

More than one self-experiment has resulted in a Nobel Prize. Against all odds, and sometimes in spite of the damage they cause, these crazy gambits pay off.
Toddler boy playing in sandbox

Should Parents Fear the Sandbox?

The good news is that most parents living in sanitary environments really don’t need to worry about toxocariasis. The bad news is that toxocara may be yet another obstacle placed in front of disadvantaged children.
Lydia Pinkham products

Was Lydia E. Pinkham the Queen of Quackery?

She developed an immensely popular, if questionably effective, herbal remedy for “female complaints.” Pioneer in alternative medicine or...?
India Campbell and Child

The New Victims of Climate Change: Plants, Parasites, and Pregnant Women

The recent series of hurricanes has demonstrated, climate change is no longer a nebulous futuristic menace, but an existential threat.
Brain illustration

Are Male and Female Brains Actually Different?

No study, even those finding strong differences, has ever found differences in cognitive ability between male and female brains.