A depiction of cholera by Robert Seymour

Disease Theory in Mary Shelley’s The Last Man

Shelley's third novel, about the sole survivor of a global plague, draws on the now-outdated miasma theory of disease.
A researcher works in a lab that is developing testing for the COVID-19 coronavirus in New Jersey

With the Coronavirus, Science Confronts Geopolitics

The containment of COVID-19 raises pressing questions related to the freedom of scientific information, civil liberties, and human rights, one scholar explains.
Illustration: A mob attacking the Quarantine Marine Hospital in New York because they believed that its use was responsible for the numerous yellow fever epidemics. Original Publication: Harper's Weekly - pub. 1858 (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Source: Getty

When New Yorkers Burned Down a Quarantine Hospital

On September 1st, 1858, a mob stormed the New York Marine Hospital in Staten Island, and set fire to the building.
A physician wearing a seventeenth century plague preventive costume

How the Plague Reshaped the World

The bacterium that causes the plague emerged relatively recently, as bacterium go. And yet the pandemics it's created have altered the world.

Scientists Are Putting Mosquitoes on Human Diet Drugs

Humans and mosquitoes share a surprising amount of genes and have similar hunger controls.
Ignaz Semmelweis

The Man Who Invented Modern Infection Control

He's hailed as the "father of infection control" and the "savior of mothers," but the truth about Ignaz Semmelweis is more complicated than that.
Antigua sugar cane slavery

Did Venereal Disease Lead to Abolition?

Many abolitionists seeking to end slavery in the British West Indies were concerned less with human rights, more with the preponderance of interracial sex.
A pair of tweezers removing a tick

A Brief History of Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is seeing an upswing. But the-now widespread condition was not formally described until 1977, based on a case in Old Lyme, Connecticut.
Cantaloupe

Salmonella: The Good, the Bad, the Unexpected

A recent salmonella outbreak, connected with pre-cut melon, has put the bacteria back in the news. Is there any bright side to salmonella?
Poison art

Hidden Poisons of the Royal Court

How noble lords and ladies, terrified of poison, unknowingly poisoned themselves on a daily basis.