Plant of the Month: Cascarilla

Epidemics revive old remedies and accelerate experimentation with new ones.
Execution of Louis XVI, 1793

The Decapitation Experiments of Jean César Legallois

This French scientist conducted a series of gruesome experiments in his quest to discover the true limits of life and death.

COVID-19 Causes Some Patients’ Immune Systems to Attack Their Own Bodies

Severe infection is linked with autoantibody production.
Christine Jorgenson

A History of Transphobia in the Medical Establishment

At a time when trans people who wanted surgery needed to trust doctors, transphobia made it difficult.
Source: https://www.jstor.org/stable/community.24738828

The Wellcome Collection—Perfect Medicine for the Incurably Curious

Pharmacy genius, Henry Solomon Wellcome amassed a lot of knowledge—and amazing tchotchkes too.
A man wearing a surgical mask and gloves threading his needle with suture before an operation.

The Surgeons Who Said No to Gloves

In the late 1800s, doctors in German-speaking countries were having trouble agreeing on one simple thing: whether to wear gloves during surgery.
Lady Montagu in Turkish dress, circa 1756

Before Vaccines, Variolation Was Seriously Trendy

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu is credited with popularizing variolation among the aristocracy in England.
Miss Navajo Nation Shaandiin P. Parrish grabs a box filled with food and other supplies to distribute to Navajo families on May 27, 2020 in Counselor on the Navajo Nation Reservation, New Mexico.

How Influenza Devastated the Navajo Community in 1918

Like COVID-19, the 1918 influenza pandemic moved swiftly through the Navajo community, but firsthand accounts of the devastation are rare.
Medical staff taking blood from a blood donor at the Princeton Medical Center in New Jersey, USA, circa 1950.

The Weird Ways People Have Tied Blood Types to Identity

Scientific racism. Paternity tests. And mass tattooing, just in case of nuclear attack.
A male doctor sitting down and looking pensive

How Doctors Make End-of-Life Choices

Many people facing the end of their life receive treatments that ultimately have no benefit. A team of researchers set out to find out why.