Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen looking into an X-ray screen placed in front of a man's body and seeing the ribs and the bones of the arm.

The X-ray Craze of 1896

For many science-obsessed Victorians, X-rays were not just a fun novelty, but a potential miracle cure.
William G. Kaelin Jr, Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe and Gregg L. Semenza

What Did the Winners of the Nobel Prize in Medicine Discover?

The 2019 Nobel Prize for Medicine honors a discovery that may make it possible to prevent or even reverse the damage from cardiovascular disease.
A 19th-century advertisement for Hood's Tooth Powder

How the Ban on Medical Advertising Hurt Women Doctors

Intended to protect consumers from unscrupulous quackery, a nineteenth-century ban on medical advertising proved to be a double-edged sword.
Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim (Paracelsus)

The Occult Remedy the Puritans Embraced

Why did the Puritans embrace a medical treatment that looked suspiciously like black magic?
Portrait of Kenelm Digby by Anthony Van Dyck

Treating Wounds With Magic

Spoiler alert: It doesn't work.
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Giovanni_Aldini,_Essai...sur_le_galvanisme..._Wellcome_L0023892.jpg

Will Reanimating Dead Brains Inspire the Next Frankenstein?

In recent experiments, scientists brought back cellular functions to the brains of dead pigs, recalling early galvanism.
Sara Josephine Baker

To Reduce Infant Mortality, Train the Babysitters

“Little Mothers’ Leagues,” a program started by Dr. S. Josephine Baker at the turn of the last century, taught school-age girls to care for babies.
A woman resting her head on her work desk

Is Burnout Really a Disease?

Perhaps, instead of thinking of burnout as a disease to be dealt with at the individual level, we might collectively address it as a social problem.
Photograph: Witch Bottles used for curse protection

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Witch_Bottles_Curse_Protection.jpg

Is There a Witch Bottle in Your House?

In the 16th-18th centuries, vessels filled with nails, thorns, hair, and other materials, were used as a form of ritual protection against witches.
Portrait of Henry VIII by Hans Holbein the Younger

The Codpiece and the Pox

A brief history of the codpiece, that mysterious garment favored by 16th-century gents who just may have been covering up their cases of syphilis.