Science | Hektoen International

Jules Amar (1879-1935). A method to help soldiers who were amputated or mutilated during the First World War reintegrate society.

Philippe Campillo Ziad Joseph Rahal France     Figure 1. The arthrodynamometer. (Amar, 1915, p. 833) Jules Amar (1879-1935) may not be well known in medical texts, but his work helped initiate two important scientific disciplines: the physiology of work and ergonomics. In The performance of the human machine: research on work (1909)1 Amar wrote […]

Thomas Bayes and Bayes’ Theorem in Medicine

Geoffrey Baird Seattle, WA, USA   The work of an eighteenth-century British clergyman can help you when someone forgets to switch off their turn signal Medical nomenclature is often ridiculous. One professor in my medical school used to say of misnomers in medicine that they were like the Holy Roman Empire, which was neither holy, […]

The Rockefeller Institute and the growth of cell biology

Adil Menon Brookline, Massachusetts   The Rockefeller Institute In 1995 Nobel-winning cell biologist George Palade stated that “a newborn baby needs, of course, a friendly, comfortable cradle, which was provided by the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research and thus became the American cradle of cell biology.”[1] This essay explores the unique aspects of this cradle, […]

Using bacteria in cancer therapy

Andy Tay Los Angeles, CA, USA   Image of Lloyd Old who is regarded as ‘The Father of Modern Tumor Immunology’ taken in 1995. He passed away on November 28, 2011 after a long battle with prostate cancer at the age of 78 years-old. Cancer is a complex disease whose various causes include bacterial infections […]

Redefining the war on cancer

Justin Dean Shea Ontario, Canada   The Battlefield of Cancer Treatment. Private Collection by Timamit, Mar 13, 2017. Ever since Richard Nixon declared war on cancer in 1971, the public has been convinced that the only way to deal with the disease is through combat1.  But after forty years with destructive remedies such as chemo and […]

Hume and autism-causing vaccines

Trevor Klee Cambridge, MA, USA   A portrait of the delightfully corpulent David Hume.  Ramsay, Allan. David Hume, 1711-1776. Historian and philosopher. 1766. Scottish National Portrait Gallery. 8 In 1998 the British medical researcher Andrew Wakefield announced a startling discovery in one of the world’s most prestigious medical journals, The Lancet. He had found that the […]

Etienne-Jules Marey (1830- 1904). The study of movement in the functions of life: eclecticism and inventiveness

Philippe Campillo Lille, France “[…] I think, together with Claude Bernard, that movement is the most important act, in that all the functions come into play in order to achieve it.”1  (Fig. 1) Marey, Etienne Jules (1830-1904) Courtesy of Collection BIU Health Medicine, Open License. Marey had a long and distinguished scientific career covering more […]

Lights and shadows and Vitamin D

Adriano Angelucci L’Aquila, Italy   Figure 1. People in the Sun. Edward Hopper (1960, Smithsonian American Art Museum) In his paintings, Edward Hopper shows us a reality that is the result of a rational contrast between lights and shadows. The summer sun illuminates the natural landscapes but cannot penetrate through the large windows of the […]

Objections to Kuhn’s theory of scientific progression

Alexander J. Adams Philadelphia, PA, USA   Thomas Kuhn caused a major paradigm shift in the philosophy of science. Kuhn theorized that scientific progress is non-linear and occurs through periods in which science operates under the same focus, equipment, terminology, empirical methodology, and usually time period. He defines this framework of knowledge as a “paradigm”, […]

Histone acetylation a half century later: the modest birth of epigenetics

Beatriz GT Pogo   This figure (from Pogo et al 1966) shows the time course experiment comparing incorporation of acetyl groups into histones and uridine into RNA. It can be seen that acetylation took place before RNA synthesis suggesting that changes in the interaction between histones in DNA preceded gene activity. In 1964 I joined […]