Science | Hektoen International

Thomas Bayes and Bayes’ Theorem in Medicine

Geoffrey Baird Seattle, WA (Winter 2018)   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 […]

The Rockefeller Institute and the growth of cell biology

Adil Menon Brookline, Massachusetts (Spring 2017)   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 […]

Using bacteria in cancer therapy

Andy Tay University of California Los Angeles (Spring 2017)   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 […]

Redefining the war on cancer

Justin Dean Shea Ontario, Canada (Spring 2017)   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 […]

Hume and autism-causing vaccines

Trevor Klee Cambridge, MA (Winter 2017)   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 […]

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

 Philippe Campillo Lille, France (Winter 2017)   “[…] 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.”[i]  (Fig. 1) Marey, Etienne Jules (1830-1904) Courtesy of Collection BIU Health Medicine, Open License. Marey had a long and distinguished scientific […]

Lights and shadows and Vitamin D

Adriano Angelucci University of L’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italy (Spring 2016)   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 […]

Objections to Kuhn’s theory of scientific progression

Alexander J. Adams Philadelphia, PA (Winter 2017)   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 […]

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

Beatriz GT Pogo (Winter 2016)   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 […]

Darwin’s ideas: supported by science

Daniel W. Nebert Cincinnati, Ohio (Winter 2015)   This year we celebrate the 156th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s book, On the origin of species by means of natural selection, one of the greatest landmark scientific advances of all time. As the ship’s only “naturalist biologist”, Darwin sailed around the world from England (1831–36) on the […]