Science Archives Page 2 of 10 - Hektoen International

Trijntje Keever—a tall tale

Orit Pinhas-Hamiel Hamiel Uri Tirosh Amit Ramat Gan, Israel   A life-size painting of Trijntje Keever. Unknown Painter. 1633. Via Wikimedia. There is a life-size painting in the city of Edam in The Netherlands that portrays a girl who is exceptionally tall with disproportionately long hands. The artist is unknown, but the name of the […]

Origin of the mind

Bhargavi Bhattacharyya Kolkata, India   Artificial Intelligence. Photo by Gerd Altman. From Pixabay. How are the mind and brain related? The brain is a ball of nerve cells, or neurons. The mind, the functional unit of the brain, includes imagination, perception, thinking, intelligence, judgment, language, memory, and emotions. How do these basic units, neurons, translate […]

Head and hand: Claude Bernard’s experimental medicine

James A. Marcum Waco, Texas, United States   Claude Bernard. Source: National Library of Medicine, the hisotry of medicine public domain image files. Claude Bernard’s Introduction à l’étude de la médecine expérimentale, originally published in 1865, occupies a critical position in the development of experimental medicine and science.1 In the introduction to the book, Bernard […]

Airs and graces: Humphry Davy and science as performance

Alan Bleakley Sennen, West Cornwall, United Kingdom   A cartoon featured in an 1807 dissertation by a medical student at the University of Pennsylvania on the “chemical and exhilarating effects of nitrous oxide gas.” The two figures are almost certainly Davy to the right and perhaps Beddoes to the left. Credit: Bulletin of the Society […]

When Darwin was wrong

John Hayman Victoria, Australia   Fig. 1. The Parallel Roads of Glen Roy, as would have been seen by Darwin. (Photo by Bev Biggs.) Charles Darwin (1809-1802) is rightly famous, not for the discovery of evolution but for revealing the mechanism by which it may occur, natural selection. He not only formulated this idea, but […]

Sports and the uneven playing field

Jayant Radhakrishnan Darien, Illinois, United States   An illustration from Clinical Gynecology Medical and Surgical by Keating JM, Coe, Clark H. Published by Lippincott, Philadelphia in 1895. The illustration is labeled as Masculine pseudo-hermaphroditism but it appears to be of a patient with Persistent Mullerian Duct Syndrome with one discrepancy. Such a patient would not […]

Lina Shtern and the blood brain barrier

Irving Rosen Toronto, Ontario, Canada   Dr. Lina Shtern (1878-1968), an esteemed Russian physiologist did pioneering work with the blood brain barrier, and experienced distress as a result of her involvement in the WWII Russian war effort. Smithsonian Institution Archives, Image No. SIA2009-3768. Future generations will remember our age for unbelievable electronic progress, but also […]

The Valsalva maneuver

JMS Pearce Hull, England, UK   Fig 1. Valsalva’s maneuver. Source It is a paradox that the discovery of the Valsalva maneuver did not relate to cardiovascular physiology but to the treatment of discharges from the ear. Valsalva’s maneuver is now used physiologically1 to test cardiac and autonomic function, and in several other diagnostic and […]

Mitochondrial DNA: a maternal gift

Marshall Lichtman Rochester, New York, United States   Human haplogroup tree rooted at Mitochondrial Eve. By Wapondaponda. 2009. Via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 3.0 DNA is arrayed on twenty-three pairs of chromosomes in human cell nuclei. It is coiled tightly around proteins called histones that together with DNA form a chromosome. The largest chromosome carries several […]

Pursuing ‘Conclusions Infinite:’ the divine inspiration of Georg Cantor

Sylvia Karasu New York, New York, United States   Georg Cantor, German mathematician, 1845-1918. Cantor as an older man, date unknown. Cantor was not quite age 73 when he died of heart failure. Photo Credit: Colport/Alamy Stock Photo. Used with permission. There is a “fine line between brilliance and madness”: the distinction, for example, between […]