Tag Archives: anatomy

Christopher Wren’s contributions to medicine

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1. Left: Sir Christopher Wren. From James Bissett’s Magnificent Guide, 1808. Wellcome Collection via Wikimedia. Public domain. Right: Blue plaque at Hampton Court Green. Photo by Edwardx on Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 4.0. An extraordinary natural philosopher and Renaissance man, Christopher Wren (1632–1723) (Fig 1) was primarily an astronomer and […]

From silks to science: The history of hematoxylin and eosin staining

Vidhi Naik Aberdeen, Scotland   A slice of logwood, notably depicting its deeply colored heartwood, atop different fabrics stained by logwood dye. Image obtained and published with permission from Botanical Colors. Introduction Hematoxylin and eosin, dyes used to stain tissue samples, collectively known as H&E, form the benchmark for histological stains. These dyes possess a […]

Diocles of Carystus

Diocles of Carystus (probably 375–300 BC), also known as Diocles Medicus, came from the island of Euboea but is remembered as a resident of Athens. He wrote on animal anatomy, dietetics, physiology, embryology, and medical botany, but only fragments of his writings survive. His work on anatomy may have been the first of its kind […]

Jean-Baptiste de Sénac and his early textbook on cardiology

Göran Wettrell Lund, Sweden   Figure 1. Portrait of Jean-Baptiste de Sénac (1693-1770). Wellcome Library, London. William Harvey was an important figure in the early days of cardiovascular physiology. Based on meticulous observations, he published De Motu Cordis and Sanguinus in 1628 and has been proposed as the founder of physiology and cardiology.1 During the […]

Anatomy of the Araimandi

Shreya Srivastava Albany, New York, United States   The Ardhamandala or Araimandi posture of Bharatanatyam. Artwork courtesy of An Nguyen. Bharatanatyam is one of the oldest dance forms theorized in text. Originating in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Bharatanatyam dates to an estimated time of 500 BC when it was first described in […]

Handmaidens of anatomy

Elisabeth Brander St. Louis, Missouri, United States   Fig. 1 Frontispiece of De humani corporis fabrica. Andreas Vesalius. De humani corporis fabrica. Basel: Johannes Oporinus, 1543. Image Credit: Bernard Becker Medical Library. Some of the most well-known images in the history of anatomy are the woodcut écorché figures that appear in Andreas Vesalius’s De humani […]

Healing literature

Scott D. Vander Ploeg Cocoa Beach, Florida, United States   Dr. Vander Ploeg (Ph.D.) checks the lit pressure of the complete works of William Shakespeare published in The Riverside Shakespeare. Photo by Audrey Kon. Courtesy of the author. I taught English courses for thirty years at a community college in western Kentucky. One of the […]

Between Vesalius and the CAT scan

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Museo di Storia Naturale di Firenze, Zoologia “La Specola”, Florence, Italy. Wax anatomical models. September 2006. Photo by Daderot. Via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 3.0. Scribe: noun. A person who copies documents, especially a person who made handwritten copies before the invention of printing. —dictionary.com   The first reliable anatomic drawings based […]

What’s Inside Us?: socio-cultural themes in anatomical naming

Frazer A. Tessema Chicago, Illinois, United States   Drawing by Stratton Tolmie — MD Candidate at The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. Anatomical terms often read as Latin or Greek gibberish whose main purpose is to be obscure trivia in the first-year medical school ritual called anatomy class. But a surprising trend emerges […]

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 […]