Tag Archives: Biology

Too many doctors: the death of Friedrich III

Nicolas Roberto Robles  Badajoz, Spain   Figure 1. Kaiser Friedrich Museum (currently Bode Museum) on the Monbijou Bridge in Berlin, 1905. Public domain. Via Wikimedia Un médico cura; dos, dudan; tres, muerte segura. One doctor, health; two, doubt; three, certain death. -Spanish saying.   Friedrich III of Hohenzollern was the second Kaiser of Germany and […]

The Doctors Cori, carbohydrate metabolism, and the Nobel prize

Beta-d-glucose. Image by Rob Hooft, via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 3.0 Energy in animals and humans is stored in the body in the form of glycogen. Starch, a similar molecule but less branched, serves the same function in plants. Glycogen, discovered by Claude Bernard in 1856, is stored primarily in the liver (about 120 grams) and […]

Thomas Henry Huxley

JMS Pearce East Yorks, England   Fig 1. TH Huxley. print by Lock & Whitfield. 1880 or earlier. Via Wikimedia. “In matters of the intellect, follow your reason as far as it will take you, without regard to any other consideration . . . In matters of the intellect, do not pretend that conclusions are […]

Emily, Usher, and American Gothic perspectives on mortality

Olga Reykhart Liam Butchart Stony Brook, New York, United States   1894-1895 Illustration by Aubrey Beardsley of the short story “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe. Accessed via Wikimedia. In an editorial for Medical Humanities, Gillie Bolton notes that death is a common theme in literature and also in medicine. […]

Ahab’s gift: Herman Melville’s Moby Dick and the meaning of pain

Xi Chen Rochester, New York, United States   A whale being speared with harpoons by fishermen in the arctic sea. Engraving by A. M. Fournier after E. Traviès. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) In the summer months before my first year of medical school, I unfurled the pages of Moby Dick. Immersed […]

A wider science

Ahmad Shakeri Howsikan Kugathasan Toronto, Ontario, Canada   Storytelling helps healthcare workers learn about the person, not just the patient. Once Upon a Time, by George Hodan. Source Working at a Toronto harm reduction clinic helped reconcile my different points of view on drug addiction. In the classroom, I was a progressive-minded graduate student willing to […]

Blood and pernicious anemia

Omar Alzarkali Batavia, New York, United States   Page from Diagnostic methods, chemical, bacteriological and microscopical, a text-book for students and practitioners by Ralph Waldo Webster. 1914. Accessed via the Internet Archive. Contributed by Gerstein – University of Toronto. Blood is powerful. The mere sight of it can cause an adult to fall to the […]

Self and the Phenomenon of Life: A Biologist Examines Life from Molecules to Humanity

Ramon Lim Iowa City, Iowa, United States   Man as conceived by DaVinci. Since an early age, I have often wondered who we are (individually as well as a species) and what might be our place in the universe. I believe that the ultimate goal of science, apart from its utilitarian role, is to help […]

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, […]