Tag Archives: blood

Blood beliefs and practices in Iran

Bahar Dowlatshahi Tehrann, Iran   Circulation of the blood (human). Wellcome Collection. CC BY Blood is believed to have special abilities and properties in many eastern countries such as Iran. Even human personality traits, emotions, and relationships are referred to with blood. Angry people boil their blood; those who are kind and loving are called warm-blooded. […]

All blood runs red

Mel Diomampo Houston, TX   Miss Clara Barton. Mathew Brady. ca. 1860 – ca. 1865. US National Archives. The American Red Cross (ARC) is an independent, neutral organization ensuring humanitarian protection and assistance for victims of armed conflict and other disasters. Based on the Geneva Convention of 1949, its work primarily consists of responding to […]

Traditional circumcision in South Africa

Ntombi Kgosana Phenyo Montsho Pretoria, South Africa   A parked ambulance at Steve Biko Hospital, Pretoria. Image taken by Ntombi Kgosana, January 2019 Traditional circumcision is an ancient and highly secretive practice that serves as a rite of passage and a gateway to manhood in South Africa. It draws hundreds of young men annually, with […]

Experimental evidence for the humoral circulatory system

Mark A. Gray  Kansas City, Kansas   Four Humors from the Book of Alchemy by Thurn-Heisser, Leipzig, Germany (1574). Source Humoralism, otherwise known as Hellenistic or Galenic medicine, posited the existence of four humors that were required to be kept in balance to maintain health. Blood was special among these humors, believed to deliver both […]

Bloodletting and the treatment of menstrual disorders in early modern England

Rhianna Elliott Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom   Figure 1. Title page: Culpeper’s school of physick (London, 1659). Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY. Source Bloodletting, also known as “phlebotomy,” was a common preventive and therapeutic medical practice in early modern England. Its theoretical foundation was in humorism, the ancient medical system where bodily health depended on the […]

Kokumo: the child will not die again

Iyoha Odia Lagos, Nigeria   The Survivor, by Barrister Chikezie Onwumere, (December 2019). Personal Collection. It was 1838 in the ancient town of Ake, the era of the Abikus. The harmattan wind blew with reckless abandon, tinting everything living and non-living along its course. The leaves turned reddish brown from green, the roofs were caked […]

Anne McLaren, transfusion, transplantation, and the nature of blood

Matthew Holmes Cambridge, UK   What happened during a transfusion or transplantation between different individuals, or even members of different species? For centuries some thought that hereditable characteristics might cross between individuals or species in this manner. This belief found fresh impetus in Marxist biology during the Cold War. Anne McLaren, Oxford-trained zoologist and first […]

Blood donation in South Sudan

Ahmed Elhag Latham, New York   Red Cross in South Sudan. The item to the far right in the photograph is the country’s national instrument the “tombour” (an African lyre). The item to the left is a handcrafted piece of Sudanese art which contains calligraphy. Photograph by the author. When discussing the many challenges surrounding […]

The leech makes a comeback

Meryl C. Sigaton City of Silay, Philippines   This image of the Hirudo Medicinalis (European Medicinal Leech) was photographed latching on to the human skin. Source The anterior and posterior suckers of the European Medicinal Leech is clearly visible in this image. Source Four (4) medicinal leeches were photographed on a human hand to show […]

Bad blood: the drama of bloodshed

Emily Boyle Dublin, Ireland   Lucia’s mad scene – Rachelle Durkin as Lucia during The Chautauqua Opera’s dress rehearsal for Lucia di Lammermoor. Photo by Michelle Kanaar In some professions, bloodstained clothing is a normal part of the job. The two jobs that come to mind principally are a butcher and a vascular surgeon, although […]