Tag Archives: De Humani Corporis Fabrica

A brief history of kidney transplantation

Laura Carreras-Planella Marcella Franquesa Ricardo Lauzurica Francesc E. Borràs Barcelona, Spain   We may think of renal transplantation as routine therapy today, but this procedure has taken centuries to develop and is marked by important events in the history of science. An ancient description of the kidneys is found in the Egyptian Ebers Papyrus, dated […]

Bloody beginnings of hematology

Sherin Jose Chockattu Bengaluru, India Bloodletting in 1860 – one of only three known photographs of the procedure. This photo is from the Burns Archive collection. Source His pole, with pewter basins hung, Black, rotten teeth in order strung, Rang’d cups that in the window stood, Lin’d with red rags, to look like blood, Did […]

Bibliotheca Sibbaldiana

Colin J. McDowall Edinburgh, Scotland   Figure 1: Sir Robert Sibbald by Willem Verelst or John Alexander. Photo credit: Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh On 5 February 1723 a crowd gathered at the house of the late Sir Robert Sibbald, noted Edinburgh physician, for the auction of his personal library. Sibbald was a considerable […]

Pig man: pigs in medicine from Galen to transgenic xenotransplantation

Stanley Gutiontov Chicago, Illinois, United States   The bad rap “And the pig, though it has a split hoof completely divided, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you.” —Leviticus 11:7 Slaughtering of a pig Pig: a word variably defined as “a young domesticated swine not yet sexually mature” or “a dirty, gluttonous, […]

Anatomical ghosts in The Merchant of Venice

Mauro Spicci   Antonio and the dangers of self-diagnosis In the last few years the steadily growing number of attempts to read Shakespeare’s plays from a medical perspective has been justified by the idea that they are not simply the immortal fruits of a genius, but also documents reflecting the historical, cultural, and social background […]

Vesalius: spirit of excellence and inquiry

JMS Pearce  United Kingdom   An image from De Fabrica This brief sketch is offered to commemorate the 500th birthday of Andreas Vesalius and the beginnings of post-Renaissance anatomy. Few men are more deserving of lasting fame than Vesalius. The prime importance of his anatomy is irrefutable. The current decline in anatomy teaching has provoked trenchant […]

Vesalius in Pisa

Gianfranco Natale Rosalba Ciranni Paola Lenzi Pisa, Italy Andreas Vesalius was born in 1514 in Bruxelles and studied in Paris but graduated in Padua. He published De humani corporis fabrica in 1543, and then spent time conducting anatomical dissections in Bologna, Pisa, and Florence before becoming the private physician of Emperor Charles V. The present […]