Tag Archives: Egypt

Revising my bargain with the deity

Barry Perlman New York, New York, United States   Photo by S. Tsuchiya on Unsplash. My parents lived into their nineties. Before they died, they endured years of dementia. Aware of my potential genetic inheritance, I have long harbored a deep dread of what my future might hold. If my curved pinky fingers were inherited […]

Hieroglyphics

Gail Ghai Sarasota, Florida, United States Wooden Egyptian stela showing the woman Isetweret adoring the god Re-Horakhty, 945–712 AD. Distribution from the Egyptian Research Account, 1896. Courtesy of the Penn Museum.   The room shuffles nervously as the oncologist takes the microphone. He’s the first speaker at the breast cancer lecture and he does not […]

Tutankhamun’s androgynous appearance

Glenn Braunstein Los Angeles, California, United States   Gilded wood statues of Tutankhamun found in his tomb. The left figure shows him wearing the “white crown” as ruler of Upper Egypt (southern Nile Valley) while that on the right with the flattened “red crown” represents him as the king of Lower Egypt (Delta area).1 Photo […]

Review: The History of the World in 100 pandemics, plagues and epidemics

Arpan Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Cover: The History of the World in 100 pandemics, plagues and epidemics. The publication of this book could not have been better timed. The book sets out to show how pandemics, epidemics, and infectious diseases have shaped human history over the last 5,000 years. Its contents help us place […]

A look back at insulin

Shrestha Saraf Sutton Coldfield, United Kingdom Sanjay Saraf Sudarshan Ramachandran Birmingham, United Kingdom   Sir Frederick Banting and Dr. Charles Best co-discoverers of Insulin. Library and Archives Canada. Via Wikimedia. As we approach the centenary of the isolation, purification, and clinical use of insulin, it is an appropriate moment to reflect on the impact of […]

Men, women, and idioms of distress

Mary Seeman Toronto, Ontario, Canada   What pedisyon may feel like. Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels. In all cultures there is a place for illness that is not easily explained by individual pathology. It is usually attributed to larger societal unrest, with some individuals responding to that unrest with somatic or psychological symptoms. When […]

Book review of The Origins of Modern Science

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Cover: The Origins of Modern Science: From Antiquity to the Scientific Revolution. Science and medicine have long been intertwined: many advances in the field of medicine would not have been possible without prior knowledge of fundamental science. It is not surprising, therefore, that a medical historian would also […]

Kwashiorkor

Charles Halsted Davis, California, United States   An eleven-month-old Egyptian infant sat wailing on a cot, his abdomen pouched out and covered by spider-like purplish veins. His tiny arms and legs were like sticks, except for his swollen ankles. He was brought in by his mother who knew that his food and care would be […]

The Quaker and the Jew, an enduring and impactful friendship: Thomas Hodgkin and Moses Montefiore

Marshall A. Lichtman Rochester, New York, United States   Obelisk over Hodgkin grave site in Jaffa, Israel. Moses Montefiore, on his return to England, purchased a column of Aberdeen granite nine feet tall and had it inscribed with a lengthy tribute to Hodgkin “as a mark of my respect and esteem.” It was transported to […]

The scourge, the scientist, and the swindle

Anne Jacobson Oak Park, Illinois, United States   Alice Augusta Ball, 1915. (Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain) “The leprous person who has the disease shall wear torn clothes and let the hair of his head hang loose, and he shall cover his upper lip and cry out, ‘Unclean, unclean.’ He shall remain unclean as long as […]