Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Winter 2020

  • COVID-19: clinico-immunologic snapshot of a coronavirus

    S.E.S. Medina Benbrook, Texas, United States   Coronavirus: Protein Spike Corona. A colorized transmission electron micrograph of the Middle East respiratory syndrome-related Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) that emerged in 2012. November 19, 2012. Public domain image from National Institutes of Health. Source. A tiny mote of moisture, buoyed by silk-soft wind currents, is kicked and coaxed along a random path…

  • Reporting a pandemic

    Francis Christian Saskatoon, Canada   Nonno watching the news. Jakob Montrasio. Taken on December 21, 2011. From Flickr. CC BY 2.0 Dust to dust and doom delivered by newscasts dripping irony in considered doses of despair; feigning knowledge of ignorance, feigning ignorance of absent panic and knowledge from experts claiming uncertainty.   But the web…

  • Albert Einstein headed off at the “Nobel pass” by Alvar Gullstrand

    Jayant Radhakrishnan Darien, Illinois, United States   Photograph of Albert Einstein in his office at the University of Berlin. c1920. Accessed via Wikimedia. Allvar Gullstrand. Unknown artist. The National Library of Medicine.  Allvar Gullstrand was a brilliant ophthalmologist and the second of eleven surgeons who have received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. He was…

  • The Dutch anatomy lessons

    JMS PearceHull, England, United Kingdom The Hellenistic anatomist Herophilus (c. 330–c. 260 BC) and the physiologist Erasistratus (c. 325–c. 250 BC) were granted limited permission to dissect executed criminals with consent of the first Ptolemaic Pharaohs. This practice, essential for anatomical study, was then suppressed by ancient Greek taboos regarding purity, death, and cutting the…

  • Hiroshima seventy-five years after the bombing

    Cristóbal Berry-Cabán Fort Bragg, North Carolina, United States   Figure 1. Little Boy at Tinian Island, August 1945. National Archives. Figure 2. Mushroom cloud over Hiroshima, August 6, 1945. National Archives. Figure 3. This person’s skin was burned in a pattern corresponding to the dark portions of a kimono worn at the time of the…

  • William Cheselden, father of modern British surgery

    William Cheselden was the most eminent English surgeon of the first half of the eighteenth century.1,2 Born in Leicestershire in 1688 just two weeks before William of Orange landed in England, he learned Greek and Latin at school, then was apprenticed to a local barber-surgeon. At fifteen he went to London and was again apprenticed,…

  • Gerard Blasius (1627–1682)

    Gerard Blaes (Blasius) was a Dutch physician and anatomist, famous for his work on the spinal cord and for one of his students discovering the parotid (Stensen’s) duct. As a young man he had lived and studied in Copenhagen, where his father was architect to the king of Denmark. When his father died, his family returned…

  • “A Veritable Angel of Mercy”: the sardonic representation of Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

    Mariella Scerri Mellieha, Malta   Group photograph of the first twenty Navy Nurses, appointed in 1908. Naval Photographer. 1908. Wikimedia. Public Domain. Critical acclaim and popular opinion have elevated Kesey’s first novel, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest published in 1962, to something of a modern classic, much read and written about as well as adapted…

  • Antonio Benivieni, early anatomist and pathologist

    The Florentine Antonio Benivieni dissected corpses and recorded his findings some seventy years before Andreas Vesalius and even more so before Batista Morgagni. Yet though he has been called the “founder of pathology,” he never achieved the fame and recognition accorded to his distinguished successors. He was the eldest of five sons in an ancient…

  • Sir Alexander Fleming: A microbiologist at work and play

    Jayant Radhakrishnan Darien, Illinois, United States   “Seemingly Simple Elegance” by Arwa Hadid. American Society for Microbiology Agar Art 2019 Professional. Undergraduate MLS student, Oakland University, Rochester Hills, MI, United States i Sir Alexander Fleming had many talents. His discoveries of lysozyme in 1923 and in 1928 the antibiotic effect of the fungus Penicillium notatum are…