Tag Archives: Winter 2020

The African Savannah

Steve Ablon Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts   Photo by Steve Ablon Forty years ago, my father wore his safari hat, squinted through binoculars, told us those giraffes, the dark ones, are older,   and soon will not be able to outrun lions or will break a leg, be eaten. That is the cycle of life he […]

Heterozygous Advantage: how one deadly disease prevents another

Neal Krishna Boston, Massachusetts, United States   An allegory of malaria. Process print after M. Sand. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Of all the genetic disorders to which man is known to be a victim, there is no other that presents an assemblage of problems and challenges quite comparable to sickle […]

John Arbuthnot: physician, wit, and creator of John Bull

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Portrait of Arbuthnot on reprint of John Bull In the light of recent British parliamentary chaos, by chance I discovered this irresistible quotation: “All political parties die at last of swallowing their own lies” -John Arbuthnot At a time when in most westernized countries physicians and […]

Mustard: history of the yellow seed

Carol Sherman Chicago, Illinois, United States   Figure 1. The Sign from the Mustard Museum. Photo taken by Douglas R. Siefken, August 15th, 2019. Provided for this article. The National Mustard Museum in Middleton Wisconsin1 describes itself as having over 5,600 mustards. They originate from all fifty states of the United States and from more […]

Letting go of logic

Nimisha Bajaj Columbus, Ohio, United States   Last Supper by Leonardo DaVinci. Photo by Paris Orlando. November 2019. Public Domain “He’s here for aspiration pneumonia. He doesn’t want a G-tube even though we tried to explain to him that if he continues to eat and drink by mouth, this will keep happening and he will […]

Drawing blood: depictions of transfusion in contemporary arts

Diana-Andreea Novaceanu Bucharest, Romania   The history of blood transfusion has unfolded in stages, first from experiments on animals, then from animal to human, and finally to transfusion between humans. The subject, in all its intricacy, has been captured by medical illustrators and painters throughout the centuries. Over the course of the last decades, attitudes […]

Blood policies and bioart in the 1900s

Christopher Hubbard Ohio, United States   Image titled The Army Blood Transfusion Service Needs Blood Donors. Image located from the Digital Public Library of America. Rights: unrestricted. Policies related to blood that were adopted in the U.S. during the early to mid-1900s produced cultural and legal effects for certain populations. In 1920, for example, the […]

Irvine H. Page M.D. 1901-1991

Earl Smith Chicago, Illinois, United States   Dr. Irvine Page and a lab tech at Cleveland Clinic in the 1960s. 1960s. Provided by Cleveland Clinic. Accessed via Wikimedia Commons. CC BY 4.0 Irvine Page was a physician scientist who discovered angiotensin and serotonin and proposed the multifactorial etiology of hypertension. He was a prolific medical […]

Dirty, dark, dangerous: coal miners’ nystagmus

Ronald Fishman Chicago, Illinois, United States   A coal miner without a headlamp digging an undercut at the coal face, using only the dim light supplied by a small flame lamp. From Snell 12 It’s dark as a dungeon and damp as the dew, Where the danger is double and pleasures are few Where the rain […]