Health & Medicine
Bodies, minds, and the things that help and harm them
How “Moldy Mary” helped produce the lifesaving drug and turned an insult into a triumph.
It was the most powerful emotional moment of Albert Einstein’s life—the instant he knew he was a genius.
What can a railroad construction foreman’s devastating skull injury teach us about the brain’s ability to heal?
People love to retro-diagnose historical figures, even when it’s nearly impossible.
In medicine, going rogue is never a good idea.
Can you really collapse and wake up speaking a totally new language?
How an antarctic scientific expedition turned deadly thanks to an unlikely source: dog liver.
Follow blood thinner warfarin’s unlikely journey from moldy clover and cow killer to lifesaving drug.
Learn what two famous neurological traumas—one involving a U.S. president, the other a Supreme Court justice—can teach us about how our own brains perceive reality.
An interview with Sam Kean about his book ‘The Violinist’s Thumb.’
How a bloody gun duel between two doctors in Transylvania sparked a frenzy of outrage—and helped create the American Medical Association.
In a building full of dead bodies, how can you tell a murder victim from an unlucky stiff?
What a bizarre psychological disorder can teach us about memory, human nature, and our sense of who we are.
The life of chimney sweeps was nasty, poor, brutish, filthy dirty, and usually short, thanks to a rare cancer of the genitals.
How early anatomists provoked some of the strangest riots in history by stealing the dead bodies of the poor.
How an early 20th-century doctor pitted one scourge (malaria) against another (syphilis).
How a weird “scientific” diet fad conquered America in the early 1900s.
Scientists created an effective male birth control pill in the 1950s, but it had one undesirable side effect.