Foundations

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image: Animal Electricity, circa 1781

Animal Electricity, circa 1781

By | September 28, 2011

How an Italian scientist doing Frankenstein-like experiments on dead frogs discovered that the body is powered by electrical impulses.

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image: Ernst Haeckel’s Pedigree of Man, 1874

Ernst Haeckel’s Pedigree of Man, 1874

By | August 1, 2011

After completing his studies in medicine and biology, a restless Ernst Haeckel set off for Italy in 1859 to study art and marine biology. The diversity of life fascinated the 26-year-old Prussian, and in addition to painting landscapes, he spent the

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image: The First X-ray, 1895

The First X-ray, 1895

By | July 1, 2011

The discovery of a new and mysterious form of radiation in the late 19th century led to a revolution in medical imaging.

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image: One-Man NIH, 1887

One-Man NIH, 1887

By | June 4, 2011

As epidemics swept across the United States in the 19th century, the US government recognized the pressing need for a national lab dedicated to the study of infectious disease. 

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image: Medical Posters, circa 1920

Medical Posters, circa 1920

By | May 25, 2011

William Helfand began buying medically themed collectibles in the 1950s when he started working for Merck & Co. 

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image: Ancient Anatomy, circa 1687

Ancient Anatomy, circa 1687

By | April 1, 2011

Seventeenth-century Tibet witnessed a blossoming of medical knowledge, including a set of 79 paintings, known as tangkas, that interweaved practical medical knowledge with Buddhist traditions and local lore.

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image: Medicinal Alchemy, circa 1512

Medicinal Alchemy, circa 1512

By | March 1, 2011

During the Middle Ages, alchemists developed sophisticated ways to tap the medicinal powers of the Earth’s bounty. Liber de Arte Distillandi, published in 1512, is a layman’s guide to the preparation of these natural medicines.

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image: Light Therapy, circa 1939

Light Therapy, circa 1939

By | February 1, 2011

Around the turn of the 20th century—before sunscreens hit the market and the damaging effects of UV radiation were widely appreciated—physicians saw the sun mostly as a source of healing. 

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image: The Mindless Machine, circa 1664

The Mindless Machine, circa 1664

By | January 1, 2011

By Vanessa Schipani | January 1, 2011

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image: John Snow’s “Grand Experiment,” 1855

John Snow’s “Grand Experiment,” 1855

By | August 1, 2010

As London suffered one of its worst cholera outbreaks, in the summer of 1853, John Snow took it upon himself to prove that the disease was transmitted through drinking water.

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