Medicine

History of medicine; healing; herbalism

Black Plague selective killer

A new study of nearly 500 skeletons in a London plague cemetery proves that many of the victims had weaker immune systems when they died than normal, leading experts to believe that most who succumbed were old, sick or poor.

Columbus may have spread "social disease"

A new study claims that explorer Christopher Columbus may have been responsible for bringing syphilis to Europe. The controversial theory has been debated for years, but the new study of molecular genetics may show whether the theory is true.

"Black Death" poses a new threat

The plague, which once devastated the population of Europe, is on the rise again, according to experts. Around 100-200 cases are reported annually, but the disease is cropping up in new locations.

Want to get fit? Try the Authenticity Diet!

Need to take off a few pounds or kilograms from the holiday feasting? Eat like your persona! A Shropshire physician claims that Europeans in the Middle Ages were in some ways much healthier than modern people.

Guinness is good for you!

New research states that a pint of Guinness a day "may work as well as an aspirin to prevent heart clots that raise the risk of heart attacks," according to an article in the BBC.

"Domus del Chirurgo" sheds light on Roman medicine

For the past 17 years, archaeologists have worked at the site of the Domus del Chirurgo, the House of the Surgeon, the home of a 2nd century Roman doctor in Rimini, Italy. Among the discoveries: "the largest find of surgical instruments anywhere."

Dr. Robert Cade, inventor of Gatorade, dies in Florida

The next time you pause for a drink on the battlefield, raise your plastic jug in honor of Dr. Robert Cade, the inventor of Gatorade, who died recently of kidney failure in Jacksonville, Florida. He was 80 years old.

Infant mortality research abstract online

The News for Medievalists blog reports that a research paper dealing with the topic of infant mortality has been published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology

Black Death still affecting British genetics

According to an article in NewScientist, the Black Death still casts a shadow over the British population by lowering the genetic diversity in the country.

Duct tape bandages

For the SCAdian or handyman who just wants to look cool: Duct tape bandages!

Dark Ages medicine found to be "enlightened"

Christina Lee, co-organizer of the second conference on Disease, Disability and Medicine in Early Medieval Europe, believes the Dark Ages weren't so dark, at least when it comes to medicine. Heather Whipps of LiveScience has the story.

A history of leprosy

Karl S. Kruszelnicki looks at the history of leprosy from ancient times, through the Middle Ages and into the 20th century.

Researchers hope modern science will solve mystery deaths

Researchers working in St Mark's Basilica in Florence, Italy have exhumed the bodies of two Medici-era literary figures hoping that they can solve the mystery of the men's deaths.

Conference discusses health and demonic possession

Researchers and medievalists from around the world gathered at the University of Nottingham recently to discuss 'Health and the Healthy Body' in early medieval times, 400-1200AD. The conference covered such diverse topics as demonic possession and Norse diet.

Venetian isolation hospital gives up secrets

Archaeologists are excited over the revelations discovered during the excavation of graves on Lazzaretto, an island in the lagoon of Venice where the city's sick were isolated. The intensive study has led to incredible discoveries involving disease, diet and genetics.

Domestic life in ancient Pompeii

A recent study of family life in the buried Roman city of Pompeii shows that residents lived a resourceful domestic life without gadgets. A new study by archaeologist Penelope Allison of the University of Leicester digs into the unglamorous side of Roman life.

Be a hero, save a life at Pennsic XXXVI

Baroness Angelique d'Herisson, Pennsic Vampire, reminds Pennsic attendees that the annual blood drive will take place at Pennsic XXXVI.

Osteological measurement database online

The Museum of London's Centre for Human Bioarchaeology hosts a database of osteological measurements from human remains during the medieval and post-medieval periods.

Earliest dental prosthesis found in Roman grave

Archaeologists have discovered in the grave of an unidentified Roman woman a gold wire used to hold together a set of artificial teeth. The dental prosthesis is believed to be the earliest such device ever discovered.

The story of a flea

In a review for The Guardian, Ian Pindar discusses a new book about bubonic plague: Justinian's Flea by William Rosen, an "impressive study of the bubonic plague and its impact on history."

Finding your Viking roots

A new exhibit at the Jorvik Viking Centre in York, England allows visitors to study new scientific techniques used to determine what Viking life was like. The exhibit also includes a "3-dimensional walk-through Viking riverside scene, graphics and interactive activities."

Renaissance hospitals warm, comfortable environments

John Henderson of the University of London wants readers to know that the hospital in the Renaissance was not the hellhole depicted in many histories but "a warm environment and specialized care, which they would not have found in the community."

Rib bone NOT Joan of Arc's

John Leicester of the Globe and Mail reports on the ongoing controversy over the remains of Joan of Arc. The verdict: It is a rib bone, but it did not belong to Joan of Arc.

English pewter to be auctioned at Christies

Zenobia reports that Christie's Auction House will be offering a collection of 156 pieces of pewter dating from the 16th century or before for sale on May 1, 2007. Photos from the catalog are available online.

Coventry pub renovation reveals dark past

Renovations on the Four Provinces Pub in Coventry, England have unearthed human remains dating to the 12th century. The bones show evidence of leprosy.

"Walk Through a Medieval Herb Garden" in Milwaukee

On March 10, 2007, Mary Moskoff, Ph.D., LCSW will present a talk A Walk Through a Medieval Herb Garden at the Spring Symposium presented by the Herb Society of America - Wisconsin Unit. The lecture will take place at the Woman's Club of Wisconsin, 813 Kilbourn Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53202.

Science proves Shakespeare good for the brain

Medical research by University of Liverpool scientists has proved that reading Shakespeare can increase brain activity. Science Daily has the story.

Ancient texts of interest to modern medical researchers

A new report from the Mayo Clinic, reported by Science Daily, shows how researchers at the Clinic used data-mining techniques to discover new cures from ancient texts. The reports cites the anti-bacterial properties of the Atun tree as discussed by Dutch herbalist Georg Eberhard Rumpf in his mid-17th century work Ambonese Herbal.

Medici mystery reinvestigated

A new study of the deaths of Francesco de' Medici and his wife Bianca Cappello seems to suggest that the couple died of acute arsenic poisoning rather than from malaria as is generally believed.

"Stop and stretch" in memory of Count Sarnac

Countess Jolecia of Litchfield, wife of Count Sarnac Kir, has voiced a request in memory of her husband who died recently of a blood clot: stop and stretch!