History In The Headlines

Category: Diseases

typhoid mary

10 Things You May Not Know About “Typhoid Mary”

Check out 10 surprising facts about “Typhoid Mary” on the 100th anniversary of the beginning of her 23-year quarantine.

black death1

Scientists Blame Gerbils (Not Rats) for the Black Death

A new study clears the black rat of spreading the infamous Black Death from Asia across medieval Europe, and identifies gerbils as a more likely culprit.

Students excavate remains buried at Badia Pozzeveri cemetery. (Credit: Ohio State University)

Scientists Seek Cholera DNA in Tuscan Cemetery

A team of researchers hopes a church graveyard in the Italian town of Badia Pozzeveri will yield a breakthrough in efforts to understand a deadly disease.

polish vampire

The Truth About Poland’s “Vampire” Burials

A new study finds that men and women buried as vampires in 17th and 18th century Poland were not—as previously believed—immigrants to the region.

jonas salk

8 Things You May Not Know About Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine

On the centennial of Jonas Salk’s birth, explore eight surprising facts about the groundbreaking polio vaccine that he developed.

Linzerino/iStockphotos.com

Ancient DNA Suggests Seals Brought Tuberculosis to New World

After analyzing DNA from 1,000-year-old Peruvian skeletons, scientists claim that seals and sea lions were likely the first to bring TB to the ancient Americas.

cavity

New Research Drills Into History of Cavities

In two new studies, scientists analyzed teeth extracted from ancient skeletons in order to learn more about one of our most enduring health problems: cavities.

Remains of victims of Plague of Cyprian, discovered in the funeral complex of Harwa and Akhimenru (Credit: N. Cijan/ Associazione Culturale per lo Studio dellEgitto e del Sudan ONLUS)

Ancient Plague Victims Found in Egypt

Archeologists in the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes have uncovered the victims of an infamous plague, which one writer at the time saw as a sign that the world was ending.

tsetse fly

Scientists Decode Genome of Deadly Tsetse Fly

After a decade-long effort, an international team of scientists has cracked the genetic code of the tsetse fly, the bloodsucking insect that spreads African sleeping sickness.

charterhouse square skeletons

Medieval “Black Death” Was Airborne, Scientists Say

Skeletons buried deep beneath a square in London yield new information about how one of history’s deadliest plagues spread through 14th-century Britain.

Photo depicting sternum of Amara West skeleton with cancerous bone lesions. (Credit: British Museum)

3,200-Year-Old Skeleton is Oldest Known Case of Human Cancer

British researchers have found the earliest known case of human metastatic cancer in the skeleton of a young man who died around 1200 B.C. in ancient Egypt.

Slides from the US 1918 Flu Pandemic (Credit: Karen Kasmauski/Science Faction/Corbis)

China Epicenter of 1918 Flu Pandemic, Historian Says

According to new research by a Canadian historian, the 1918 flu outbreak that killed 50 million people originated in China.

justinian-plague

Ancient Teeth Help Scientists Decode Plague

Though caused by the same pathogen, the deadly Plague of Justinian appears to have emerged separately from later plagues such as the Black Death.