Zika and the Brain
Week of April 29
For decades the Zika virus was merely a scientific curiosity in Africa until a full blown outbreak began less than six months ago in Brazil. Since then it’s been identified in 23 countries and territories in the Americas, including the U.S.
Zika is spread mostly by infected mosquitos, but we now know that it can also transmit through sexual contact, and the virus is present in the urine, semen, and saliva of infected people...
Ancient Brain Surgery
Week of April 22
On a visit to Peru during the 19th century, the U.S. Commissioner there was shown a skull found in an Incan cemetery dating to pre-Columbian times. What was odd about the skull was the rectangle-shaped hole in its top.
The diplomat, E.G. Squier, who was also an expert in archeology, took the skull to New York in 1865 and presented it to the New York Academy of Medicine. Squier was convinced the hole represented prehistoric brain surgery. What amazed him even more were the signs of healing in the skull that suggested the patient lived at least a few weeks...