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Ed Cara Ed Cara Jan 08, 2019. 7 comments

Bristol Myers-Squibb and Others Can't Dodge $1 Billion Lawsuit Over 1940s Syphilis Study, Judge Rules

Bristol Myers-Squibb and Others Can't Dodge $1 Billion Lawsuit Over 1940s Syphilis Study, Judge Rules

For the time being, pharmaceutical company Bristol Myers-Squibb and others will not be allowed to avoid a billion-dollar civil lawsuit over their alleged roles in a U.S. government-led study in the 1940s that deliberately and secretly infected Guatemalan people with syphilis. Last week, Reuters reported, a federal Maryland judge struck down an argument by defense lawyers that domestic...

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Diane Kelly Diane Kelly May 22, 2018. 1 comments

Venereal Disease and Self-Experimentation Should Not Go Together

Venereal Disease and Self-Experimentation Should Not Go Together

Early scientists were not at all shy about experimenting on themselves. Isaac Newton stuck a needle into his own eye socket. Robert Hooke shoved his arm into a vacuum chamber. And in the first episode of Sacrificed from Fusion, we learn what 18th century physician John Hunter thought was an effective way to investigate gonorrhea and syphilis.

In short, he infected himself with pus...

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Esther Inglis-Arkell Esther Inglis-Arkell Dec 08, 2017. 18 comments

The Things People Did To Fight Syphilis Were Utterly Horrifying

The Things People Did To Fight Syphilis Were Utterly Horrifying

Syphilis, today, is minor and treatable. In the past, though, it was an incurable diseases that caused insanity, rotting flesh, and death. It's understandable that nations took drastic measures to try to stop it — but their efforts resulted in a 400-year reign of terror.

Syphilis hit Europe at the end of the 1400s. In some ways, it terrified people more than the plague. The plague, at...

18 Comments

Esther Inglis-Arkell Esther Inglis-Arkell Dec 02, 2017. 6 comments

The First Real "Magic Bullet" in Medicine Was Arsenic

The First Real "Magic Bullet" in Medicine Was Arsenic

There wasn’t much to be done about syphilis for most of its history. It was a horrible, slow way to die and the only way to ward off the most acute attacks was mercury—until a dye and a poison provided the inspiration for an effective treatment.

The little spirals in the image above are, according to the accompanying text, “Treponema pallidum spirochetes” which are darkened “using a modified...

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Alissa Walker Alissa Walker Oct 06, 2017. 15 comments

Canada Blames 'Social Media' for Gonorrhea Epidemic

Canada Blames 'Social Media' for Gonorrhea Epidemic

If these numbers are to be believed, the residents of Alberta are swimming in sexually transmitted diseases. Last year, the Canadian province saw an 80 percent increase in cases of gonorrhea. What to blame? According to the government, “social media.”

No doubt that these stats are troubling. According to the Edmonton Journal, the province reported 82 gonorrhea cases per every 100,000 Albertans...

15 Comments

Esther Inglis-Arkell Esther Inglis-Arkell Sep 13, 2017. 14 comments

Was This the First Time Science Lost Out to "Natural Remedies"?

Was This the First Time Science Lost Out to "Natural Remedies"?

Worthless natural remedies, especially when they come from “exotic” locations, have always been popular. They’ve also always been big business. Here’s one of the earliest struggles on record—when the richest man in Europe went after a medieval doctor.

Syphilis blindsided medieval Europe, affecting everyone from peasants to monarchs. People were desperate for a cure, and although mercury was...

14 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Aug 17, 2017. 23 comments

Rates of Sexually Transmitted Diseases Reach ‘Unprecedented’ Levels in the US 

Rates of Sexually Transmitted Diseases Reach ‘Unprecedented’ Levels in the US 

An alarming report put out by the Centers for Disease Control shows that the total combined cases of several sexually transmitted diseases have reached an “unprecedented” high in the United States.

Reports of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis—the three most commonly reported STDs in the United States—reached new heights last year, according to CDC’s new report. Last year alone saw 1.5...

23 Comments

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