Monkeys and maladies

By Stuart Semple In the film Outbreak, a deadly virus is unleashed in America after an infected monkey is brought into the country. It’s a film with a real basis in truth – we know that diseases with catastrophic impacts can be transmitted from (non-human) primates to our own species. Ebola is perhaps the most Read More…

James Davies on a new Lancet study about whether anti-depressants work

CRESIDA’s James Davies was on BBC’s Newsnight last night debating a new Lancet study on whether anti-depressants work.  Click below for the full debate, which starts at 24.34m. A modified version of his response to the study, published in The Times this morning, is below: Antidepressants Work – Really? A classic example of misrepresenting insignificant conclusions Read More…

Digging into health and disease in post-medieval London with Paola Ponce

In 2011, Archaeology South-East (UCL) excavated 609 post-medieval skeletons from the Queen’s Chapel of the Savoy in the City of Westminster, London. Today, the Chapel is all that remains of the Hospital of ‘Henry late King of England of the Savoy’, a charitable foundation completed in 1515. Who were the people buried in the chapel and what do their remains tell us about their health?

The weird and wonderful world of cigarette packaging

Two weeks ago, The Guardian featured an article about Tom Fraine, the British man who inadvertently ended up as the ‘dead’ body on the ‘smoking causes heart attacks’ label. In describing his experience of how he came to be a cigarette packaging model, Fraine recounts: ‘I was offered €200 and asked to come to a disused hospital on the outskirts of Berlin. They painted my face grey, put me in a body bag and took me to the morgue. Being in a body bag really freaked me out, especially when the photographer zipped the bag up fully and whispered: “This is for Dresden”, before unzipping me. He had a dark sense of humour.’