North Brother Island is a 16.5-acre bump of land jutting out of the East River, 1,500 feet east of 140th Street in the South Bronx and 2,500 feet west of Riker’s Island. Once the site of New York City’s lazaretto,…

Dec 03

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How to save a dying heart

In a monthly column for PBS NewsHour, Dr. Howard Markel revisits moments that changed the course of modern health and medicine on their anniversaries, like the world's first human heart transplant on Dec. 3, 1967. In the photo above, Amy…

Oct 16

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In a monthly column for PBS NewsHour, Dr. Howard Markel revisits moments that changed the course of modern medicine on their anniversaries, like the groundbreaking use of anesthesia on a surgical patient on Oct. 16, 1846. Photo by Image…

Sep 27

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The real story behind penicillin

The discovery of penicillin, one of the world's first antibiotics, marks a true turning point in human history -- when doctors finally had a tool that could completely cure their patients of deadly infectious diseases.

In a monthly column for PBS NewsHour, Dr. Howard Markel revisits moments that changed the course of modern medicine, like the invention of the stethoscope. Photo By BSIP/UIG via Getty Images. Long before Hippocrates (ca. 460-380 B.C.) taught his…

Dr. Howard Markel revisits moments that changed the course of modern medicine, like the advent of antiseptic surgery, in a monthly column on the PBS NewsHour. Photo by Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images. Today, every patient reasonably expects that before going "under…

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