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Vaccine Etymology

Vaccines take their name from vaccinia, the virus that caused cowpox. It was the original ingredient used to vaccinate people against smallpox. Stefan Riedel, a pathologist at the Baylor University Medical Center, offers a detailed history of the...

retrospectoscope

retrospectoscope  n.— «The view through scopes—colonoscopes, arthroscopes and laparoscopes, to name a few—routinely aids physicians in narrowing diagnoses and arriving at a plan of care. But none is as illuminating as the one doctors refer...

cog

cog  n.— «The drugs, known as “cognition enhancers” could improve brain performance in a number of ways, from sharpening short-term memory and increasing speed of thought. The Academy of Medical Sciences has already advised...

call-jumping

call-jumping  n.— «Officials for the Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Service have asked the state Office of Emergency Medical Services to investigate complaints that crews from Life Ambulance are showing up at the scenes of traffic...

blowing brains

blowing brains  n.— «On Nov. 28, Dr. DeVries’s boss, Dr. Ruth Lynfield, the state epidemiologist, toured the plant. She and the owner, Kelly Wadding, paid special attention to the head table. Dr. Lynfield became transfixed by one procedure...

head table

head table  n.— «A survey of the workers confirmed what the plant’s nurses had suspected: those who got sick were employed at or near the “head table,” where workers cut the meat off severed hog heads.» —“A Medical Mystery Unfolds in...

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