Medical Research

Probing into Early Modern Medicine through the Analysis of Hospitals

           The study of early modern medicine is only made possible through the examination of the written texts from the period. One of such books is titled The Order of the Hospitalls of [Henry VIII and Edward VI, 1557]. Different from most of the texts analyzed by the medical historians, which directly discuss many of the medical theories and knowledge from the early modern period, this text in fact focuses more on the legislation and administration of four hospitals in London.

Natural Medicine in the 16th Century

The Osler library, located on the McGill campus, is a place where you can find hundreds of rare and expensive books about medicine written as long as 500 years ago. During my two trips there, I read pages from The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes, a 1392-page medicine book written by John Gerarde and published in 1597, not very long after the invention of the printing press.

There Are No Scientific Authorities

The Order of the Hospitals is a rare book that was published in 1557 by the mayor and citizens of London. It is a relatively tiny book, roughly 12 centimeters by 7 centimeters and has an estimated weight of 80 grams. The majority of the book is written in the font known as Dutch Black Letter, and it smells like an old church. The cover is brown and bears an elegant gold diamond surrounded by four sword-like symbols that resemble the Fleurdelisé of the Quebec flag.

The Mass Murders of Innocents

The rare book presented above is called De la demonomanie des sorciers written by French jurist Jean Bodin. His work was published in the late 14th century, between the years of 1592 and 1593 in French. De la demonomanie des sorciers is generally written in French; however, there is Grecque as well as Latin. It's estimated weight would be roughly 500 grams and dimensions would be 17 centimeters by 11 centimeters, making it a relatively small book.

A Hidden Gem at the Osler Library

    At the Osler Library, you can find a plethora of rare books on medicine. Among the rows of shelves, there are treasures such as the “De humani corporis fabrica libri septem” (1543) by Vesalius (worth 500 000 USD), but there are also hidden gems. One of them is the book “Aristotle’s Master-Pieces or Every Woman’s Book! Displaying all the Secrets of Nature as Exhibited in the Creation of Man”. At first glance, it seems fairly unremarkable; its cover is tattered, its pages are pages stained - it’s clear that the book has been heavily used.

Forget about the Cloud; store your photos in your own DNA.

DNA can be used as a data storage system. In September 2017, it was announced that a live recording of "Smoke on the water" by Deep Purple, and "Tutu" by Miles Davis had been stored in the form of a piece of DNA the size of a speck of dust. This was a "proof of principle" exercise. The binary code is converted to the 4 letter code that represents the building blocks of a DNA sequence. It is a very stable, and very compact form of data storage. All of the Internet could be stored in a test-tube of DNA, and we could conceivably embed data into our own genome.

An Anti-Age Solution


Everything that lived will always died, this concept of life has always been deeply anchored in our mind. Without questioning what is the purpose of our life, we lived knowing that we will be burry 6 feet under ground, one day. But if I told you this common knowledge may not exist in the future.

What?! A surgeon inspired by "Frankenstein" is transplanting human heads?


Organ transplantation, a recent scientific breakthrough never ceasing to progress, has allowed millions of lives to be saved or improved. Indeed, a shocking revelation has been made in medicine as Italian surgeon, Sergio Canavero, attempts the impossible. Dr. Canavero is convinced, and currently persuading others, that he can successfully complete the first full-body human transplant.

Could the Zika Virus Cure Brain Cancer?


In the past couple of years, the Zika virus made headlines as the world grew more and more concerned about the health effects it could have on us humans.  During that time, the scientific community has been hard at work trying to find an efficient treatment, but the solution to the Zika virus remains a mystery to this day. However, the extensive research on this topic has led to a brand-new discovery: the Zika virus could help cure brain cancer.