Features

Laboratory capacity building and the open hardware movement

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Through my work in African laboratories I am regularly made aware of the challenging equipment shortages faced by research laboratories in many low/middle-income countries (LMICs). This extends far beyond the absence of “state-of-the-art” equipment and shiny, new models regularly produced by commercial companies. These shortages include the availability of what would normally be considered ubiquitous laboratory equipment – PCR machines, …

Features

The Testing Revolution: Investigating Diagnostic Devices in Global Health

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Image by Alice Street in collaboration with Jennifer Littlejohn.

The origins of laboratory medicine are often traced to the establishment of a small clinical laboratory in Guy’s Hospital, London, in 1828. Here, in a small side-room, medical students used sterilisers, incubators and microscopes to identify bacteriological organisms in biological samples taken from the patients in the ward next door. In …

Books

Robert Michael Brain’s “The Pulse of Modernism: Physiological Aesthetics in Fin-de-Siècle Europe”

pulse of modernism cover

The Pulse of Modernism: Physiological Aesthetics in Fin-de-Siècle Europe

by Robert M. Brain

University of Washington Press, 2016, 384 pages

 

Given the growing divide between STEM and the arts (despite the somewhat anemic push to embrace the STEAM – STEM plus art – acronym/approach), Robert Brain’s ambitious new book, The Pulse of Modernism, reminds us that the line …

Features

Petri Dish

The petri dish was made for separation.  It was developed for culturing microorganisms while separating them from airborne contaminates.  As part of its ability to make separations between the contaminated world outside and the uncontaminated world inside, the dish also assisted in separating individuals from disease.  These days, it’s getting harder for petri dishes to maintain these separations.

Julius Richard …

Features

Table

 

Early anthropological experiments depended on tables to hold their equipment steady, at eye level, and off the ground. Photographs from the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to the Torres Straits in 1898 make it clear that tables played an important role in the psychological experiments conducted by the anthropologists.

WHR Rivers and Torres Strait Islander with the color wheel. In Richards,