Meet our Project Artist!

With our new Body Voyager galleries set to open this summer we would like to introduce you all to Inês-Hermione Mulford, Project Artist for Body Voyager. Inês is an Edinburgh based realist painter who graduated from Edinburgh College of Art with a BA (Hons) in Painting in in 2016 and in 2018 she graduated from…

A shot of polio-infected rat brain please, barman!

In this blog our Senior Research Fellow, Professor Ken Donaldson, explores the history of the polio vaccine. This blog describes the history of the development of the polio vaccine. It was developed in the middle of the 20th century at a stage when our knowledge of the immune response and how viruses behaved in the…

A vaccine trial with a public audience and rave reviews

With the recent roll out of the covid-19 vaccine all eyes have been on the clinical trial data. In this blog our Senior Research Fellow, Professor Ken Donaldson, tells us more about a very different vaccine trial. As we have seen with the Covid vaccine, the modern vaccine trial process is complex and highly confidential…

2020: A Year In Review

As we prepare to say goodbye to 2020 we thought we would keep up the tradition of looking back at the year with our “Year in Review” blog. 2020 has been a year like none of us have ever experienced before and we have been very fortunate to have a great team here at Surgeons’…

The Spanish orphans who became living vaccine incubators

In this blog our Senior Research Fellow, Professor Ken Donaldson, looks at the history of transporting vaccines. We are currently at the mercy of a pandemic and are awaiting ‘cavalry’ in the form of vaccines.  The first vaccine that has emerged from testing needs to be stored at -70 o and this highlights the necessity…

Meet the two versions of Phineas Gage

Senior Research Fellow, Professor Ken Donaldson, first encountered the story of Phineas Gage during a major course Psychology at University of Stirling in 1974 and this fascinating tale has stuck with him ever since. In this blog he tells us more about the curious case of Phineas Gage. A moral man, Phineas GageTamping powder down…

A Question of Balance

Our Human Remains Conservator, Cat Irving, tells us more about the history of insulin. Anyone with type 1 diabetes is familiar with the concept of balancing their blood sugar – weighing activity and food against medication. This is something I have lived with daily for nearly thirty years. It is a condition that is dealt…

Meet Daniel Sickles

Our Senior Research Fellow, Professor Ken Donaldson, tells us more about an interesting tale he came across during his research. The Battle of Gettysburg, in July 1863, was the bloodiest Battle of the American Civil War, producing about 50,000 casualties over 3 days of fighting around Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The battle had begun badly for the…

An Eagle’s Skull

Our Human Remains Conservator was doing some work for our new Body Voyager galleries when she came across a skull which had an unusual feature. In this blog she explains what makes this feature so rare and tells us more about the condition that caused it. Sometimes in a museum you find things you aren’t…

The history of vaccination – learning to hoodwink immunological memory

In this latest blog our Senior Research Fellow, Professor Ken Donaldson, takes us through the history of vaccination. As we all wait for a vaccine against Covid-19, it’s timely to consider the history of vaccination and its nature. The basis of vaccination is that serious infection by a virus or bacterium can be prevented by…