World’s Strangest

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‘Smoking vaccine’ developed

Scientists have created a vaccine that can remove all pleasure derived from nicotine in the body. While the vaccine isn’t ready for use in humans yet …

11 Scientists Who Experimented on Themselves

Would you inject 50 hookworms under your skin for your job? Or steam in a vomit sauna for a few hours? Hopefully we non-scientists will never have to answer questions like these. But for the 11 brave souls on this list, experimenting on themselves was all in a day’s work. 1. Benjamin Franklin The man on the [...]

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Jonas Salk

You probably know Jonas Salk as the man behind the polio vaccine. You may not know about his scientific rivalries, love life, and non-polio projects, though. Let’s take a look at five unheralded aspects of the doctor’s life. 1. He Wasn’t Big on Patents Shortly after Salk’s vaccine breakthrough, legendary journalist Edward R. Murrow sat down with [...]

The Quest for a Malaria Vaccine and the Man Who Risked Everything to Find It

by Mary Carmichael Dr. Stephen Hoffman learned about malaria the hard way—by rolling up his sleeves and letting thousands of infected mosquitoes bite him. © JIM YOUNG/Reuters/Corbis Back in mid-1990s, Stephen Hoffman dipped his arm into a swarm of malaria-infected mosquitoes. But he didn’t expect to get sick. At the time, he thought he’d invented a vaccine [...]

The Mysteries of Rabies

This article about rabies surprised me a little. See, we know how to prevent rabies, but we have absolutely no idea how to cure it. In fact, we don’t even really know how it kills people. Despite (and, perhaps, because of) its status as one of the first viruses to be tamed by a vaccine, rabies [...]

Quebec’s Vaccine Distribution Inspired by Disneyland

If you’ve tried to get the H1N1 vaccine, then you may know just how hard it is to find a place that actually has the shots in stock and won’t make you wait in line for hours. In order to avoid the mess of lines, Quebec took a tip from Disneyland and set up a [...]

What Does it Matter if I’m Allergic to Eggs? (A Flu Shot FAQ)

Since we’re right in the middle of flu shot season, here are the answers to a few questions you might be mulling over on your way to get your injection of this year’s vaccine cocktail. How long have flu shots been around? The flu has been making us sick since at least 1580, when a major [...]

A ‘Vaccine’ for Cocaine

Katherine Harmon writes in Scientific American that pharmacology researchers are developing a drug that could diminish the pleasurable effects of cocaine. Taking the drug might help addicts detoxify with greater success: The vaccine itself does not destroy cocaine molecules, rather it induces antibodies that bind to it, making the opiate lose its ability to pass through [...]

Progress on a HIV Vaccine

Donald G. McNeil, Jr. writes in The New York Times that a new vaccine tested on 16,000 Thai volunteers demonstrated improved resistance to the virus that causes AIDS. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, it’s a significant discovery. McNeil writes: Col. Jerome H. Kim, a physician who is manager of the army’s [...]