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Apollo and the Aztecs

27/06/2016 | From the Collections

Microcephaly is a word that has come from nowhere to the newspapers’ front pages in a surprisingly short time, owing to the Zika virus outbreak in Brazil coinciding with the preparations for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Congenital… Continue reading

B0010423 House fly (Musca domestica)
Credit: Macroscopic Solutions. Wellcome Images
Photomacrograph of the head of a common house fly (Musca domestica). The fly's mouthparts and two large compound eyes (for accurate perception of movement) can be seen. They are commonly found all over the world usually in areas of human activity. Even though these flies do not bite, they are considered pests and can pick up diseases from garbage, sewage and other sources of filth and carry them in their mouthparts and alimentary canal. These can then be transmitted onto human and animal food when the fly comes into contact with it. Disease-causing pathogens that can be commonly transmitted by house flies include Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter, Escherichia, Enterococcus and Chlamydia. Width of image is 1.5 cm.
2014 Published:  - 

Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons by-nc-nd 4.0, see

Insects under the microscope

23/06/2016 | From the Collections

For National Insect Week, Hannah Brown shares some of her favourite insect images from Wellcome Images. Robert Hooke’s drawing of the head and eyes of a drone-fly appeared in his book, ‘Micrographia’, the first book to illustrate insects and plants… Continue reading

Image of childbirth in early printed book

Bawling babies and their baths in early modern England

21/06/2016 | Early Medicine

Galenic and Hippocratic medical traditions did not see all bodies as the same. Indeed, recent work by Hannah Newton has shown that early modern physicians treated and perceived children as ‘physiologically distinct’ from adults. Children, including infants, were moist, warm… Continue reading

V0014356 Latin Hospital, Pancaldi near Constantinople: refugee dispen
Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images
Latin Hospital, Pancaldi near Constantinople: refugee dispensary. Wood engraving.
Published:  - 

Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0

Refugees in Turkey (again)

20/06/2016 | From the Collections

With reports of 2.5 million Syrian refugees now encamped in Turkey, this 19th century print of refugees in Constantinople (Istanbul) shows that massed refugees in that part of the world are not a new phenomenon. The image, part of an… Continue reading


How do you skim through a digital book?

15/06/2016 | Digital Developments

We’ve had a couple of digitised books that proved really popular with online audiences. Perhaps partly reflecting the interests of the global population, they’ve been about prostitutes and demons. I’ve been especially interested in how people have interacted with these… Continue reading


Classifying medieval Islamic titles

13/06/2016 | In the Library

The Wellcome Library preserves many historical works from Islamic countries. Often these works have titles that bear no relation to their content, or sometimes works on very different topics have the same or similar titles. Many works on medicine contain… Continue reading