Medicine: The Bones of History

For doctors who never tire of arguing about the age and origin of diseases, a Washington orthopedist rattled some old bones last week. Exhibited to the District of Columbia Medical Society was a collection of human bones culled with care from the Smithsonian Institution's vast collection by Orthopedist William J. Tobin. Beside each bone was an X-ray diagnosis of what ailed the long-dead patient.

Most striking was Dr. Tobin's evidence on the disputed question of whether American Indians, long before Columbus launched a transatlantic traffic in diseases, suffered from syphilis and tuberculosis. Two...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!