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National Geographic magazine’s “The Future of Medicine” review.

National Geographic magazine’s first issue of 2019 is titled “The Future of Medicine: How New Technologies and Ancient Remedies Are Transforming Health Care.” True to the core of National Geographic’s style, the issue’s pages are filled with stunning images to complement the articles, which cover everything from traditional Chinese medicine to the woman who will live forever.

I’ve compiled my five favorite photographs to provide a summary of this issue, but I would love to see your favorites.

  1. The immortal Susan Potter.

Photograph by Lynn Johnson

The seated woman in this photo is Susan Potter – the woman who will live forever. After her death, Susan’s body was frozen, segmented into thin slivers, and digitized to become a learning tool for medical students. Author Cathy Newman and photographer Lynn Johnson followed Susan’s story for 16 years to share this remarkable journey with readers. “Susan Potter Will Live Forever” describes Susan learning about the process, getting to know the doctors and students (pictured with Susan at their graduation) who would assist with her cadaver, and finally, undergoing the immortalization of her body after her passing.

  1. Medicine cabinets from around the world.

Photograph by Gabrielle Galimberti

Photograph by Gabrielle Galimberti

Gabriele Galimberti’s intimate series Home Pharma shows contrasting approaches to medical treatment through participants’ medicine cabinets from around the world. The images are as poignant as the discovery of how different families and cultures approach medicine.

  1. Traditional Chinese medicine today.

Photograph by Fritz Hoffman

In “How Ancient Remedies Are Changing Modern Medicine,” Peter Gwin brings traditional Chinese medicine from its ancient origins to today’s many applications. This photo of James Harrison, recently retired from the NFL, shows the Chinese cupping treatment that made headlines during the 2016 Olympics.

  1. Music for newborn babies.

Photograph by Craig Cutler

12 Innovations That Will Revolutionize the Future of Medicine” by Daniel Kraft highlights emerging technologies and therapies from around the world. Pictured here is a baby at University Hospital in Geneva, Switzerland, listening through headphones specially designed for preemies to one of three songs developed for the program. As Catherine Zuckerman reports in the article, researchers use MRIs in an effort to better understand how music affects a newborn’s brain – specifically how it recognizes melody, tempo, and pitch. Presently, their research shows a connection between the music and the baby’s brain connectivity, as it appears to improve their rhythm of sleeping and waking.

  1. Ombré symmetry and unique bodies and customizable medicine.

Photograph by Craig Cutler

This picture is not only pleasing to the eye, with its ombré drawers and symmetric framing, but also a representation of vast potential. Within these drawers are blood, urine, and saliva samples that the UK Biobank makes available to scientists working to better understand the link between genetics and disease. “How Personalized Medicine Is Transforming Your Health Care” by Fran Smith documents a few of the ways scientists are advancing gene therapy. What a world.


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