Today we live longer, healthier lives than ever before in history—a transformation due almost entirely to tremendous advances in medicine. This change is so profound, with many major illnesses nearly wiped out, that it's hard now to imagine what the world was like in 1851, when the New York Times began publishing. Treatments for depression, blood pressure, heart disease, ulcers, and diabetes came later; antibiotics were nonexistent, viruses unheard of, and no one realized yet that DNA carried blueprints for life or the importance of stem cells. Edited by award-winning writer Gina Kolata, this eye-opening collection of 150 articles from the New York Times archive charts the developing scientific insights and breakthroughs into diagnosing and treating conditions like typhoid, tuberculosis, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's, and AIDS, and chronicles the struggles to treat mental illness and the enormous success of vaccines. It also reveals medical mistakes, lapses in ethics, and wrong paths taken in hopes of curing disease. Every illness, every landmark has a tale, and the newspaper's top reporters tell each one with perceptiveness and skill.