Articles by Frank Gilmore
One hundred years ago influenza spread across the world and killed 20 to 40 million people. The disease killed more in one year than bubonic plague did in four years during the 14th century.
John Davis is pleased as he inspects one of his hives for signs of a parasite that can wreak havoc on honeybees. “I can’t find a single mite today to save my neck, and that’s a good thing,” said the retired paper-manufacturing supervisor. He started beekeeping at age 15 when his biology teacher, who was a beekeeper, talked about bee research. Davis and his wife live in Powhatan County, where he has 40 hives.
For thousands of years, people noticed that copper helped ward off certain illnesses, but no one knew why. It seemed that copper had magical powers. In the 19th century, scientists put forth the germ theory, which held that tiny organisms invisible to the human eye were responsible for many diseases. As germ theory gained acceptance, it was recognized that copper had the power to kill germs.
Art takes center stage, with technology playing an essential backstage role, at the Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) at Virginia Commonwealth University, which opened recently at Belvidere and Broad streets in Richmond.
Parents of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often are frustrated, confused and scared. Healthcare professionals who treat ASD patients are also challenged. Peter Mazure is both. He is the father of a 28-year-old who suffers from ASD and also is a retired clinical psychologist.
“I understand why parents are the way they are. This isn’t just a clinical issue. It’s a personal issue,” he said.
Jerry Samford was a 20-year-old William & Mary student when one of his kidneys began to fail due to a restricted artery. Most people with only one kidney lead a normal life but Samford was one of the unlucky few. His other kidney was failing more than 30 years later for unrelated reasons. He was referred to Dr. Domenic Sica, a kidney specialist at the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Medical Center for treatment and eventually to the VCU Hume-Lee Transplant Center to prepare for a kidney transplant.
“Silver bullets only work on vampires.” That’s why there is no easy cure for patients, including Vietnam veterans, with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI), according to Dr. David Cifu.
When Richmond native Bill Harrison was issued a new flight suit in Vietnam he didn't realize that the fire-retardant fiber in the clothing was made by the company that would become his future employer. “It felt strange, not like the nylon that other flight suits were made of,” said the tall, lanky sergeant who served in the central highlands of Vietnam near the Cambodian and Laotian borders. “I saw a label in it that said Nomex, but I didn’t know what that was.”
Jim Calpin will go to great lengths to be in the dark. He will drive from Chesterfield County to South Carolina with his wife and grandchildren to experience a total eclipse of the sun August 21.
This is no ordinary eclipse, if there is such a thing. It will be the first time in 99 years that a solar eclipse has stretched from coast to coast across the continental United States. The center of the sun's shadow cast by the moon will enter the U.S. in Oregon, race diagonally across 14 states and exit over the Atlantic Ocean at Charleston, S.C.