I’ll admit to never having read the “Twilight” saga, but I certainly remember the vampire mania novelist Stephenie Meyer’s series set off. In fact, while working at a bookstore, I was once tasked with guarding the latest installment. I had to make sure eager fans didn’t sneak a peek until the stroke of midnight.

But readers of these books and viewers of the movies made from them would barely have recognized the first vampires. Related myths may have begun a millennium ago, University of Virginia Slavic folklore expert Stanley Stepanic writes – often linked with diseases. Over the centuries, tales about the undead evolved in response to epidemics, war and cultural change, including a period called the “Great Vampire Epidemic,” when hysteria spread across much of Europe.

Whether the vampires at their heart are dashing or diseased, these myths don’t seem to die. They just transform.

This week we also liked articles about corporate sustainability-as-usual policies, why you should avoid telling kids that you’re worried about their weight and a surprising reason for some unnecessary C-sections.

Molly Jackson

Religion and Ethics Editor

Modern vampires like Dracula may be dashing, but they certainly weren’t in the original vampire myths. Archive Photos/ Moviepix via Getty Images

More ‘disease’ than ‘Dracula’ – how the vampire myth was born

Stanley Stepanic, University of Virginia

The past century’s vampires have often been a bit dashing, even romantic. That’s not how the myth started out.

Businesses tend to value profit over people and planet. Climate change is forcing them to evolve. elenabs via Getty Images

How the climate crisis is transforming the meaning of ‘sustainability’ in business

Raz Godelnik, The New School

Publicly, companies have been paying more attention to social and environmental issues, but their priority remains profit. Climate change is forcing an evolution, a business strategy expert writes.

Physical activity, eating habits and emotional support from friends and family are stronger predictors of health than body mass index. Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

If you want to support the health and wellness of kids, stop focusing on their weight

Nichole Kelly, University of Oregon; Elizabeth Budd, University of Oregon; Nicole Giuliani, University of Oregon

Weight discrimination, like teasing, is common among youth and linked to eating disorders and depression. Youth’s health and well-being would be best supported by not focusing on their weight.