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Arkiv for kategorien ‘Osteology’

The diagnosis and context of a facial deformity from an Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Spofforth, North Yorkshire [en]

søndag den 29. september 2013

The diagnosis and context of a facial deformity from an Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Spofforth, North Yorkshire by Elizabeth Craig-Atkins and Geoff Craig. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd (2012)

An individual aged between 6 and 7 years at death from a 7th to 9th century cemetery at Village Farm, Spofforth, North Yorkshire, presented significant pathological swelling to the left facial bones. The ectocranial surface was bulbous and uneven, and the expanded diploë was densely packed with a mass of thick trabeculae. Radiographic and histological analysis, in combination with the macroscopically observed pathological changes, supported the differential diagnosis of fibrous dysplasia. The skeletal changes to the left face and jaw would have resulted in a significant facial deformity. Examples of individuals with physical impairments or disfigurements from Anglo-Saxon cemeteries are rare.

Nevertheless, it seems that a significant proportion are afforded unusual burial practices more often associated with deviancy, for example, at the edge of cemeteries or on a reversed orientation, seemingly indicating that their diminished physical capabilities or altered physical appearance had a detrimental effect on their social status. The child from Spofforth was, however, buried in a normative manner, extended, supine and in a plain earth-cut grave, with no indication that their facial deformity had prompted unusual funerary provision. This example of facial disfigurement contributes to a growing corpus of potentially disabled individuals from early medieval England.

Click here to read this article from the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology

The etymology of the fibula [da]

søndag den 26. maj 2013

Etymology of the Fibula

A nice little drawing by Shaza Ali explaining the etymology of the fibula.

“Fibula” is the Latin word meaning “clasp” or brooch. Modern safety pins evolved from the ancient fibula brooch. The leg bone fibula is named so because of its resemblance to the safety pin.

Pencil & white charcoal. October 2012.

Skull used for practicing trephining [da]

tirsdag den 16. april 2013

This skull fragment, found in a London Hospital cemetery, had clearly been used by medical students to practice trephining, or the drilling of holes in the skull to relieve intracranial pressure in cases of skull fracture, and to treat other ailments.

Source: Kate Ravilious: Haunt of the Resurrection Man: A forgotten graveyard, the dawn of modern medicine, and the hard life in 19th-century London

Improving Sex Estimation from Crania using 3-dimensional CT Scans [en]

tirsdag den 2. april 2013

Improving Sex Estimation from Crania using 3-dimensional CT Scans by Richard L. Jantz, Mohamed Mahfouz, Natalie R.Shirley and Emam Abdel Fatah

“Estimating sex of human crania has been traditionally, and remains, almost exclusively based on measurements or observations of external cranial features. These methods seldom exceed 90% accuracy and are often well below that. Since crania are over represented in forensic contexts, it is important to improve sexing accuracy from the cranium because sex is a foundational component of the biological profile (i.e. sex must be determined prior to establishing the remainder of the profile). This project utilizes an innovative approach to examine endo- and ectocranial measurements and obtain the best discriminators for sex estimation” (Read the report).

A Rare Case of Skeletal Fluorosis Due to Excessive Tea Drinking [en]

fredag den 29. marts 2013

A 47-year-old Michigan woman developed a bone disease rarely seen in the U.S. after she drank a pitcher of tea made from at least 100 tea bags daily, for 17 years, researchers report.

The Detroit woman visited the doctor after experiencing pain in her lower back, arms, legs and hips for five years.

X-rays revealed areas of very dense bone on the spinal vertebrae and calcifications of ligaments in her arm, said study researcher Dr. Sudhaker D. Rao, a physician at Henry Ford Hospital who specializes in endocrinology and bone and mineral metabolism.

The researchers suspected the woman had skeletal fluorosis, a bone disease caused by consuming too much fluoride (a mineral found in tea as well as drinking water).

The patient’s blood levels of fluoride were four times higher than what would be considered normal, the researchers said.

Skeletal fluorosis is endemic in regions of the world with naturally high levels of fluoride in drinking water, including some parts of India and China, but is rare in Europe and North America. (Low levels of fluoride are added to drinking water in the United States to prevent cavities, but aren’t high enough to cause fluorosis.)

Rao said the patient was originally referred to him because her doctors suspected she had cancer, which can also show up on an X-ray as areas of dense bone. But because Rao had seen cases of skeletal fluorosis in his native India, “I was able to recognize it immediately,” he said.

Excess fluoride is typically eliminated from the body by the kidneys, Rao said. But if one consumes a lot of it, as this patient did through tea drinking, over time, the fluoride forms crystal deposits on bone, Rao said.

A few other cases of skeletal fluorosis caused by tea drinking have been reported in the United States. In these cases, patients typically drank a gallon of tea a day, Rao said. Rao and colleagues instructed their patient to stop drinking tea, after which she experienced an improvement in symptoms. The fluoride deposits will gradually go away as the bone remodels (or repairs) itself, a process that occurs frequently in the body, Rao said.

A description of the case was published March 21 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

(Source: Yahoo! via fuckyeahforensics)