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).
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
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.
Thomas Rowlandson (1756–1827): The Persevering Surgeon
The notion that the anatomist/surgeon never gives up is presented in Rowlandson’s drawing The Perserving Surgeon. Here the practioner is dissecting a female cadaver. His lascivious expression and raised phallic scalpel whilst thus ‘ravishing’ the body in his possesion again expresses prevalent ideas as to the activities of these gentlemen. Rowlandson cannot be absolved from the accusation of using such naked female bodies for the purpose of voyeurism and, in some instances, for pornography. The articulated human and animal skeletons, bottles of specimens, and tub for entrails in this print complete the recognisable venue.
Source: Fiona Haslam: From Hogarth to Rowlandson: Medicine in Art in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Liverpool University Press, 1996)
The mercury pills that were once in this jar are quite likely to have been made to a recipe developed by Augustin Belloste (1654-1730), which was famous throughout Europe. Mercury was the traditional remedy for syphilis and the demand for Belloste’s recipe made his pills very successful. The family became rich from the profits. The recipe remained a secret and was still available in the early twentieth century. The pills were also used to treat gout, and kidney and bladder stones. Unfortunately, the mercury in the pills slowly poisoned the patients.
Experimental protocols for the study of battered stone anvils from Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania)> by Ignacio de la Torre, Alfonso Benito-Calvo, Adrian Arroyo, Andrea Zupancich and Tomos Proffitt. Journal of Archaeological Science, 2013, 40(1): 313-332
“Percussive activities are highly relevant in the economy of modern hunter-gatherer societies and other primates, and are likely to have been equally important during the Palaeolithic. Despite the potential relevance of percussive activities in the Early Stone Age, attempts to study battered artefacts are still rare. In order to establish protocols of analysis of battered tools, this paper pursues an interdisciplinary approach combining techno-typological, refit, use-wear and GIS studies of experimental anvils from Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania). The main aim is to classify types of damage on battered artefacts according to the percussive task performed, and hence identify patterns that can be used to interpret the Oldowan and Acheulean evidence. Our results indicate that abrasion marks on anvil surfaces are typical of nut cracking, while bone breaking leaves characteristic scars and abrasion marks on the edges of anvils. Pounding of soft materials such as meat and plants also causes battering of anvils, producing morphological and spatial patterns that can be discerned from the heavy breakage of anvils during bipolar flaking. By integrating macroscopic, microscopic and spatial analyses of experimental stone tools, this paper contributes to create a referential framework in which Early Stone Age battered artefacts can be interpreted” (read more).
Text and image source: Journal of Archaeological Science, 2013, 40(1): 313-332