Sample records for ancient skeletal evidence

  1. Skeletal dysplasia in ancient Egypt. (United States)

    Kozma, Chahira


    The ancient Egyptian civilization lasted for over 3000 years and ended in 30 BCE. Many aspects of ancient Egyptian culture, including the existence of skeletal dysplasias, and in particular achondroplasia, are well known through the monuments and records that survived until modern times. The hot and dry climate in Egypt allowed for the preservation of bodies and skeletal anomalies. The oldest dwarf skeleton, the Badarian skeleton (4500 BCE), possibly represents an epiphyseal disorder. Among the remains of dwarfs with achondroplasia from ancient Egypt (2686-2190 BCE), exists a skeleton of a pregnant female, believed to have died during delivery with a baby's remains in situ. British museums have partial skeletons of dwarfs with achondroplasia, humeri probably affected with mucopolysaccharidoses, and a skeleton of a child with osteogenesis imperfecta. Skeletal dysplasia is also found among royal remains. The mummy of the pharaoh Siptah (1342-1197 BCE) shows a deformity of the left leg and foot. A mummified fetus, believed to be the daughter of king Tutankhamun, has scoliosis, spina bifida, and Sprengel deformity. In 2006 I reviewed the previously existing knowledge of dwarfism in ancient Egypt. The purpose of this second historical review is to add to that knowledge with an expanded contribution. The artistic documentation of people with skeletal dysplasia from ancient Egypt is plentiful including hundreds of amulets, statues, and drawing on tomb and temple walls. Examination of artistic reliefs provides a glance of the role of people with skeletal dysplasia and the societal attitudes toward them. Both artistic evidence and moral teachings in ancient Egypt reveal wide integration of individuals with disabilities into the society.

  2. Ancient skeletal evidence for leprosy in India (2000 B.C..

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    Gwen Robbins

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae that affects almost 250,000 people worldwide. The timing of first infection, geographic origin, and pattern of transmission of the disease are still under investigation. Comparative genomics research has suggested M. leprae evolved either in East Africa or South Asia during the Late Pleistocene before spreading to Europe and the rest of the World. The earliest widely accepted evidence for leprosy is in Asian texts dated to 600 B.C. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We report an analysis of pathological conditions in skeletal remains from the second millennium B.C. in India. A middle aged adult male skeleton demonstrates pathological changes in the rhinomaxillary region, degenerative joint disease, infectious involvement of the tibia (periostitis, and injury to the peripheral skeleton. The presence and patterning of lesions was subject to a process of differential diagnosis for leprosy including treponemal disease, leishmaniasis, tuberculosis, osteomyelitis, and non-specific infection. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Results indicate that lepromatous leprosy was present in India by 2000 B.C. This evidence represents the oldest documented skeletal evidence for the disease. Our results indicate that Vedic burial traditions in cases of leprosy were present in northwest India prior to the first millennium B.C. Our results also support translations of early Vedic scriptures as the first textual reference to leprosy. The presence of leprosy in skeletal material dated to the post-urban phase of the Indus Age suggests that if M. leprae evolved in Africa, the disease migrated to India before the Late Holocene, possibly during the third millennium B.C. at a time when there was substantial interaction among the Indus Civilization, Mesopotamia, and Egypt. This evidence should be impetus to look for additional skeletal and molecular evidence of leprosy in India and Africa to confirm

  3. Molecular analysis of skeletal tuberculosis in an ancient Egyptian population. (United States)

    Zink, A; Haas, C J; Reischl, U; Szeimies, U; Nerlich, A G


    A paleomicrobiological study was performed on 37 skeletal tissue specimens from cadavers in the necropolis of Thebes-West, Upper Egypt, (2120-500 BC) and four from the necropolis of Abydos (3000 BC). The subjects had typical macromorphological evidence of osseous tuberculosis (n = 3), morphological alterations that were not specific, but probably resulted from tuberculosis (n = 17), or were without morphological osseous changes (n = 21). DNA was extracted from these bone samples and amplified by PCR with a primer pair that recognised the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex insertion sequence IS6110. To confirm specificity of the analysis, the amplification products of several samples were subjected to restriction enzyme digestion, or direct sequencing, or both. In 30 of the 41 cases analysed, ancient DNA was demonstrated by amplification by the presence of the human beta-actin or the amelogenin gene and nine of these cases were positive for M. tuberculosis DNA. The results were confirmed by restriction endonuclease digestion and sequencing. A positive result for M. tuberculosis DNA was seen in two of the three cases with typical morphological signs of tuberculosis and amplifiable DNA, in five of 13 non-specific, but probable cases (including two cases from c. 3000 BC), but also in two of 14 cases without pathological bone changes. These observations confirm that tuberculosis may be diagnosed unequivocally in skeletal material from ancient Egypt, even dating back to c. 3000 BC. As a positive molecular reaction was observed in most of the typical cases of skeletal tuberculosis, in about one-third of non-specific, but probable tuberculous osseous changes and, surprisingly, in about one-seventh of unremarkable samples, this suggests that infection with M. tuberculosis was relatively frequent in ancient Egypt.

  4. Cloning of human RTEF-1, a transcriptional enhancer factor-1-related gene preferentially expressed in skeletal muscle: evidence for an ancient multigene family. (United States)

    Stewart, A F; Richard, C W; Suzow, J; Stephan, D; Weremowicz, S; Morton, C C; Adra, C N


    Transcriptional Enhancer Factor-1 (TEF-1) is a transcription factor required for cardiac muscle gene activation. Since ablation of TEF-1 does not abolish cardiac gene expression, we sought to identify a human gene related to TEF-1 (RTEF-1) that might also participate in cardiac gene regulation. A human heart cDNA library was screened to obtain a full-length RTEF-1 cDNA. Fluorescence in situ hybridization assigned the RTEF-1 gene to chromosome 12p13.2-p13.3. In contrast, PCR screening of human/rodent cell hybrid panels identified TEF-1 on chromosome 11p15.2, between D11S1315 and D11S1334, extending a region of known synteny between human chromosomes 11 and 12 and arguing for an ancient divergence between these two closely related genes. Northern blot analysis revealed a striking similarity in the tissue distribution of RTEF-1 and TEF-1 mRNAs; skeletal muscle showed the highest abundance of both mRNAs, with lower levels detected in pancreas, placenta, and heart. Phylogenetic analysis of all known TEF-1-related proteins identified human RTEF-1 as one of four vertebrate members of this multigene family and further suggests that these genes diverged in the earliest metazoan ancestors.

  5. Skeletal Analysis: Investigating Senescence in Ancient Nubia


    Reavis, Katelyn


    The understanding of older adult life experiences is deficient when compared to younger adults and children in the archaeological record. Research has been devoted toward aging techniques and studies of osteoarthritis, but there are few discussions describing senescence, the cumulative process of aging, in the past. Most research includes the oldest cohort (45 years and above) within the broad category of adults, but it is useful to look at this demographic separately. Skeletal remains were a...

  6. Evidence for Ancient Mesoamerican Earthquakes (United States)

    Kovach, R. L.; Garcia, B.


    Evidence for past earthquake damage at Mesoamerican ruins is often overlooked because of the invasive effects of tropical vegetation and is usually not considered as a casual factor when restoration and reconstruction of many archaeological sites are undertaken. Yet the proximity of many ruins to zones of seismic activity would argue otherwise. Clues as to the types of damage which should be soughtwere offered in September 1999 when the M = 7.5 Oaxaca earthquake struck the ruins of Monte Alban, Mexico, where archaeological renovations were underway. More than 20 structures were damaged, 5 of them seriously. Damage features noted were walls out of plumb, fractures in walls, floors, basal platforms and tableros, toppling of columns, and deformation, settling and tumbling of walls. A Modified Mercalli Intensity of VII (ground accelerations 18-34 %b) occurred at the site. Within the diffuse landward extension of the Caribbean plate boundary zone M = 7+ earthquakes occur with repeat times of hundreds of years arguing that many Maya sites were subjected to earthquakes. Damage to re-erected and reinforced stelae, walls, and buildings were witnessed at Quirigua, Guatemala, during an expedition underway when then 1976 M = 7.5 Guatemala earthquake on the Motagua fault struck. Excavations also revealed evidence (domestic pttery vessels and skeleton of a child crushed under fallen walls) of an ancient earthquake occurring about the teim of the demise and abandonment of Quirigua in the late 9th century. Striking evidence for sudden earthquake building collapse at the end of the Mayan Classic Period ~A.D. 889 was found at Benque Viejo (Xunantunich), Belize, located 210 north of Quirigua. It is argued that a M = 7.5 to 7.9 earthquake at the end of the Maya Classic period centered in the vicinity of the Chixoy-Polochic and Motagua fault zones cound have produced the contemporaneous earthquake damage to the above sites. As a consequences this earthquake may have accelerated the

  7. Sex and Gender Related Health Status Differences in Ancient and Contemporary Skeletal Populations

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    Velissaria Vanna


    Full Text Available Human skeletal and dental remains are an invaluable source of information for interpreting the way of life of past people and also provide the only direct evidence of non-living populations’ health status. This research paper discusses the sex-related health differences observed in two skeletal populations from Greece, an ancient and a modern, by employing multiple health indicators, and aims at determining the biological and possible social factors that contribute to this variation. Particular emphasis is given to the importance of hypotheses-driven, population-based studies of human remains as the most effective means of reconstructing life in the past. The results showed that fracture ('ancient': females 0.08%, males 0.12%; 'modern': females 0.38%, males 0.19% and osteoarthritis ('ancient': females 0.7%, males: 3.0%; 'modern': females 4.4%, males 3.2% frequencies were higher for male individuals than females in the ancient population, which can be explained by greater engagement in strenuous and risky activity. Dental caries ('ancient': females 1.2%, males 1.8%; 'modern': females 23.6%, males 17.4% and ante-mortem tooth loss ('ancient': females 12.3%, males 7.7%; 'modern': females 69.5%, males 49.5% rates were higher for females than males (with the exception of the almost equal caries rates for the ancient population, most likely due to hormonal fluctuations, saliva content and flow, because female teeth erupt earlier and also perhaps as a result of differences in dietary habits. Periodontitis levels were more elevated in males ('ancient': females 9.6%, males 30.1%; 'modern': females 29.1%, males 38.3%, possibly due to poor oral hygiene practices and excessive masticatory loading. Dental enamel defects rates showed that in the ancient population, males had more chances of surviving childhood stress than females (females 19.5%, males 20.0%, whereas, in the modern population, the exact opposite was the case (females 6.1%, males 22.7%.

  8. Ancient bacteria show evidence of DNA repair

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    Johnson, Sarah Stewart; Hebsgaard, Martin B; Christensen, Torben R


    Recent claims of cultivable ancient bacteria within sealed environments highlight our limited understanding of the mechanisms behind long-term cell survival. It remains unclear how dormancy, a favored explanation for extended cellular persistence, can cope with spontaneous genomic decay over......-term survival of bacteria sealed in frozen conditions for up to one million years. Our results show evidence of bacterial survival in samples up to half a million years in age, making this the oldest independently authenticated DNA to date obtained from viable cells. Additionally, we find strong evidence...... that this long-term survival is closely tied to cellular metabolic activity and DNA repair that over time proves to be superior to dormancy as a mechanism in sustaining bacteria viability....

  9. Evidence of Ancient Blisters in Rocks (United States)


    This image from the panoramic camera on the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows scoriaceous rocks (rocks containing holes or cavities) on the ground, as well as a transition from rocky terrain (foreground) to smoother terrain (background). Spirit is heading toward the smoother terrain on its way to the 'Columbia Hills.' The holes in some of the rocks may have resulted from 'blisters' formed by water vapor as it escaped lava. This indicates that the rocks were chilled atop an ancient lava flow. Porous rocks such as these, now appearing in abundance, have not been seen since early in the mission. Scientists believe they may have been covered by crater ejecta. This image was taken on sol 110 (April 24, 2004) at a region dubbed 'site 35.'

  10. First evidence of enterobiasis in ancient Egypt. (United States)

    Horne, P D


    The oldest and most common parasite for which we have direct evidence, in the New World, is Enterobius vernicularis. Numerous archaeological sites, especially in the arid American southwest, have yielded fecal samples positive for pinworm ova, some of these dating back 10,000 yr. Reports of pinworm from the Old World are scarce. This article reports the first evidence of pinworm infection from Roman-occupied (30 BC-AD 395) Egypt.

  11. Ancient scientific basis of the "great serpent" from historical evidence (United States)

    Stothers, Richard B.


    Zoological data and a growing mythology contributed to ancient Western knowledge about large serpents. Yet little modern attention has been paid to the sources, transmission, and receipt in the early Middle Ages of the ancients' information concerning "dragons" and "sea serpents." Real animals--primarily pythons and whales--lie behind the ancient stories. Other animals, conflations of different animals, simple misunderstandings, and willful exaggerations are found to account for the fanciful embellishments, but primitive myths played no significant role in this process during classical times. The expedition of Alexander the Great into India (327-325 B.C.) and the Bagradas River incident in North Africa (256 B.C.) had enormous repercussions on the development of serpent lore. Credible evidence is found for the presence of ancient populations of pythons living along the North African coast west of Egypt and along the coast of the Arabian Sea between the Indus River and the Strait of Hormuz--places where they no longer exist today. The maximum sizes of ancient pythons may have been greater than those of today's specimens.

  12. Bona fide colour: DNA prediction of human eye and hair colour from ancient and contemporary skeletal remains

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    J. Draus-Barini (Jolanta); S. Walsh (Susan); E. Pośpiech (Ewelina); T. Kupiec (Tomasz); H. Głab (Henryk); W. Branicki (Wojciech); M.H. Kayser (Manfred)


    textabstractBackground: DNA analysis of ancient skeletal remains is invaluable in evolutionary biology for exploring the history of species, including humans. Contemporary human bones and teeth, however, are relevant in forensic DNA analyses that deal with the identification of perpetrators, missing

  13. Skeletal stigmata as keys to access to the composite and ancient Gorlin-Goltz syndrome history: The Egypt, Pompeii and Herculaneum lessons. (United States)

    Ponti, Giovanni; Pellacani, Giovanni; Tomasi, Aldo; Sammaria, Giuliano; Manfredini, Marco


    There are several genetic diseases with a wide spectrum of congenital bone stigmata in association to cutaneous and visceral benign and malignant neoplasms. Gorlin-Goltz syndrome, also named nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome, is an autosomal dominant systemic disease with almost complete penetrance and high intra-familial phenotypic variability, caused by germline mutations of the gene PTCH1. The syndrome is characterized by unusual skeletal changes and high predisposition to the development of multiple basal cell carcinomas, odontogenic keratocysts tumors and other visceral tumors. The Gorlin syndrome, clinically defined as distinct syndrome in 1963, existed during Dynastic Egyptian times, as revealed by a costellation of skeletal findings compatible with the syndrome in mummies dating back to 3000years ago and, most likely, in the ancient population of Pompeii. These paleogenetic and historical evidences, together with the clinical and biomolecular modern evidences, confirm the quite benign behavior of the syndrome and the critical value of the multiple and synchronous skeletal anomalies in the recognition of these rare and complex genetic disease.

  14. Molecular evidence for ancient asexuality in timema stick insects. (United States)

    Schwander, Tanja; Henry, Lee; Crespi, Bernard J


    Asexuality is rare in animals in spite of its apparent advantage relative to sexual reproduction, indicating that it must be associated with profound costs [1-9]. One expectation is that reproductive advantages gained by new asexual lineages will be quickly eroded over time [3, 5-7]. Ancient asexual taxa that have evolved and adapted without sex would be "scandalous" exceptions to this rule, but it is often difficult to exclude the possibility that putative asexuals deploy some form of "cryptic" sex, or have abandoned sex more recently than estimated from divergence times to sexual relatives [10]. Here we provide evidence, from high intraspecific divergence of mitochondrial sequence and nuclear allele divergence patterns, that several independently derived Timema stick-insect lineages have persisted without recombination for more than a million generations. Nuclear alleles in the asexual lineages displayed significantly higher intraindividual divergences than in related sexual species. In addition, within two asexuals, nuclear allele phylogenies suggested the presence of two clades, with sequences from the same individual appearing in both clades. These data strongly support ancient asexuality in Timema and validate the genus as an exceptional opportunity to attack the question of how asexual reproduction can be maintained over long periods of evolutionary time.

  15. Dentistry in ancient mesopotamia. (United States)

    Neiburger, E J


    Sumer, an empire in ancient Mesopotamia (southern Iraq), is well known as the cradle of our modern civilization and the home of biblical Abraham. An analysis of skeletal remains from cemeteries at the ancient cities of Ur and Kish (circa 2000 B.C.), show a genetically homogeneous, diseased, and short-lived population. These ancient Mesopotamians suffered severe dental attrition (95 percent), periodontal disease (42 percent), and caries (2 percent). Many oral congenital and neoplastic lesions were noted. During this period, the "local dentists" knew only a few modern dental techniques. Skeletal (dental) evidence indicates that the population suffered from chronic malnutrition. Malnutrition was probably caused by famine, which is substantiated in historic cuneiform and biblical writings, geologic strata samples, and analysis of skeletal and forensic dental pathology. These people had modern dentition but relatively poor dental health. The population's lack of malocclusions, caries, and TMJ problems appear to be due to flat plane occlusion.

  16. Molecular Evidence for Ancient Asexuality in Timema Stick Insects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schwander, Tanja; Henry, Lee; Crespi, Bernard J.


    Asexuality is rare in animals in spite of its apparent advantage relative to sexual reproduction, indicating that it must be associated with profound costs [1-9]. One expectation is that reproductive advantages gained by new asexual lineages will be quickly eroded over time [3, 5-7]. Ancient asexual

  17. Ancient Chinese medicine and mechanistic evidence of acupuncture physiology. (United States)

    Yang, Edward S; Li, Pei-Wen; Nilius, Bernd; Li, Geng


    Acupuncture has been widely used in China for three millennia as an art of healing. Yet, its physiology is not yet understood. The current interest in acupuncture started in 1971. Soon afterward, extensive research led to the concept of neural signaling with possible involvement of opioid peptides, glutamate, adenosine and identifying responsive parts in the central nervous system. In the last decade scientists began investigating the subject with anatomical and molecular imaging. It was found that mechanical movements of the needle, ignored in the past, appear to be central to the method and intracellular calcium ions may play a pivotal role. In this review, we trace the technique of clinical treatment from the first written record about 2,200 years ago to the modern time. The ancient texts have been used to introduce the concepts of yin, yang, qi, de qi, and meridians, the traditional foundation of acupuncture. We explore the sequence of the physiological process, from the turning of the needle, the mechanical wave activation of calcium ion channel to beta-endorphin secretion. By using modern terminology to re-interpret the ancient texts, we have found that the 2nd century B.C.: physiologists were meticulous investigators and their explanation fits well with the mechanistic model derived from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and confocal microscopy. In conclusion, the ancient model appears to have withstood the test of time surprisingly well confirming the popular axiom that the old wine is better than the new.

  18. Skeletal Structure of Printed Words: Evidence From the Stroop Task (United States)

    Berent, Iris; Marom, Michal


    Do readers encode the sequencing of consonant (C) and vowel (V) phonemes (skeletal structure) in printed words? The authors used the Stroop task to examine readers' sensitivity to skeletal structure. In Experiment 1, CVC nonwords (e.g., pof) facilitated the naming of colors with congruent frames (e.g., red, a CVC word) but not with incongruent…

  19. Evidence and Implications of Frequent Fires in Ancient Shrub Tundra

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    Higuera, P E; Brubaker, L B; Anderson, P M; Brown, T A; Kennedy, A T; Hu, F S


    Understanding feedbacks between terrestrial and atmospheric systems is vital for predicting the consequences of global change, particularly in the rapidly changing Arctic. Fire is a key process in this context, but the consequences of altered fire regimes in tundra ecosystems are rarely considered, largely because tundra fires occur infrequently on the modern landscape. We present paleoecological data that indicate frequent tundra fires in northcentral Alaska between 14,000 and 10,000 years ago. Charcoal and pollen from lake sediments reveal that ancient birchdominated shrub tundra burned as often as modern boreal forests in the region, every 144 years on average (+/- 90 s.d.; n = 44). Although paleoclimate interpretations and data from modern tundra fires suggest that increased burning was aided by low effective moisture, vegetation cover clearly played a critical role in facilitating the paleo-fires by creating an abundance of fine fuels. These records suggest that greater fire activity will likely accompany temperature-related increases in shrub-dominated tundra predicted for the 21st century and beyond. Increased tundra burning will have broad impacts on physical and biological systems as well as land-atmosphere interactions in the Arctic, including the potential to release stored organic carbon to the atmosphere.

  20. Provisions for the pyramid builders: new evidence from the ancient site of Giza

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    Mary Anne Murray


    Full Text Available The great pyramids of Giza are famous emblems of ancient Egyptian civilization, but until recently little was known about where and how the pyramid builders lived. The site of their large settlement has now been found, and excavation is revealing its complex layout and providing evidence of the plants and animals on which the builders depended for their food supply.

  1. Direct evidence of milk consumption from ancient human dental calculus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Warinner, C.; Hendy, J.; Speller, C.


    directly to individuals and their dairy livestock. Here we report the first direct evidence of milk consumption, the whey protein b-lactoglobulin (BLG), preserved in human dental calculus from the Bronze Age (ca. 3000 BCE) to the present day. Using protein tandem mass spectrometry, we demonstrate that BLG......Milk is a major food of global economic importance, and its consumption is regarded as a classic example of gene-culture evolution. Humans have exploited animal milk as a food resource for at least 8500 years, but the origins, spread, and scale of dairying remain poorly understood. Indirect lines...... of evidence, such as lipid isotopic ratios of pottery residues, faunal mortality profiles, and lactase persistence allele frequencies, provide a partial picture of this process; however, in order to understand how, where, and when humans consumed milk products, it is necessary to link evidence of consumption...

  2. Direct evidence of milk consumption from ancient human dental calculus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Warinner, C.; Hendy, J.; Speller, C.


    directly to individuals and their dairy livestock. Here we report the first direct evidence of milk consumption, the whey protein β-lactoglobulin (BLG), preserved in human dental calculus from the Bronze Age (ca. 3000 BCE) to the present day. Using protein tandem mass spectrometry, we demonstrate that BLG......Milk is a major food of global economic importance, and its consumption is regarded as a classic example of gene-culture evolution. Humans have exploited animal milk as a food resource for at least 8500 years, but the origins, spread, and scale of dairying remain poorly understood. Indirect lines...... of evidence, such as lipid isotopic ratios of pottery residues, faunal mortality profiles, and lactase persistence allele frequencies, provide a partial picture of this process; however, in order to understand how, where, and when humans consumed milk products, it is necessary to link evidence of consumption...

  3. Skeletal structure of printed words: evidence from the stroop task. (United States)

    Berent, Iris; Marom, Michal


    Do readers encode the sequencing of consonant (C) and vowel (V) phonemes (skeletal structure) in printed words? The authors used the Stroop task to examine readers' sensitivity to skeletal structure. In Experiment 1, CVC nonwords (e.g., pof) facilitated the naming of colors with congruent frames (e.g., red, a CVC word) but not with incongruent ones (e.g., green). In Experiment 2, the color black (a CCVC frame) was named faster with a congruent CCVC frame (e.g., grof) compared to either CCVCC (e.g., groft) or CVC (e.g., gof) incongruent controls. Finally, in Experiment 3, the color pink (a CVCC frame) was named faster with a CVCC frame (e.g., goft) compared to either CCVCC or CVC incongruent controls. In most cases, congruent frames shared no segments with the color name. These findings demonstrate that readers automatically assemble the skeletal structure of printed words.

  4. Evidences for the view of the importance of Hepu seaport in ancient China

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    Guan Yongjing [College of Physics Science and Technology, Guangxi University, Nanning 530004 (China); Xiong Zhaoming [Guangxi Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, Nanning 530023 (China); Ruan Xiangdong, E-mail: [College of Physics Science and Technology, Guangxi University, Nanning 530004 (China); Wang Huijuan [College of Physics Science and Technology, Guangxi University, Nanning 530004 (China); Terrasi, Filippo [Department of Environmental Sciences, Second University of Naples, Via Vivaldi 43, 81100 Caserta (Italy)


    Two ancient tombs considered belonging to the Han Dynasty (206 BC to AD 220), were excavated in Hepu, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China. According to the style of cultural relics, some excavated artifacts did not come from the region. If the age of the tombs can be confirmed as belonging to the Han Dynasty, the exotic artifacts present significant evidence to suggest that that Hepu is one of the oldest seaports on China's ancient maritime trading route. Two wood samples were sent for {sup 14}C dating at CIRCE, Italy. The results of these measurements are presented and the related chronology is discussed. Considering the previous results from a pottery workshop and an excavated sea wharf, the interpretation of Hepu as one of the oldest seaports in ancient China and the important role it played is presented.

  5. Direct evidence of milk consumption from ancient human dental calculus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Warinner, C.; Hendy, J.; Speller, C.;


    is a species-specific biomarker of dairy consumption, and we identify individuals consuming cattle, sheep, and goat milk products in the archaeological record. We then apply this method to human dental calculus from Greenland's medieval Norse colonies, and report a decline of this biomarker leading up......Milk is a major food of global economic importance, and its consumption is regarded as a classic example of gene-culture evolution. Humans have exploited animal milk as a food resource for at least 8500 years, but the origins, spread, and scale of dairying remain poorly understood. Indirect lines...... of evidence, such as lipid isotopic ratios of pottery residues, faunal mortality profiles, and lactase persistence allele frequencies, provide a partial picture of this process; however, in order to understand how, where, and when humans consumed milk products, it is necessary to link evidence of consumption...

  6. Quantifying inter-laboratory variability in stable isotope analysis of ancient skeletal remains.

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    William J Pestle

    Full Text Available Over the past forty years, stable isotope analysis of bone (and tooth collagen and hydroxyapatite has become a mainstay of archaeological and paleoanthropological reconstructions of paleodiet and paleoenvironment. Despite this method's frequent use across anthropological subdisciplines (and beyond, the present work represents the first attempt at gauging the effects of inter-laboratory variability engendered by differences in a sample preparation, and b analysis (instrumentation, working standards, and data calibration. Replicate analyses of a 14C-dated ancient human bone by twenty-one archaeological and paleoecological stable isotope laboratories revealed significant inter-laboratory isotopic variation for both collagen and carbonate. For bone collagen, we found a sizeable range of 1.8‰ for δ13Ccol and 1.9‰ for δ15Ncol among laboratories, but an interpretatively insignificant average pairwise difference of 0.2‰ and 0.4‰ for δ13Ccol and δ15Ncol respectively. For bone hydroxyapatite the observed range increased to a troublingly large 3.5‰ for δ13Cap and 6.7‰ for δ18Oap, with average pairwise differences of 0.6‰ for δ13Cap and a disquieting 2.0‰ for δ18Oap. In order to assess the effects of preparation versus analysis on isotopic variability among laboratories, a subset of the samples prepared by the participating laboratories were analyzed a second time on the same instrument. Based on this duplicate analysis, it was determined that roughly half of the isotopic variability among laboratories could be attributed to differences in sample preparation, with the other half resulting from differences in analysis (instrumentation, working standards, and data calibration. These findings have serious implications for choices made in the preparation and extraction of target biomolecules, the comparison of results obtained from different laboratories, and the interpretation of small differences in bone collagen and hydroxyapatite

  7. Ancient feeding ecology inferred from stable isotopic evidence from fossil horses in South America over the past 3 Ma

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    Alberdi María T


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Stable isotope ratios (13C/12C and 18O/16O in fossil teeth and bone provide key archives for understanding the ecology of extinct horses during the Plio-Pleistocene in South America; however, what happened in areas of sympatry between Equus (Amerhippus and Hippidion is less understood. Results Here, we use stable carbon and oxygen isotopes preserved in 67 fossil tooth and bone samples for seven species of horses from 25 different localities to document the magnitude of the dietary shifts of horses and ancient floral change during the Plio-Pleistocene. Dietary reconstructions inferred from stable isotopes of both genera of horses present in South America document dietary separation and environmental changes in ancient ecosystems, including C3/C4 transitions. Stable isotope data demonstrate changes in C4 grass consumption, inter-species dietary partitioning and variation in isotopic niche breadth of mixed feeders with latitudinal gradient. Conclusions The data for Hippidion indicate a preference varying from C3 plants to mixed C3-C4 plants in their diet. Equus (Amerhippus shows three different patterns of dietary partitioning Equus (A. neogeus from the province of Buenos Aires indicate a preference for C3 plants in the diet. Equus (A. andium from Ecuador and Equus (A. insulatus from Bolivia show a preference for to a diet of mixed C3-C4 plants, while Equus (A. santaeelenae from La Carolina (sea level of Ecuador and Brazil are mostly C4 feeders. These results confirm that ancient feeding ecology cannot always be inferred from dental morphology. While the carbon isotope composition of horses skeletal material decreased as latitude increased, we found evidence of boundary between a mixed C3/C4 diet signal and a pure C4 signal around 32° S and a change from a mixed diet signal to an exclusively C3 signal around 35°S. We found that the horses living at high altitudes and at low to middle latitude still have a C4 component in their

  8. Evidence of coat color variation sheds new light on ancient canids.

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    Morgane Ollivier

    Full Text Available We have used a paleogenetics approach to investigate the genetic landscape of coat color variation in ancient Eurasian dog and wolf populations. We amplified DNA fragments of two genes controlling coat color, Mc1r (Melanocortin 1 Receptor and CBD103 (canine-β-defensin, in respectively 15 and 19 ancient canids (dogs and wolf morphotypes from 14 different archeological sites, throughout Asia and Europe spanning from ca. 12 000 B.P. (end of Upper Palaeolithic to ca. 4000 B.P. (Bronze Age. We provide evidence of a new variant (R301C of the Melanocortin 1 receptor (Mc1r and highlight the presence of the beta-defensin melanistic mutation (CDB103-K locus on ancient DNA from dog-and wolf-morphotype specimens. We show that the dominant K(B allele (CBD103, which causes melanism, and R301C (Mc1r, the variant that may cause light hair color, are present as early as the beginning of the Holocene, over 10,000 years ago. These results underline the genetic diversity of prehistoric dogs. This diversity may have partly stemmed not only from the wolf gene pool captured by domestication but also from mutations very likely linked to the relaxation of natural selection pressure occurring in-line with this process.

  9. Evidence of Coat Color Variation Sheds New Light on Ancient Canids (United States)

    Ollivier, Morgane; Tresset, Anne; Hitte, Christophe; Petit, Coraline; Hughes, Sandrine; Gillet, Benjamin; Duffraisse, Marilyne; Pionnier-Capitan, Maud; Lagoutte, Laetitia; Arbogast, Rose-Marie; Balasescu, Adrian; Boroneant, Adina; Mashkour, Marjan; Vigne, Jean-Denis; Hänni, Catherine


    We have used a paleogenetics approach to investigate the genetic landscape of coat color variation in ancient Eurasian dog and wolf populations. We amplified DNA fragments of two genes controlling coat color, Mc1r (Melanocortin 1 Receptor) and CBD103 (canine-β-defensin), in respectively 15 and 19 ancient canids (dogs and wolf morphotypes) from 14 different archeological sites, throughout Asia and Europe spanning from ca. 12 000 B.P. (end of Upper Palaeolithic) to ca. 4000 B.P. (Bronze Age). We provide evidence of a new variant (R301C) of the Melanocortin 1 receptor (Mc1r) and highlight the presence of the beta-defensin melanistic mutation (CDB103-K locus) on ancient DNA from dog-and wolf-morphotype specimens. We show that the dominant KB allele (CBD103), which causes melanism, and R301C (Mc1r), the variant that may cause light hair color, are present as early as the beginning of the Holocene, over 10 000 years ago. These results underline the genetic diversity of prehistoric dogs. This diversity may have partly stemmed not only from the wolf gene pool captured by domestication but also from mutations very likely linked to the relaxation of natural selection pressure occurring in-line with this process. PMID:24098367

  10. Evidence for facilitated lactate uptake in lizard skeletal muscle. (United States)

    Donovan, E R; Gleeson, T T


    To understand more fully lactate metabolism in reptilian muscle, lactate uptake in lizard skeletal muscle was measured and its similarities to the monocarboxylate transport system found in mammals were examined. At 2 min, uptake rates of 15 mmol l(-1) lactate into red iliofibularis (rIF) were 2.4- and 2.2-fold greater than white iliofibularis (wIF) and mouse soleus, respectively. alpha-Cyano-4-hydroxycinnamate (15 mmol l(-1)) caused little inhibition of uptake in wIF but caused a 42-54 % reduction in the uptake rate of lactate into rIF, suggesting that much of the lactate uptake by rIF is via protein-mediated transport. N-ethymaleimide (ETH) (10 mmol l(-1)) also caused a reduction in the rate of uptake, but measurements of adenylate and phosphocreatine concentrations show that ETH had serious effects on rIF and wIF and may not be appropriate for transport inhibition studies in reptiles. The higher net uptake rate by rIF than by wIF agrees with the fact that rIF shows much higher rates of lactate utilization and incorporation into glycogen than wIF. This study also suggests that lactate uptake by reptilian muscle is similar to that by mammalian muscle and that, evolutionarily, this transport system may be relatively conserved even in animals with very different patterns of lactate metabolism.

  11. Antioxidants and skeletal muscle performance: ’Common knowledge’ vs. experimental evidence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrés eHernández


    Full Text Available Antioxidants are assumed to provide numerous benefits, including better health, a reduced rate of aging, and improved exercise performance. Specifically, antioxidants are commonly ‘prescribed’ by the media, supplement industry, and ‘fitness experts’ for individuals prior to training and performance, with assumed benefits of improved fatigue resistance and recovery. This has provoked expansion of the supplement industry which responded by creation of a plethora of products aimed at facilitating the needs of the active individual. However, what does the experimental evidence say about the efficacy of antioxidants on skeletal muscle function? Are antioxidants actually as beneficial as the general populous believes? Or, could they in fact lead to deleterious effects on skeletal muscle function and performance? This mini review addresses these questions with an unbiased look at what we know about antioxidant effects on skeletal muscle, and what we still need to know before conclusions can be made.

  12. Osteomyelitis in a Paleozoic reptile: ancient evidence for bacterial infection and its evolutionary significance (United States)

    Reisz, Robert R.; Scott, Diane M.; Pynn, Bruce R.; Modesto, Sean P.


    We report on dental and mandibular pathology in Labidosaurus hamatus, a 275 million-year-old terrestrial reptile from North America and associate it with bacterial infection in an organism that is characterized by reduced tooth replacement. Analysis of the surface and internal mandibular structure using mechanical and CT-scanning techniques permits the reconstruction of events that led to the pathology and the possible death of the individual. The infection probably occurred as a result of prolonged exposure of the dental pulp cavity to oral bacteria, and this exposure was caused by injury to the tooth in an animal that is characterized by reduced tooth replacement cycles. In these early reptiles, the reduction in tooth replacement is an evolutionary innovation associated with strong implantation and increased oral processing. The dental abscess observed in L. hamatus, the oldest known infection in a terrestrial vertebrate, provides clear evidence of the ancient association between terrestrial vertebrates and their oral bacteria.

  13. The genetic impact of Aztec imperialism: ancient mitochondrial DNA evidence from Xaltocan, Mexico. (United States)

    Mata-Míguez, Jaime; Overholtzer, Lisa; Rodríguez-Alegría, Enrique; Kemp, Brian M; Bolnick, Deborah A


    In AD 1428, the city-states of Tenochtitlan, Texcoco, and Tlacopan formed the Triple Alliance, laying the foundations of the Aztec empire. Although it is well documented that the Aztecs annexed numerous polities in the Basin of Mexico over the following years, the demographic consequences of this expansion remain unclear. At the city-state capital of Xaltocan, 16th century documents suggest that the site's conquest and subsequent incorporation into the Aztec empire led to a replacement of the original Otomí population, whereas archaeological evidence suggests that some of the original population may have remained at the town under Aztec rule. To help address questions about Xaltocan's demographic history during this period, we analyzed ancient DNA from 25 individuals recovered from three houses rebuilt over time and occupied between AD 1240 and 1521. These individuals were divided into two temporal groups that predate and postdate the site's conquest. We determined the mitochondrial DNA haplogroup of each individual and identified haplotypes based on 372 base pair sequences of first hypervariable region. Our results indicate that the residents of these houses before and after the Aztec conquest have distinct haplotypes that are not closely related, and the mitochondrial compositions of the temporal groups are statistically different. Altogether, these results suggest that the matrilines present in the households were replaced following the Aztec conquest. This study therefore indicates that the Aztec expansion may have been associated with significant demographic and genetic changes within Xaltocan.

  14. Evidence for altered Ca2+ handling in Growth Associated Protein 43-knockout skeletal muscle

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    Giusy A. Caprara


    Full Text Available Neuronal growth-associated protein 43 (GAP43 has crucial roles in the nervous system, and during development, regeneration after injury, and learning and memory. GAP43 is expressed in mouse skeletal muscle fibers and satellite cells, with suggested its involvement in intracellular Ca2+ handling. However, the physiological role of GAP43 in muscle remains unknown. Using a GAP43-knockout (GAP43-/- mouse, we have defined the role of GAP43 in skeletal muscle. GAP43-/- mice showed low survival beyond weaning, reduced adult body weight, decreased muscle strength, and changed myofiber ultrastructure, with no significant differences in the expression of markers of satellite cell and myotube progression through the myogenic program. Thus GAP43 expression is involved in timing of muscle maturation in-vivo. Intracellular Ca2+ measurements in-vitro in myotubes revealed GAP43 involvement in Ca2+ handling. In the absence of GAP43 expression, the spontaneous Ca2+ variations had greater amplitudes and higher frequency. In GAP43-/- myotubes, also the intracellular Ca2+ variations induced by the activation of dihydropyridine and ryanodine Ca2+ channels, resulted modified. These evidences suggested dysregulation of Ca2+ homeostasis. The emerging hypothesis indicates that GAP43 interacts with calmodulin to indirectly modulate the activities of dihydropyridine and ryanodine Ca2+ channels. This thus influences intracellular Ca2+ dynamics and its related intracellular patterns, from functional excitation-contraction coupling, to cell metabolism, and gene expression.

  15. Exercise, Abdominal Obesity, Skeletal Muscle, and Metabolic Risk: Evidence for a Dose Response (United States)

    Slentz, Cris A.; Houmard, Joseph A.; Kraus, William E.


    The obese are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. However, some who are obese have no metabolic abnormalities. So, it is not adipose tissue per se, but perhaps where it is located that is important for determining metabolic consequences. Regular exercise is known to reduce risk for metabolic disease through numerous mechanisms. The purpose of this report is to highlight some of the efficacy-based data on the effects of exercise (and also a sedentary lifestyle) on abdominal obesity, visceral fat, and metabolic risk. We also discuss how impaired fatty acid oxidation (FAO) in skeletal muscle may be related to both insulin resistance and a contributor to weight gain. In summary, it is evident that exercise in sufficient amounts can lead to substantial decreases in body weight, total body fat, and visceral fat. Additionally, evidence now supports the conclusion that there is a dose–response relationship between exercise amount and these changes, i.e., more exercise leads to additional benefits. Additionally, there are a number of important cardiometabolic risk factors that were most favorably effected by moderate-intensity compared to vigorous-intensity exercise. Unfortunately, it is also apparent that in sedentary middle-aged men and women, short periods of physical inactivity lead to significant weight gain, substantial increases in visceral fat, and further metabolic deterioration. Finally, favorable modulation of mitochondrial oxidative capacity in skeletal muscle by exercise training may reduce a block for complete oxidation of fatty acids in muscle and thereby relieve a block to effective insulin signaling. PMID:19927142

  16. Beyond the Whole-Genome Duplication: Phylogenetic Evidence for an Ancient Interspecies Hybridization in the Baker's Yeast Lineage.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Marcet-Houben


    Full Text Available Whole-genome duplications have shaped the genomes of several vertebrate, plant, and fungal lineages. Earlier studies have focused on establishing when these events occurred and on elucidating their functional and evolutionary consequences, but we still lack sufficient understanding of how genome duplications first originated. We used phylogenomics to study the ancient genome duplication occurred in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae lineage and found compelling evidence for the existence of a contemporaneous interspecies hybridization. We propose that the genome doubling was a direct consequence of this hybridization and that it served to provide stability to the recently formed allopolyploid. This scenario provides a mechanism for the origin of this ancient duplication and the lineage that originated from it and brings a new perspective to the interpretation of the origin and consequences of whole-genome duplications.

  17. SCR neon and argon in Kapoeta feldspar: Evidence for an active ancient Sun (United States)

    Rao, M. N.; Garrison, D. H.; Bogard, D. D.


    From etched feldspar size-fractions of Kapoeta, we determine a significant excess of cosmogenic Ne-21 and Ar-38 over that produced by galactic cosmic rays. This excess component is attributed to early production by energetic solar protons and suggest that the energetic proton flux from the ancient Sun was several hundred times more intense than that of the contemporary Sun.

  18. Evidence of ancient DNA reveals the first European lineage in Iron Age Central China. (United States)

    Xie, C Z; Li, C X; Cui, Y Q; Zhang, Q C; Fu, Y Q; Zhu, H; Zhou, H


    Various studies on ancient DNA have attempted to reconstruct population movement in Asia, with much interest focused on determining the arrival of European lineages in ancient East Asia. Here, we discuss our analysis of the mitochondrial DNA of human remains excavated from the Yu Hong tomb in Taiyuan, China, dated 1400 years ago. The burial style of this tomb is characteristic of Central Asia at that time. Our analysis shows that Yu Hong belonged to the haplogroup U5, one of the oldest western Eurasian-specific haplogroups, while his wife can be classified as haplogroup G, the type prevalent in East Asia. Our findings show that this man with European lineage arrived in Taiyuan approximately 1400 years ago, and most probably married a local woman. Haplogroup U5 was the first west Eurasian-specific lineage to be found in the central part of ancient China, and Taiyuan may be the easternmost location of the discovered remains of European lineage in ancient China.

  19. Archaeogenetic evidence of ancient nubian barley evolution from six to two-row indicates local adaptation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah A Palmer

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Archaeobotanical samples of barley (Hordeum vulgare L. found at Qasr Ibrim display a two-row phenotype that is unique to the region of archaeological sites upriver of the first cataract of the Nile, characterised by the development of distinctive lateral bracts. The phenotype occurs throughout all strata at Qasr Ibrim, which range in age from 3000 to a few hundred years. METHODOLOGY AND FINDINGS: We extracted ancient DNA from barley samples from the entire range of occupancy of the site, and studied the Vrs1 gene responsible for row number in extant barley. Surprisingly, we found a discord between the genotype and phenotype in all samples; all the barley had a genotype consistent with the six-row condition. These results indicate a six-row ancestry for the Qasr Ibrim barley, followed by a reassertion of the two-row condition. Modelling demonstrates that this sequence of evolutionary events requires a strong selection pressure. CONCLUSIONS: The two-row phenotype at Qasr Ibrim is caused by a different mechanism to that in extant barley. The strength of selection required for this mechanism to prevail indicates that the barley became locally adapted in the region in response to a local selection pressure. The consistency of the genotype/phenotype discord over time supports a scenario of adoption of this barley type by successive cultures, rather than the importation of new barley varieties associated with individual cultures.

  20. Seismic Evidence of Ancient Westward Residual Slab Subduction Beneath Southern Taiwan

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    Cheng-Horng Lin


    Full Text Available The northeastern convergence of the Philippine Sea plate toward the Eurasian plate causes the major western Philippine Sea plate boundary to subduct toward the northwest or west directions. However, this phenomenon is not clearly observed along the plate boundary between Luzon and Taiwan. Careful examination of deep seismicity in the southern Taiwan area from the earthquake catalog reported by the Central Weather Bureau shows two seismic zones dipping toward the opposing directions. The first dips toward the east from the surface down to 150 km in depth, while the second dips westward at depths between 150 and 200 km. These two seismic zones are confirmed further by seismogram observation and modeling results generated by two deep faults in the southern Taiwan area. The eastward seismic zone clearly results from the Eurasia plate subduction along the Manila trench, while a small section of the westward seismic zone might likely be a residual slab from the ancient subducted Philippine Sea plate. Based on the subduction speed obtained from GPS observations and the subducted Eurasian plate geometry, we can further estimate the eastward Eurasian plate subduction started at least 3.35 million years ago. This result is roughly consistent with the volcanic ages (3 - 4 Ma observed in the arc between Luzon and Taiwan.

  1. Evidence for the assimilation of ancient glacier organic carbon in a proglacial stream food web (United States)

    Fellman, Jason; Hood, Eran; Raymond, Peter A.; Hudson, J.H.; Bozeman, Maura; Arimitsu, Mayumi L.


    We used natural abundance δ13C, δ15N, and Δ14C to compare trophic linkages between potential carbon sources (leaf litter, epilithic biofilm, and particulate organic matter) and consumers (aquatic macroinvertebrates and fish) in a nonglacial stream and two reaches of the heavily glaciated Herbert River. We tested the hypothesis that proglacial stream food webs are sustained by organic carbon released from glacial ecosystems. Carbon sources and consumers in the nonglacial stream had carbon isotope values that ranged from -30‰ to -25‰ for δ13C and from -14‰ to 53‰ for Δ14C reflecting a food web sustained mainly on contemporary primary production. In contrast, biofilm in the two glacial stream sites was highly Δ14C-depleted (-215‰ to 175‰) relative to the nonglacial stream consistent with the assimilation of ancient glacier organic carbon. IsoSource modeling showed that in upper Herbert River, macroinvertebrates (Δ14C = -171‰ to 22‰) and juvenile salmonids (Δ14C = −102‰ to 17‰) reflected a feeding history of both biofilm (~ 56%) and leaf litter (~ 40%). We estimate that in upper Herbert River on average 36% of the carbon incorporated into consumer biomass is derived from the glacier ecosystem. Thus, 14C-depleted glacial organic carbon was likely transferred to higher trophic levels through a feeding history of bacterial uptake of dissolved organic carbon and subsequent consumption of 14C-depleted biofilm by invertebrates and ultimately fish. Our findings show that the metazoan food web is sustained in part by glacial organic carbon such that future changes in glacial runoff could influence the stability and trophic structure of proglacial aquatic ecosystems.

  2. Ancient DNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Willerslev, Eske; Cooper, Alan


    ancient DNA, palaeontology, palaeoecology, archaeology, population genetics, DNA damage and repair......ancient DNA, palaeontology, palaeoecology, archaeology, population genetics, DNA damage and repair...

  3. Monoclonal antibodies to desmin: evidence for stage-dependent intermediate filament immunoreactivity during cardiac and skeletal muscle development. (United States)

    Fischman, D A; Danto, S I


    Monoclonal antibodies reactive with desmin (D3 and D76) have been generated and their specificities validated by immunoblots, RIAs, and immunocytochemistry. No cross-reaction with other IFPs has been observed. The McAbs recognized different epitopes but both reside in the amino-terminal rod domain of desmin. Whereas McAb D3 produces a staining pattern characteristic of desmin throughout the development of cardiac and skeletal muscles, McAb D76 was selectively unreactive with certain regions of early (three days in ovo) embryonic cardiac anlage, with cultured cardiac myocytes derived from 7-day-old embryos, and with skeletal myotubes in early stages of myogenesis in vitro. Positive reactivity of D76 was seen at stages of myofibrillogenesis when the sarcomeres assume lateral alignment. Evidence was presented that differential reactivity of D76 did not result from the biosynthesis of a new desmin isoform or the post-translational modification of an existing protein. We suggest that the appearance of D76 immunoreactivity during striated muscle development represents an unmasking of the epitope by some IF-associated protein. Since this transition during skeletal muscle differentiation occurs during lateral alignment of the myofibrils, this antibody may serve as a useful probe for exploring this reorganization of the contractile apparatus during myogenesis and muscle regeneration.

  4. Evidence Supporting the Uptake and Genomic Incorporation of Environmental DNA in the “Ancient Asexual” Bdelloid Rotifer Philodina roseola

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    Olaf R. P. Bininda-Emonds


    Full Text Available Increasing evidence suggests that bdelloid rotifers regularly undergo horizontal gene transfer, apparently as a surrogate mechanism of genetic exchange in the absence of true sexual reproduction, in part because of their ability to withstand desiccation. We provide empirical support for this latter hypothesis using the bdelloid Philodina roseola, which we demonstrate to readily internalize environmental DNA in contrast to a representative monogonont rotifer (Brachionus rubens, which, like other monogononts, is facultative sexual and cannot withstand desiccation. In addition, environmental DNA that was more similar to the host DNA was retained more often and for a longer period of time. Indirect evidence (increased variance in the reproductive output of the untreated F1 generation suggests that environmental DNA can be incorporated into the genome during desiccation and is thus heritable. Our observed fitness effects agree with sexual theory and also occurred when the animals were desiccated in groups (thereby acting as DNA donors, but not individually, indicating the mechanism could occur in nature. Thus, although DNA uptake and its genomic incorporation appears proximally related to anhydrobiosis in bdelloids, it might also facilitate accidental genetic exchange with closely related taxa, thereby maintaining higher levels of genetic diversity than is otherwise expected for this group of “ancient asexuals”.

  5. Evidences of active and ancient Volcanism on Mars. A review. Second Part

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    Full Text Available The results of recent research have brought some further evidence of volcanism on the planet Mars. At the same time certain erroneous descriptions and conclusions, which are to be found in the first paper (3, are here corrected.

  6. Functional evidence for nitric oxide production by skeletal-muscle mitochondria from lipopolysaccharide-treated mice. (United States)

    Aguirre, Enara; López-Bernardo, Elia; Cadenas, Susana


    The possible existence of a mitochondrially localized nitric oxide (NO) synthase (mtNOS) is controversial. To clarify this, we studied the ability of intact mitochondria to generate NO and the effect of mitochondrial NO on respiration. Respiratory rates and oxygen kinetics (P(50) values) were determined by high-resolution respirometry in skeletal-muscle mitochondria from control mice and mice injected with Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS). In the presence of the NOS substrate L-arginine, mitochondria from LPS-treated mice had lower respiration rates and higher P(50) values than control animals. These effects were prevented by the NOS inhibitor L-NMMA. Our results suggest that mitochondrially derived NO is generated by an LPS-inducible NOS protein other than iNOS and modulates oxygen consumption in mouse skeletal muscle.

  7. Apatite 4He/3He and (U-Th)/He evidence for an ancient Grand Canyon. (United States)

    Flowers, R M; Farley, K A


    The Grand Canyon is one of the most dramatic features on Earth, yet when and why it was carved have been controversial topics for more than 150 years. Here, we present apatite (4)He/(3)He thermochronometry data from the Grand Canyon basement that tightly constrain the near-surface cooling history associated with canyon incision. (4)He/(3)He spectra for eastern Grand Canyon apatites of differing He date, radiation damage, and U-Th zonation yield a self-consistent cooling history that substantially validates the He diffusion kinetic model applied here. Similar data for the western Grand Canyon provide evidence that it was excavated to within a few hundred meters of modern depths by ~70 million years ago (Ma), in contrast to the conventional model in which the entire canyon was carved since 5 to 6 Ma.

  8. Skeletal and cranio-facial signs in Gorlin syndrome from ancient Egypt to the modern age: sphenoid asymmetry in a patient with a novel PTCH1 mutation. (United States)

    Ponti, Giovanni; Ruini, Cristel; Pastorino, Lorenza; Loschi, Pietro; Pecchi, Annarita; Malagoli, Marcella; Mandel, Victor Desmond; Boano, Rosa; Conti, Andrea; Pellacani, Giovanni; Tomasi, Aldo


    Gorlin syndrome is an autosomal dominant disorder linked to PTCH1 mutation, identified by a collection of clinical and radiologic signs. We describe the case of a family in which father and son fulfilled clear cut diagnostic criteria for Gorlin syndrome including multiple basal cell carcinomas, keratocystic odontogenic tumors, atypical skeletal anomalies and a novel PTCH1 germline mutation (c.1041delAA). Craniofacial and other skeletal anomalies displayed at 3D and helical CT scan were: macrocephaly, positional plagiocephaly, skull base and sphenoid asymmetry, bifidity of multiple ribs and giant multilocular odontogenic jaw cysts. Extensive multilamellar calcifications were found in falx cerebri, tentorium, falx cerebelli and in the atlanto-occipital ligament. The inclusion of bifid ribs as a novel major criteri may be useful for the recognition and characterization of misdiagnosed cases.

  9. 'Death ... more desirable than life'? The human skeletal record and toxicological implications of ancient copper mining and smelting in Wadi Faynan, southwestern Jordan. (United States)

    Grattan, John; Huxley, Steven; Abu Karaki, Lotus; Toland, Harry; Gilbertson, David; Pyatt, Brian; al Saad, Ziad


    Skeletal material from 36 people, dating from the early Christian era, who lived by or worked in the notorious Roman copper mines of Phaeno, were analysed to determine their exposure to copper and lead. We demonstrate that many of the bones analysed had a substantially higher concentration of these cations than modern individuals exposed to metals through industrial processes. Health, toxicological and environmental implications of these data are reviewed.

  10. Palaeontological evidence for the last temporal occurrence of the ancient western Amazonian river outflow into the Caribbean. (United States)

    Aguilera, Orangel; Lundberg, John; Birindelli, Jose; Sabaj Pérez, Mark; Jaramillo, Carlos; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R


    Fossil catfishes from fluvio-lacustrine facies of late Miocene Urumaco, early Pliocene Castilletes and late Pliocene San Gregorio formations provide evidence of a hydrographic connection in what is today desert regions of northern Colombia and Venezuela. New discoveries and reevaluation of existing materials leads to the recognition of two new records of the pimelodid Brachyplatystoma cf. vaillantii, and of three distinct doradid taxa: Doraops sp., Rhinodoras sp., and an unidentified third form. The presence of fossil goliath long-whiskered catfishes and thorny catfishes are indicative of the persistence of a fluvial drainage system inflow into the South Caribbean during the Pliocene/Pleistocene boundary, complementary to the previous western Amazonian hydrographic system described from the Middle Miocene Villavieja Formation in central Colombia and Late Miocene Urumaco Formation in northwestern Venezuela. The Pliocene Castilletes and San Gregorio formations potentially represent the last lithostratigraphic units related with an ancient western Amazonian fish fauna and that drainage system in the Caribbean. Alternatively, it may preserve faunas from a smaller, peripheral river basin that was cut off earlier from the Amazon-Orinoco, today found in the Maracaibo basin and the Magdalena Rivers.

  11. Palaeontological evidence for the last temporal occurrence of the ancient western Amazonian river outflow into the Caribbean.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orangel Aguilera

    Full Text Available Fossil catfishes from fluvio-lacustrine facies of late Miocene Urumaco, early Pliocene Castilletes and late Pliocene San Gregorio formations provide evidence of a hydrographic connection in what is today desert regions of northern Colombia and Venezuela. New discoveries and reevaluation of existing materials leads to the recognition of two new records of the pimelodid Brachyplatystoma cf. vaillantii, and of three distinct doradid taxa: Doraops sp., Rhinodoras sp., and an unidentified third form. The presence of fossil goliath long-whiskered catfishes and thorny catfishes are indicative of the persistence of a fluvial drainage system inflow into the South Caribbean during the Pliocene/Pleistocene boundary, complementary to the previous western Amazonian hydrographic system described from the Middle Miocene Villavieja Formation in central Colombia and Late Miocene Urumaco Formation in northwestern Venezuela. The Pliocene Castilletes and San Gregorio formations potentially represent the last lithostratigraphic units related with an ancient western Amazonian fish fauna and that drainage system in the Caribbean. Alternatively, it may preserve faunas from a smaller, peripheral river basin that was cut off earlier from the Amazon-Orinoco, today found in the Maracaibo basin and the Magdalena Rivers.

  12. Does the GH/IGF-1 axis contribute to skeletal sexual dimorphism? Evidence from mouse studies. (United States)

    Liu, Zhongbo; Mohan, Subburaman; Yakar, Shoshana


    The contribution of the gonadotropic axis to skeletal sexual dimorphism (SSD) was clarified in recent years. Studies with animal models of estrogen receptor (ER) or androgen receptor (AR) null mice, as well as mice with bone cell-specific ablation of ER or AR, revealed that both hormones play major roles in skeletal acquisition, and that estrogen regulates skeletal accrual in both sexes. The growth hormone (GH) and its downstream effector, the insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) are also major determinants of peak bone mass during puberty and young adulthood, and play important roles in maintaining bone integrity during aging. A few studies in both humans and animal models suggest that in addition to the differences in sex steroid actions on bone, sex-specific effects of GH and IGF-1 play essential roles in SSD. However, the contributions of the somatotropic (GH/IGF-1) axis to SSD are controversial and data is difficult to interpret. GH/IGF-1 are pleotropic hormones that act in an endocrine and autocrine/paracrine fashion on multiple tissues, affecting body composition as well as metabolism. Thus, understanding the contribution of the somatotropic axis to SSD requires the use of mouse models that will differentiate between these two modes of action. Elucidation of the relative contribution of GH/IGF-1 axis to SSD is significant because GH is approved for the treatment of normal children with short stature and children with congenital growth disorders. Thus, if the GH/IGF-1 axis determines SSD, treatment with GH may be tailored according to sex. In the following review, we give an overview of the roles of sex steroids in determining SSD and how they may interact with the GH/IGF-1 axis in bone. We summarize several mouse models with impaired somatotropic axis and speculate on the possible contribution of that axis to SSD.

  13. Preliminary evidence for a postsynaptic action of beta-bungarotoxin in mammalian skeletal muscle (United States)

    Storella, R. J.; Schouchoff, A. L.; Fujii, M.; Hill, J.; Fletcher, J. E.; Jiang, M. S.; Smith, L. A.


    Two hours after treatment with beta-bungarotoxin (0.34-0.4 microM), when there was complete neuromuscular block, the peak contracture response to 50 microM succinylcholine was significantly reduced by about 35% in the mouse phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparation. Additionally, significant phospholipase A2 activity was detected on primary cell cultures from skeletal muscle which were incubated for 2 hr with concentrations of beta-bungarotoxin greater than or equal to 0.1 microM. Thus, beta-bungarotoxin appears to have pharmacologically and biochemically detectable postsynaptic actions in mammalian muscle systems.

  14. Bone natural autofluorescence and confocal laser scanning microscopy: Preliminary results of a novel useful tool to distinguish between forensic and ancient human skeletal remains. (United States)

    Capasso, Luigi; D'Anastasio, Ruggero; Guarnieri, Simone; Viciano, Joan; Mariggiò, Maria


    The fast, high-throughput distinction between palaeoanthropological/archaeological remains and recent forensic/clinical bone samples is of vital importance in the field of medico-legal science. In this paper, a novel dating method was developed using the autofluorescence of human bones and the confocal laser scanning microscope as the means to distinguish between archaeological and forensic anthropological skeletal findings. Human bones exhibit fluorescence, typically induced by natural antibiotics that are absorbed by collagen, and provide secondary, exogenous fluorophores. However, primary natural fluorescence (or autofluorescence) caused by enigmatic endogenous fluorophores is also present as a micro-phenomenon, whose nature is still obscure. Here, we show that the endogenous fluorophores are mucopolysaccharides of the Rouget-Neumann sheath and, more relevant, that the intensity of the natural fluorescence in human bone decreases in a relationship to the antiquity of the samples. These results suggest that the autofluorescence of bone is a promising technique for the assessment of skeletal remains that may be potentially of medico-legal interest. A larger study is proposed to confirm these findings and to create a predictive model between the autofluorescence intensity and the time since death.

  15. Direct evidence of fiber type-dependent GLUT-4 expression in human skeletal muscle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gaster, M; Poulsen, P; Handberg, A


    GLUT-4 expression in individual fibers of human skeletal muscles in younger and older adults was studied. Furthermore, the dependency of insulin-stimulated glucose uptake on fiber type distribution was investigated. Fiber type distribution was determined in cryosections of muscle biopsies from 8...... younger (29 yr) and 8 older (64 yr) healthy subjects, and estimates of GLUT-4 expression in individual fibers were obtained by combining immunohistochemistry and stereology. GLUT-4 was more abundantly expressed in slow compared with fast muscle fibers in both younger (P ...) subjects. A 25% reduction of GLUT-4 density in fast fibers (P GLUT-4 density in slow fibers were demonstrated in older compared with younger subjects. Insulin-stimulated glucose uptake rates measured by hyperinsulinemic, euglycemic clamp were not correlated with the fraction...

  16. Earliest mechanical evidence of cross-bridge activity after stimulation of single skeletal muscle fibers. (United States)

    Claflin, D R; Morgan, D L; Julian, F J


    The stiffness of single fibers from frog skeletal muscle was measured by the application of small 2-kHz sinusoidal length oscillations during twitch and tetanic contractions at a range of initial sarcomere lengths. The earliest mechanical signs of activation were a fall in tension (latency relaxation) and a rise in stiffness. The earliest stiffness increase and the earliest tension fall occurred simultaneously at all sarcomere lengths. This suggests a cross-bridge origin for the latency relaxation. The lead of stiffness over tension seen during the rise of tension was substantially established during the latent period. Reducing the size of the twitch by reducing calcium release with D-600 (methoxyverapamil) reduced the latency relaxation and the stiffness development during latency much less than it reduced the twitch tension. For very small twitches the peak of the stiffness response occurred during the latent period and the times of onset of both latency relaxation and stiffness rise were delayed, but remained coincident. This suggests a strong connection between the latency relaxation and the rise of stiffness during the latent period, whereas the connection between these events and positive tension generation appears to be less strong.

  17. Skeletal evidence for Inca warfare from the Cuzco region of Peru. (United States)

    Andrushko, Valerie A; Torres, Elva C


    This article addresses the bioarchaeological evidence for Inca warfare through an analysis of 454 adult skeletons from 11 sites in the Inca capital region of Cuzco, Peru. These 11 sites span almost 1000 years (AD 600-1532), which allows for a comparison of the evidence for warfare before the Inca came to power (Middle Horizon AD 600-1000), during the time of Inca ascendency in the Late Intermediate Period (AD 1000-1400), and after the Inca came to power and expanded throughout the Cuzco region and beyond (Inca Imperial Period, AD 1400-1532). The results indicate that 100 of 454 adults (22.0%) showed evidence of cranial trauma. Of these, 23 individuals had major cranial injuries suggestive of warfare, consisting of large, complete, and/or perimortem fractures. There was scant evidence for major injuries during the Middle Horizon (2.8%, 1/36) and Late Intermediate Period (2.5%, 5/199), suggesting that warfare was not prevalent in the Cuzco region before and during the Inca rise to power. Only in the Inca Imperial Period was there a significant rise in major injuries suggestive of warfare (7.8%, 17/219). Despite the significant increase in Inca times, the evidence for major cranial injuries was only sporadically distributed at Cuzco periphery sites and was entirely absent at Cuzco core sites. These findings suggest that while the Inca used warfare as a mechanism for expansion in the Cuzco region, it was only one part of a complex expansion strategy that included economic, political, and ideological means to gain and maintain control.

  18. Geomorphic Evidence of Ancient Catastrophic Flow Type Landslides in the Mid-mountain Ridges of the Western Flysch Carpathian Mountains

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    Ancient flow type landslides are relatively frequent fossil forms of the relief in mid-mountain conditions of the Czech Carpathian Mountains.Sixty rather distinctive displays of debris flows,rock avalanches,and debris avalanches have been mapped in the uppermost part of the territory.Unlike contemporary sporadic and low volume debris flows,ancient (Pleistocene and Lower Holocene) accumulations are a few orders of magnitude more extensive and were of considerable geomorphologic significance in forming the steep sections of mountain valleys and slopes.This geomorphic pattern does not hold for flow type slides,the source of which is material released as a consequence of numerous deep-seated landslides.Due to deep disruption of slopes,a few high-magnitude flow type landslides (e.g.,rock avalanches),quite rare in flysch mid-mountain conditions,also occurred in the Late Holocene.

  19. Ancient Egypt. (United States)

    Evers, Virginia

    This four-week fourth grade social studies unit dealing with religious dimensions in ancient Egyptian culture was developed by the Public Education Religion Studies Center at Wright State University. It seeks to help students understand ancient Egypt by looking at the people, the culture, and the people's world view. The unit begins with outlines…

  20. Evidence of skeletal muscle damage following electrically stimulated isometric muscle contractions in humans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mackey, Abigail; Bojsen-Moller, Jens; Qvortrup, Klaus


    changes at the level of the z-lines were investigated by transmission electron microscopy. Blood samples were collected for measurement of creatine kinase activity, and muscle soreness was assessed in the days following stimulation. The biopsies from the stimulated muscle revealed macrophage infiltration...... soreness in all subjects, combined with a significant increase in creatine kinase activity (P muscle damage, and the novel findings of the present study, i.e., 1) macrophages infiltration, 2) lack of desmin staining, and 3) z-line disruption, provide direct evidence......It is unknown whether muscle damage at the level of the sarcomere can be induced without lengthening contractions. To investigate this, we designed a study where seven young, healthy men underwent 30 min of repeated electrical stimulated contraction of m. gastrocnemius medialis, with the ankle...

  1. Reassessment of the evidence for postcranial skeletal pneumaticity in Triassic archosaurs, and the early evolution of the avian respiratory system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard J Butler

    Full Text Available Uniquely among extant vertebrates, birds possess complex respiratory systems characterised by the combination of small, rigid lungs, extensive pulmonary air sacs that possess diverticula that invade (pneumatise the postcranial skeleton, unidirectional ventilation of the lungs, and efficient crosscurrent gas exchange. Crocodilians, the only other living archosaurs, also possess unidirectional lung ventilation, but lack true air sacs and postcranial skeletal pneumaticity (PSP. PSP can be used to infer the presence of avian-like pulmonary air sacs in several extinct archosaur clades (non-avian theropod dinosaurs, sauropod dinosaurs and pterosaurs. However, the evolution of respiratory systems in other archosaurs, especially in the lineage leading to crocodilians, is poorly documented. Here, we use µCT-scanning to investigate the vertebral anatomy of Triassic archosaur taxa, from both the avian and crocodilian lineages as well as non-archosaurian diapsid outgroups. Our results confirm previous suggestions that unambiguous evidence of PSP (presence of internal pneumatic cavities linked to the exterior by foramina is found only in bird-line (ornithodiran archosaurs. We propose that pulmonary air sacs were present in the common ancestor of Ornithodira and may have been subsequently lost or reduced in some members of the clade (notably in ornithischian dinosaurs. The development of these avian-like respiratory features might have been linked to inferred increases in activity levels among ornithodirans. By contrast, no crocodile-line archosaur (pseudosuchian exhibits evidence for unambiguous PSP, but many of these taxa possess the complex array of vertebral laminae and fossae that always accompany the presence of air sacs in ornithodirans. These laminae and fossae are likely homologous with those in ornithodirans, which suggests the need for further investigation of the hypothesis that a reduced, or non-invasive, system of pulmonary air sacs may be have

  2. Does blood flow restriction result in skeletal muscle damage? A critical review of available evidence. (United States)

    Loenneke, J P; Thiebaud, R S; Abe, T


    Blood flow restriction (BFR) alone or in combination with exercise has been shown to result in muscle hypertrophy and strength gain across a variety of populations. Although there are numerous studies in the literature showing beneficial muscular effects following the application of BFR, questions have been raised over whether BFR may lead to or even increase the incidence of muscle damage. The purpose of this review is to examine the proposed mechanisms behind muscle damage and critically review the available BFR literature. The available evidence does not support the hypothesis that BFR in combination with low-intensity exercise increases the incidence of muscle damage. Instead, the available literature suggests that minimal to no muscle damage is occurring with this type of exercise. This conclusion is drawn from the following observations: (a) no prolonged decrements in muscle function; (b) no prolonged muscle swelling; (c) muscle soreness ratings similar to a submaximal low load control; and (d) no elevation in blood biomarkers of muscle damage.

  3. Ancient shorelines of Gujarat, India, during the Indus civilization (Late Mid-Holocene): A study based on archaeological evidences

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Gaur, A.S.; Vora, K.H.

    , A.), TIFR, Bombay, 1973, pp. 3–17. 12. Gupta, S. K., Indian J. Earth Sci., 1975, 2, 163–175. 13. Rao, S. R., , Mem. Archaeol. Surv. India, No. 78, Vol. I & II, New Delhi, 1979. 14. Nigam, R., in Marine Archaeology of Indian Ocean Countries (ed... in Ancient Indian literature about the behaviour of shoreline which significantly affected the coastal human settlement. It is now generally agreed that glaceo-eustatic sea-level stood higher than the present in and around 6000 years BP 6–8 . During...

  4. Episodic fluid movements in superimposed basin:Combined evidence from outcrop and fluid inclusions of the Majiang ancient oil reservoir,Guizhou Province

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    Combined evidence from the outcrop and the fluid inclusion assemblage (FIA) analysis indicates that there exist two episodes of fluid flow controlled by the tectonic activity. The first episode was recorded mainly in the reservoir rock of the Honghuayuan Formation,representing the fluid flow of hydrocarbon charging. The second episode occurred mainly along the fault systems,representing the fluid move-ment when the ancient oil reservoir was destroyed. The host mineral morphology,homogeneous tem-perature,and salinity of the FIAs record an episodic fluid movement. Characters of high homogenous temperature,low salinity and a quick temperature variation of the first episode fluid flow may indicate an early-stage fluid eruption,and correspondingly,fine-grained calcite was formed. Temperature of the erupted fluid tended to decrease during its mixing with the upper formation fluid and finally had the same temperature as the upper formation. From then on,the temperature was rather steady and fa-vored the growth of the coarse calcite. Due to this character of the temperature variation of the episodic fluid flow,we can use the homogenous temperature of the FIA of the coarse calcite to date the forma-tion and the destruction time of the Majiang ancient oil reservoir. Episodic fluid flow was known for its inhomogeneous trapping,which resulted in the failure of dating according to the burial history. But taking a close look at its temperature variation,we think that the latest stage of fluid flow,characterized by steady state temperature and grow of the coarser crystals,can be used for dating. It will be of great value if this method is proved to be effective. The formation and the destruction time of the Majiang ancient oil reservoir were dated to be in the Indosinian Period and the late Yanshan-early Hymalayan Period respectively. This conclusion is in great discrepancy with the common accepted idea that the Majiang ancient oil reservoir was formed and destroyed during the

  5. Geochemical and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic evidence for ancient lower continental crust beneath the Xi Ujimqin area of NE China (United States)

    Gao, Xiaofeng; Guo, Feng; Xiao, Peixi; Kang, Lei; Xi, Rengang


    The Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB) is the largest Phanerozoic accretionary orogen on Earth. The role that Precambrian continental microblocks played in its formation, however, remains a highly controversial topic. New zircon U-Pb age data and whole-rock geochemical and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic studies on Permian (253-251 Ma) andesites from the Xi Ujimqin area provide the first evidence for the existence of a continental lower mafic crust in the eastern segment of the CAOB. These Permian lavas generally have chemical compositions similar to experimental melts of garnet pyroxenites. Based on Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic compositional differences, they can be further subdivided into two groups. Group 1 has moderately radiogenic Sr (87Sr/86Sr(i) = 0.7060-0.7062) and nonradiogenic Nd (εNd(t) = - 9.0-8.3) and Pb (e.g., 206Pb/204Pb = 17.18-17.23) isotopic compositions similar to the ancient lower mafic crust beneath the North China Craton (NCC). Compared with Group 1, Group 2 has less radiogenic Sr (87Sr/86Sr(i) = 0.7051-0.7055), and more radiogenic Nd (εNd(t) = - 0.2-+1.4) and Pb (e.g., 206Pb/204Pb = 18.04-18.20) isotopic compositions as observed in the Phanerozoic granitoids and felsic lavas of the CAOB. The combined geochemical and isotopic data indicate that Group 1 was derived from ancient lower mafic crust of the NCC affinity, with a residual assemblage of pyroxene + plagioclase + amphibole. The source for Group 2 was a mixture of ancient lower mafic crust and a juvenile crustal component, and melting left a residue of orthopyroxene + clinopyroxene + plagioclase + garnet + amphibole. Generation of these two types of late Permian andesites favors a model whereby breakoff of a subducted slab and subsequent lithospheric extension triggered extensive asthenospheric upwelling and melting of the continental mafic lower crust of the eastern CAOB. The discovery of ancient lower continental crust of the NCC affinity in the CAOB implies that the NCC experienced continental breakup during

  6. Ancient genomics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Der Sarkissian, Clio; Allentoft, Morten Erik; Avila Arcos, Maria del Carmen


    by increasing the number of sequence reads to billions effectively means that contamination issues that have haunted aDNA research for decades, particularly in human studies, can now be efficiently and confidently quantified. At present, whole genomes have been sequenced from ancient anatomically modern humans......, archaic hominins, ancient pathogens and megafaunal species. Those have revealed important functional and phenotypic information, as well as unexpected adaptation, migration and admixture patterns. As such, the field of aDNA has entered the new era of genomics and has provided valuable information when...

  7. Ancient genomics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Der Sarkissian, Clio; Allentoft, Morten Erik; Avila Arcos, Maria del Carmen;


    , archaic hominins, ancient pathogens and megafaunal species. Those have revealed important functional and phenotypic information, as well as unexpected adaptation, migration and admixture patterns. As such, the field of aDNA has entered the new era of genomics and has provided valuable information when...

  8. Molecular evidence for a microbial role in ooid formation and preservation of molecular biosignatures in ancient oolite (United States)

    Mariotti, G.; O'Reilly, S. S.; Winter, A.; Newman, S. A.; Pruss, S. B.; Bosak, T.; Klepac-Ceraj, V.; McDermott, F. P.; Summons, R. E.


    the potential utility of oolites to preserve organic biosignatures. Further comparison of biomarkers from ooids from different environmental conditions and preservation state will provide insight into syngenetic molecular signals of environmental conditions and biological diversity in ancient oolite.

  9. Isotopic (Pb, Sr, Nd, C, O) evidence for plume-related sampling of an ancient, depleted mantle reservoir (United States)

    Chen, Wei; Simonetti, Antonio


    The exact mantle source for carbonatite melts remains highly controversial. Despite their predominant occurrence within continental (lithospheric) domains, the radiogenic isotope data from young (oceanic island basalts (OIBs). This feature suggests an intimate petrogenetic relationship with asthenospheric mantle. New Pb, Sr, C, and O isotopic data are reported here for constituent minerals from the Oka carbonatite complex, which is associated with the Cretaceous Monteregian Igneous Province (MIP), northeastern North America. The Pb isotope data define linear arrays in Pb-Pb isotope diagrams, with the corresponding Sr isotope ratios being highly variable (0.70314-0.70343); both these features are consistent with open system behavior involving at least three distinct mantle reservoirs. Compared to the isotope composition of known mantle sources for OIBs and carbonatite occurrences worldwide, the least radiogenic 207Pb/204Pb (14.96 ± 0.07) and 208Pb/204Pb (37.29 ± 0.15) isotopic compositions relative to their corresponding 206Pb/204Pb ratios (18.86 ± 0.08) reported here are distinct, and indicate the involvement of an ancient depleted mantle (ADM) source. The extremely unradiogenic Pb isotope compositions necessitate U/Pb fractionation early in Earth's history (prior to 4.0 Ga ago) and growth via a multi-stage Pb evolution model. The combined stable (C and O) and radiogenic isotopic compositions effectively rule out crustal/lithosphere contamination during the petrogenetic history of the Oka complex. Instead, the isotopic variations reported here most likely result from the mixing of discrete, small volume partial melts derived from a heterogeneous plume source characterized by a mixed HIMU-EM1-ADM signature.

  10. New age estimations for the western outer city wall of ancient Tayma (NW Saudi Arabia) based on OSL and radiocarbon data and geomorphologic evidence (United States)

    Engel, M.; Klasen, N.; Brückner, H.; Eichmann, R.; Hausleiter, A.; Al-Najem, M. H.; Al-Said, S. F.; Schneider, P. I.


    Since 2004 tremendous progress has been achieved in deciphering the cultural genesis of the Tayma oasis (NW Saudi Arabia), due to the joint investigations of the German Archaeological Institute Berlin (DAI), the General Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Department of Archaeology and Epigraphy, King Saud University Riyadh. Nevertheless, archaeological research is still suffering from a lacking locally-based absolute chronology of buildings. The pattern of ancient constructions at Tayma is dominated by a prominent city wall system surrounding the ancient town center (Qraya) and stretching 15 km around the oasis. Its internal structure indicates several building periods, i.e. phases of wall modification or extension of the entire system. So far, according to silex and carnelian fragments included in the mud bricks and a previous 14C age of charcoal remains from the central excavation district (wall section at Area A), an initial construction date of the wall between the late 3rd and the early 2nd millennium BC seemed likely. At the excavated western outer city wall a new systematic dating approach - combining the optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and 14C methods - has been applied to generate a reliable age for the oldest branch of the wall system which nowadays is covered by aeolian sand. The dune deposit is genetically related to the existence of the wall and, therefore, dating its accumulation provides termini ante quem for the construction of the wall. Five OSL dates were generated from the dune deposit providing ages between 4,900 and 3,500 yrs. Two radiocarbon ages support the dating sequence and also contribute to its consistency. By combining the results with geomorphologic evidence we draw the following conclusions: Initial settlement activities at Qraya were accompanied by a regulation of wadi dynamics and the construction of the outer city wall, indicated by the abrupt boundary between the pre-settlement alluvial

  11. Ancient deforestation revisited. (United States)

    Hughes, J Donald


    The image of the classical Mediterranean environment of the Greeks and Romans had a formative influence on the art, literature, and historical perception of modern Europe and America. How closely does is this image congruent with the ancient environment as it in reality existed? In particular, how forested was the ancient Mediterranean world, was there deforestation, and if so, what were its effects? The consensus of historians, geographers, and other scholars from the mid-nineteenth century through the first three quarters of the twentieth century was that human activities had depleted the forests to a major extent and caused severe erosion. My research confirmed this general picture. Since then, revisionist historians have questioned these conclusions, maintaining instead that little environmental damage was done to forests and soils in ancient Greco-Roman times. In a reconsideration of the question, this paper looks at recent scientific work providing proxy evidence for the condition of forests at various times in ancient history. I look at three scientific methodologies, namely anthracology, palynology, and computer modeling. Each of these avenues of research offers support for the concept of forest change, both in abundance and species composition, and episodes of deforestation and erosion, and confirms my earlier work.

  12. Iron isotopes in ancient and modern komatiites: Evidence in support of an oxidised mantle from Archean to present (United States)

    Hibbert, K. E. J.; Williams, H. M.; Kerr, A. C.; Puchtel, I. S.


    The mantle of the modern Earth is relatively oxidised compared to the initially reducing conditions inferred for core formation. The timing of the oxidation of the mantle is not conclusively resolved but has important implications for the timing of the development of the hydrosphere and atmosphere. In order to examine the timing of this oxidation event, we present iron isotope data from three exceptionally well preserved komatiite localities, Belingwe (2.7 Ga), Vetreny (2.4 Ga) and Gorgona (0.089 Ga). Measurements of Fe isotope compositions of whole-rock samples are complemented by the analysis of olivine, spinel and pyroxene separates. Bulk-rock and olivine Fe isotope compositions (δ57Fe) define clear linear correlations with indicators of magmatic differentiation (Mg#, Cr#). The mean Fe isotope compositions of the 2.7-2.4 Ga and 0.089 Ga samples are statistically distinct and this difference can be explained by greater extent of partial melting represented by the older samples and higher mantle ambient temperatures in the Archean and early Proterozoic relative to the present day. Significantly, samples of all ages define continuous positive linear correlations between bulk rock δ57Fe and V/Sc and δ57Fe and V, and between V/Sc and V with TiO2, providing evidence for the incompatible behaviour of V (relative to Sc) and of isotopically heavy Fe. Partial melting models calculated using partition coefficients for V at oxygen fugacities (fO2s) of 0 and + 1 relative to the fayalite-magnetite-quartz buffer (FMQ) best match the data arrays, which are defined by all samples, from late Archean to Tertiary. These data, therefore, provide evidence for komatiite generation under moderately oxidising conditions since the late Archean, and argue against a change in mantle fO2 concomitant with atmospheric oxygenation at ~ 2.4 Ga.

  13. Androgen receptor (AR) in osteocytes is important for the maintenance of male skeletal integrity: evidence from targeted AR disruption in mouse osteocytes. (United States)

    Sinnesael, Mieke; Claessens, Frank; Laurent, Michaël; Dubois, Vanessa; Boonen, Steven; Deboel, Ludo; Vanderschueren, Dirk


    Androgens play a key role in the maintenance of male skeletal integrity. The regulation of this integrity by androgen receptor (AR) signaling has been mainly attributed to osteoblasts. Although osteocytes have emerged as key regulators of bone remodeling, the influence of sex steroids on these cells has been poorly studied. We aimed to investigate the role of AR signaling, specifically in osteocytes using the Cre/LoxP system in male mice (driven by dentin matrix protein 1 [ocy-ARKOs]). Osteocyte fractions of control (AR(ex2)/Y) and ocy-ARKO (ARflox(ex2)/Y; DMP1-cre) mice isolated through sequential collagenase digestion showed increasing AR expression toward the mature osteocyte fraction of control males compared with the more immature fractions, whereas this was reduced by >80% in ocy-ARKO osteocytes. The skeletal phenotype of mutant mice was further assessed by histomorphometry and quantitative micro-computed tomography at 12 and 32 weeks of age. Ocy-ARKOs had significantly lower trabecular bone volume and number in femora and tibias at 32 weeks as well as decreased trabecular number in the L(5) vertebra at 12 weeks. Biomechanical testing showed that ocy-ARKO femora were also stiffer and required a lower ultimate force to induce failure at 32 weeks. However, femoral cortical structure was not significantly different at any time point. The absence of AR in osteocyte also did not appear to affect trabecular bone formation nor its response to mechanical loading. In conclusion, selective inactivation of the AR in osteocytes of male mice accelerates age-related deterioration of skeletal integrity. These findings provide evidence for a direct role of androgens in the maintenance of trabecular bone through actions of the AR in osteocytes.

  14. Reduced lipid oxidation in skeletal muscle from type 2 diabetic subjects may be of genetic origin: evidence from cultured myotubes. (United States)

    Gaster, Michael; Rustan, Arild C; Aas, Vigdis; Beck-Nielsen, Henning


    Insulin resistance in skeletal muscle in vivo is associated with reduced lipid oxidation and lipid accumulation. It is still uncertain whether changes in lipid metabolism represent an adaptive compensation at the cellular level or a direct expression of a genetic trait. Studies of palmitate metabolism in human myotubes established from control and type 2 diabetic subjects may solve this problem, as genetic defects are preserved and expressed in vitro. In this study, total uptake of palmitic acid was similar in myotubes established from both control and type 2 diabetic subjects under basal conditions and acute insulin stimulation. Myotubes established from diabetic subjects expressed a primary reduced palmitic acid oxidation to carbon dioxide with a concomitantly increased esterification of palmitic acid into phospholipids compared with control myotubes under basal conditions. Triacylglycerol (TAG) content and the incorporation of palmitic acid into diacylglycerol (DAG) and TAG at basal conditions did not vary between the groups. Acute insulin treatment significantly increased palmitate uptake and incorporation of palmitic acid into DAG and TAG in myotubes established from both study groups, but no difference was found in myotubes established from control and diabetic subjects. These results indicate that the reduced lipid oxidation in diabetic skeletal muscle in vivo may be of genetic origin; it also appears that TAG metabolism is not primarily affected in diabetic muscles under basal physiological conditions.

  15. Biogenicity and Syngeneity of Organic Matter in Ancient Sedimentary Rocks: Recent Advances in the Search for Evidence of Past Life

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oehler, Dorothy Z.; Cady, Sherry L.


    he past decade has seen an explosion of new technologies for assessment of biogenicity and syngeneity of carbonaceous material within sedimentary rocks. Advances have been made in techniques for analysis of in situ organic matter as well as for extracted bulk samples of soluble and insoluble (kerogen) organic fractions. The in situ techniques allow analysis of micrometer-to-sub-micrometer-scale organic residues within their host rocks and include Raman and fluorescence spectroscopy/imagery, confocal laser scanning microscopy, and forms of secondary ion/laser-based mass spectrometry, analytical transmission electron microscopy, and X-ray absorption microscopy/spectroscopy. Analyses can be made for chemical, molecular, and isotopic composition coupled with assessment of spatial relationships to surrounding minerals, veins, and fractures. The bulk analyses include improved methods for minimizing contamination and recognizing syngenetic constituents of soluble organic fractions as well as enhanced spectroscopic and pyrolytic techniques for unlocking syngenetic molecular signatures in kerogen. Together, these technologies provide vital tools for the study of some of the oldest and problematic carbonaceous residues and for advancing our understanding of the earliest stages of biological evolution on Earth and the search for evidence of life beyond Earth. We discuss each of these new technologies, emphasizing their advantages and disadvantages, applications, and likely future directions.

  16. Biogenicity and Syngeneity of Organic Matter in Ancient Sedimentary Rocks: Recent Advances in the Search for Evidence of Past Life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dorothy Z. Oehler


    Full Text Available The past decade has seen an explosion of new technologies for assessment of biogenicity and syngeneity of carbonaceous material within sedimentary rocks. Advances have been made in techniques for analysis of in situ organic matter as well as for extracted bulk samples of soluble and insoluble (kerogen organic fractions. The in situ techniques allow analysis of micrometer-to-sub-micrometer-scale organic residues within their host rocks and include Raman and fluorescence spectroscopy/imagery, confocal laser scanning microscopy, and forms of secondary ion/laser-based mass spectrometry, analytical transmission electron microscopy, and X-ray absorption microscopy/spectroscopy. Analyses can be made for chemical, molecular, and isotopic composition coupled with assessment of spatial relationships to surrounding minerals, veins, and fractures. The bulk analyses include improved methods for minimizing contamination and recognizing syngenetic constituents of soluble organic fractions as well as enhanced spectroscopic and pyrolytic techniques for unlocking syngenetic molecular signatures in kerogen. Together, these technologies provide vital tools for the study of some of the oldest and problematic carbonaceous residues and for advancing our understanding of the earliest stages of biological evolution on Earth and the search for evidence of life beyond Earth. We discuss each of these new technologies, emphasizing their advantages and disadvantages, applications, and likely future directions.

  17. Interaction of extended mantle plume head with ancient lithosphere: evidence from deep-seated xenoliths in basalts and lamprophyre diatremes in Western Syria (United States)

    Sharkov, Evgenii


    The Middle Cretaceous lamprophyric diatremes of the Jabel Ansaria Ridge contain xenoliths of ancient lower crustal rocks mainly represented by the suite of partly altered garnet granulite and eclogite-like rocks, which were formed at the expense of ferrogabbros and ferroclinopyroxenites most likely in the course of underplating of Fe-Ti basalt. Garnet (Alm26Grs11Py63) megacrysts and coarse-granular garnet-clinopyroxene intergrowths are most likely the varieties of rocks of this series. Garnet megacrysts are represented by large (up to 10 cm in diameter) round "nodules," often molten from the surface. Garnet is usually fractured, and the kelyphite material similar to that in rocks of the eclogite-granulite series occurs in fractures. In addition, we found several intergrowths of garnet with large (up to 3-5 cm in length) crystals of high-Al augite with the low of Ti and Na contents like in rocks of the eclogite-granulite suite. Coarse-grained garnet-clinopyroxene-hornblende rocks with spinel, as well as megacrysts of Al-Ti augite with kaersutite, form the second group in prevalence. This group is close to mantle xenoliths of the "black series" in alkali Fe-Ti basalt worldwide. Kaersutite in these rocks contains gaseous cavities, which provides evidence for the origin of rocks at the expense of a strongly fluidized melt/fluid. In contrast to rocks of the eclogite-granulite series, these rocks did not undergo alteration. Garnet Alm19-26Grs12-13.5Py59-67.5 usually associates with dark opaque spinel. In contrast, the Late Cenozoic plateaubasalts of the region practically do not contain lower crustal xenoliths, whereas xenoliths of mantle spinel lherzolite (fragments of the upper cooled rim of the plume head) are widely abundant. According to data of mineralogical thermobarometry, rocks of the eclogite-granulite suite were formed at 13.5-15.4 kbar (depths of 45-54 km) and 965-1115°C. Rocks of this suite are typical representatives of the continental lower crust

  18. Ancient Egypt (United States)

    Swamy, Ashwin Balegar

    This thesis involves development of an interactive GIS (Geographic Information System) based application, which gives information about the ancient history of Egypt. The astonishing architecture, the strange burial rituals and their civilization were some of the intriguing questions that motivated me towards developing this application. The application is a historical timeline starting from 3100 BC, leading up to 664 BC, focusing on the evolution of the Egyptian dynasties. The tool holds information regarding some of the famous monuments which were constructed during that era and also about the civilizations that co-existed. It also provides details about the religions followed by their kings. It also includes the languages spoken during those periods. The tool is developed using JAVA, a programing language and MOJO (Map Objects Java Objects) a product of ESRI (Environmental Science Research Institute) to create map objects, to provide geographic information. JAVA Swing is used for designing the user interface. HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) pages are created to provide the user with more information related to the historic period. CSS (Cascade Style Sheets) and JAVA Scripts are used with HTML5 to achieve creative display of content. The tool is kept simple and easy for the user to interact with. The tool also includes pictures and videos for the user to get a feel of the historic period. The application is built to motivate people to know more about one of the prominent and ancient civilization of the Mediterranean world.

  19. Tuberculosis in early medieval Switzerland--osteological and molecular evidence. (United States)

    Cooper, Christine; Fellner, Robert; Heubi, Olivier; Maixner, Frank; Zink, Albert; Lösch, Sandra


    Lesions consistent with skeletal tuberculosis were found in 13 individuals from an early medieval skeletal sample from Courroux (Switzerland). One case of Pott's disease as well as lytic lesions in vertebrae and joints, rib lesions and endocranial new bone formation were identified. Three individuals with lesions and one without were tested for the presence of Myobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) ancient DNA (aDNA), and in two cases, evidence for MTBC aDNA was detected. Our results suggest the presence of tuberculosis in the analysed material, which is in accordance with other osteological and biomolecular research that reported a high prevalence of tuberculosis in medieval skeletons.

  20. Mud volcanism and morphology of impact craters in Utopia Planitia on Mars: Evidence for the ancient ocean (United States)

    Ivanov, Mikhail A.; Hiesinger, H.; Erkeling, G.; Reiss, D.


    portion of Utopia Planitia were erupted from beneath of the surface of the VB. Their morphology and pattern of degradation, however, are inconsistent with lava and, instead, indicate formation of the flows due to mud volcanism. (7) Etched flows are spatially associated with giant polygons and there is evidence that these features populated the center portion of Utopia Planitia before it was covered by the Elysium-derived units. The outer (southern) edge of the zone of polygonal troughs and etched flows approximately corresponds to the transition from pancake-like ejecta to rampart ejecta. This suggest that the outer edge of the zone of the polygons and flows may outline the deeper portions of the large body (˜2000 km across) of water/ice that likely existed in the center of Utopia Planitia in late Hesperian.

  1. Evidence for the involvement of the CXCL12 system in the adaptation of skeletal muscles to physical exercise. (United States)

    Puchert, Malte; Adams, Volker; Linke, Axel; Engele, Jürgen


    The chemokine CXCL12 and its primary receptor, CXCR4, not only promote developmental myogenesis, but also muscle regeneration. CXCL12 chemoattracts CXCR4-positive satellite cells/blood-borne progenitors to the injured muscle, promotes myoblast fusion, partially with existing myofibers, and induces angiogenesis in regenerating muscles. Interestingly, the mechanisms underlying muscle regeneration are in part identical to those involved in muscular adaptation to intensive physical exercise. These similarities now prompted us to determine whether physical exercise would impact the CXCL12 system in skeletal muscle. We found that CXCL12 and CXCR4 are upregulated in the gastrocnemius muscle of rats that underwent a four-week period of constrained daily running exercise on a treadmill. Double-staining experiments confirmed that CXCL12 and CXCR4 are predominantly expressed in MyHC-positive muscle fibers. Moreover, these training-dependent increases in CXCL12 and CXCR4 expression also occurred in rats with surgical coronary artery occlusion, implying that the muscular CXCL12 system is still active in skeletal myopathy resulting from chronic heart failure. Expression of the second CXCL12 receptor, CXCR7, which presumably acts as a scavenger receptor in muscle, was not affected by training. Attempts to dissect the molecular events underlying the training-dependent effects of CXCL12 revealed that the CXCL12-CXCR4 axis activates anabolic mTOR-p70S6K signaling and prevents upregulation of the catabolic ubiquitin ligase MurF-1 in C2C12 myotubes, eventually increasing myotube diameters. Together, these findings point to a pivotal role of the CXCL12-CXCR4 axis in exercise-induced muscle maintenance and/or growth.

  2. Highly stable rice-straw-derived charcoal in 3700-year-old ancient paddy soil: evidence for an effective pathway toward carbon sequestration. (United States)

    Wu, Mengxiong; Yang, Min; Han, Xingguo; Zhong, Ting; Zheng, Yunfei; Ding, Pin; Wu, Weixiang


    Recalcitrant charcoal application is predicted to decelerate global warming through creating a long-term carbon sink in soil. Although many studies have showed high stability of charcoal derived from woody materials, few have focused on the dynamics of straw-derived charcoal in natural environment on a long timescale to evaluate its potential for agricultural carbon sequestration. Here, we examined straw-derived charcoal in an ancient paddy soil dated from ~3700 calendar year before present (cal. year BP). Analytical results showed that soil organic matter consisted of more than 25% of charcoal in charcoal-rich layer. Similarities in morphology and molecular structure between the ancient and the fresh rice-straw-derived charcoal indicated that ancient charcoal was derived from rice straw. The lower carbon content, higher oxygen content, and obvious carbonyl of the ancient charcoal compared with fresh rice straw charcoal implied that oxidation occurred in the scale of thousands years. However, the dominant aromatic C of ancient charcoal indicated that rice-straw-derived charcoal was highly stable in the buried paddy soil due to its intrinsic chemical structures and the physical protection of ancient paddy wetland. Therefore, it may suggest that straw charcoal application is a potential pathway for C sequestration considering its longevity.

  3. Climate and Ancient Societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Climate, and human responses to it, have a strongly interconnected relationship. This when climate change occurs, the result of either natural or human causes, societies should react and adapt to these. But do they? If so, what is the nature of that change, and are the responses positive...... or negative for the long-term survival of social groups? In this volume, scholars from diverse disciplines including archaeology, geology and climate sciences explore scientific and material evidence for climate changes in the past, their causes, their effects on ancient societies and how those societies...

  4. First evidence of chitin as a component of the skeletal fibers of marine sponges. Part I. Verongidae (demospongia: Porifera). (United States)

    Ehrlich, Hermann; Maldonado, Manuel; Spindler, Klaus-Dieter; Eckert, Carsten; Hanke, Thomas; Born, René; Goebel, Caren; Simon, Paul; Heinemann, Sascha; Worch, Hartmut


    The Porifera (sponges) are often regarded as the oldest, extant metazoan phylum, also bearing the ancestral stage for most features occurring in higher animals. The absence of chitin in sponges, except for the wall of peculiar resistance bodies produced by a highly derived fresh-water group, is puzzling, since it points out chitin to be an autapomorphy for a particular sponge family rather than the ancestral condition within the metazoan lineage. By investigating the internal proteinaceous (spongin) skeleton of two demosponges (Aplysina sp. and Verongula gigantea) using a wide array of techniques (Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), Raman, X-ray, Calcofluor White Staining, Immunolabeling, and chitinase test), we show that chitin is a component of the outermost layer (cuticle) of the skeletal fibers of these demosponges. FTIR and Raman spectra, as well as X-ray difractograms consistently revealed that sponge chitin is much closer to the alpha-chitin known from other animals than to beta-chitin. These findings support the view that the occurrence of a chitin-producing system is the ancestral condition in Metazoa, and that the alpha-chitin is the primitive form in animals.

  5. The biochemistry of ancient DNA in bone. (United States)

    Tuross, N


    The amount of DNA in ancient bone was determined by ethidium bromide staining after the removal of the potent Taq inhibitor, fulvic acid. A complete decalcification and a perfusion protocol were used to recover DNA from bone. A variety of purification techniques including molecular sieve, hydroxyapatite binding and 'Magic' preparations yielded DNA that spanned from 3.4 micrograms/g of bone to below detectable limits. Fulvic acid was shown to interfere with the quantification of DNA derived from ancient human skeletal material one hundred to over seven thousand years old. Scanning UV in the 300 to 230 nm range is a simple and sensitive technique for documenting fulvic acid contamination in ancient bone extracts.

  6. Skeletal muscle (United States)

    There are approximately 650-850 muscles in the human body these include skeletal (striated), smooth and cardiac muscle. The approximation is based on what some anatomists consider separate muscle or muscle systems. Muscles are classified based on their anatomy (striated vs. smooth) and if they are v...

  7. Large Ferrierite Crystals as Models for Catalyst Deactivation during Skeletal Isomerisation of Oleic Acid: Evidence for Pore Mouth Catalysis. (United States)

    Wiedemann, Sophie C C; Ristanović, Zoran; Whiting, Gareth T; Reddy Marthala, V R; Kärger, Jörg; Weitkamp, Jens; Wels, Bas; Bruijnincx, Pieter C A; Weckhuysen, Bert M


    Large zeolite crystals of ferrierite have been used to study the deactivation, at the single particle level, of the alkyl isomerisation catalysis of oleic acid and elaidic acid by a combination of visible micro-spectroscopy and fluorescence microscopy (both polarised wide-field and confocal modes). The large crystals did show the desired activity, albeit only traces of the isomerisation product were obtained and low conversions were achieved compared to commercial ferrierite powders. This limited activity is in line with their lower external non-basal surface area, supporting the hypothesis of pore mouth catalysis. Further evidence for the latter comes from visible micro-spectroscopy, which shows that the accumulation of aromatic species is limited to the crystal edges, while fluorescence microscopy strongly suggests the presence of polyenylic carbocations. Light polarisation associated with the spatial resolution of fluorescence microscopy reveals that these carbonaceous deposits are aligned only in the larger 10-MR channels of ferrierite at all crystal edges. The reaction is hence further limited to these specific pore mouths.

  8. Bos primigenius in Ancient Egyptian art – historical evidence for the continuity of occurrence and ecology of an extinct key species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carl Beierkuhnlein


    Full Text Available Knowledge of the habitat requirements and temporal stability of populations of extinct aurochs (Bos primigenius is surprisingly scarce. Reliable reports of this species, which by its domestication remains tremendously important for humans, are rare. As the species became extinct about 400 years ago and regionally disappeared much earlier, its behaviour and morphology are also under debate. Aurochs is also a crucial component of the mega-herbivore theory in nature conservation, but in fact its natural habitat and behaviour are unknown. Here, I report records of aurochs for the time period of Ancient Egypt. They are found in archaeological sites and literature, and in collections. Records of the species continue through all the periods of Ancient Egypt. In particular, hunting scenes illustrating the merits of high-ranking persons, in their graves (mastabas and temples, provide insights into the behaviour and ecology of the depicted game. Here, special attention is given to one outstanding hunting scene that is documented in a relief at the mortuary temple of Ramesses III (1175 BC, Medinet Habu, Egypt. Assisted by a group of hunters, the pharaoh kills three specimens of aurochs. The whole scene is stunningly realistic.  The adult specimen is fleeing towards the reed belt of the River Nile, suggesting that the species’ habitat was probably in large valley bottoms, where open grassland is regularly created by flooding. Endemic species of fish and game confirm that this scene took place in Lower Egypt. The regional populations of the North-African subspecies of aurochs probably went extinct shortly after this piece of art was produced. Records of species in ancient art can be very informative in terms of ecology and behaviour of species, especially when extinct species are addressed. In addition, the dating of old pieces of art containing biological information can be very precise, for instance when these refer to a historic personage. 

  9. Neurology of endemic skeletal fluorosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reddy D


    Full Text Available Endemic skeletal fluorosis is widely prevalent in India and is a major public health problem. The first ever report of endemic skeletal fluorosis and neurological manifestation was from Prakasam district in Andhra Pradesh in the year 1937. Epidemiological and experimental studies in the endemic areas suggest the role of temperate climate, hard physical labor, nutritional status, presence of abnormal concentrations of trace elements like strontium, uranium, silica in water supplies, high fluoride levels in foods and presence of kidney disease in the development of skeletal fluorosis. Neurological complications of endemic skeletal fluorosis, namely radiculopathy, myelopathy or both are mechanical in nature and till date the evidence for direct neurotoxicity of fluoride is lacking. Prevention of the disease should be the aim, knowing the pathogenesis of fluorosis. Surgery has a limited role in alleviating the neurological disability and should be tailored to the individual based on the imaging findings.

  10. Molecular analysis of ancient caries. (United States)

    Simón, Marc; Montiel, Rafael; Smerling, Andrea; Solórzano, Eduvigis; Díaz, Nancy; Álvarez-Sandoval, Brenda A; Jiménez-Marín, Andrea R; Malgosa, Assumpció


    An 84 base pair sequence of the Streptococcus mutans virulence factor, known as dextranase, has been obtained from 10 individuals from the Bronze Age to the Modern Era in Europe and from before and after the colonization in America. Modern samples show four polymorphic sites that have not been found in the ancient samples studied so far. The nucleotide and haplotype diversity of this region have increased over time, which could be reflecting the footprint of a population expansion. While this segment has apparently evolved according to neutral evolution, we have been able to detect one site that is under positive selection pressure both in present and past populations. This study is a first step to study the evolution of this microorganism, analysed using direct evidence obtained from ancient remains.

  11. Evidence for Vitamin D Receptor Expression and Direct Effects of 1α,25(OH)2D3 in Human Skeletal Muscle Precursor Cells. (United States)

    Olsson, Karl; Saini, Amarjit; Strömberg, Anna; Alam, Seher; Lilja, Mats; Rullman, Eric; Gustafsson, Thomas


    Presence of the vitamin D receptor and direct effects of vitamin D on the proliferation and differentiation of muscle precursor cells have been demonstrated in animal models. However, the effects and mechanisms of vitamin D actions in human skeletal muscle, and the presence of the vitamin D receptor in human adult skeletal muscle, remain to be established. Here, we investigated the role of vitamin D in human muscle cells at various stages of differentiation. We demonstrate that the components of the vitamin D-endocrine system are readily detected in human muscle precursor cells but are low to nondetectable in adult skeletal muscle and that human muscle cells lack the ability to convert the inactive vitamin D-metabolite 25-hydroxy-vitamin D3 to the active 1α,25-dihydroxy-vitamin D3 (1α,25(OH)2D3). In addition, we show that 1α,25(OH)2D3 inhibits myoblast proliferation and differentiation by altering the expression of cell cycle regulators and myogenic regulatory factors, with associated changes in forkhead box O3 and Notch signaling pathways. The present data add novel information regarding the direct effects of vitamin D in human skeletal muscle and provide functional and mechanistic insight to the regulation of myoblast cell fate decisions by 1α,25(OH)2D3.

  12. Ancient Astronomy in Armenia (United States)

    Parsamian, Elma S.


    The most important discovery, which enriched our knowledge of ancient astronomy in Armenia, was the complex of platforms for astronomical observations on the Small Hill of Metzamor, which may be called an ancient “observatory”. Investigations on that Hill show that the ancient inhabitants of the Armenian Highlands have left us not only pictures of celestial bodies, but a very ancient complex of platforms for observing the sky. Among the ancient monuments in Armenia there is a megalithic monument, probably, being connected with astronomy. 250km South-East of Yerevan there is a structure Zorats Kar (Karahunge) dating back to II millennium B.C. Vertical megaliths many of which are more than two meters high form stone rings resembling ancient stone monuments - henges in Great Britain and Brittany. Medieval observations of comets and novas by data in ancient Armenian manuscripts are found. In the collection of ancient Armenian manuscripts (Matenadaran) in Yerevan there are many manuscripts with information about observations of astronomical events as: solar and lunar eclipses, comets and novas, bolides and meteorites etc. in medieval Armenia.

  13. Ankylosing spondylitis or diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis in royal Egyptian mummies of 18th -20th Dynasties? CT and archaeology studies. (United States)

    Saleem, Sahar N; Hawass, Zahi


    Objective. To study the computed tomography(CT) images of royal Ancient Egyptian mummies dated to the 18th to early 20th Dynasties for the claimed diagnoses of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) and to correlate the findings with the archaeology literature.Methods. We studied the CT images of 13 royal Ancient Egyptian mummies (1492–1153 BC) for evidence of AS and DISH and correlated our findings with the archaeology literature.Results. The findings of the CT scans excluded the diagnosis of AS, based on the absence of sacroiliac joint erosions or fusion of the facet joints. Four mummies fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for DISH:Amenhotep III (18th Dynasty), Ramesses II, his son Merenptah, and Ramesses III (19th to early 20th Dynasties).The diagnosis of DISH, a commonly a symptomatic disease of old age, in the 4 pharaohs is in concordance with their longevity and active lifestyles.Conclusion. CT findings excluded the diagnosis of AS in the studied royal Ancient Egyptian mummies and brought into question the antiquity of the disease. The CT features of DISH during this ancient period were similar to those commonly seen in modern populations,and it is likely that they will also be similar in the future.The affection of Ramesses II and his son Merenptah supports familial clustering of DISH. The process of mummification may induce changes in the spine that should be considered during investigations of disease in ancient mummies.

  14. Geochemistry and spatial distribution of OIB and MORB in A'nyemaqen ophiolite zone: Evidence of Majixueshan ancient ridge-centered hotspot

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GUO AnLin; ZHANG GuoWei; SUN YanGui; ZHENG JianKang; LIU Ye; WANG JianQi


    The mafic volcanic association is made up of OIB, E-MORB and N-MORB in the A'nyemaqen Paleozoic ophiolites. Compared with the same type rocks in the world, the mafic rocks generally display lower Nb/U and Ce/Pb ratios and some have Nb depletion and Pb enrichment. The OIB are LREE-enriched with (La/Yb)N =5―20, N-MORB are LREE-depleted with (La/Yb)N = 0.41―0.5. The OIB are featured by incompatible element enrichment and the N-MORB are obviously depleted with some metasomatic effect, and E-MORB are geochemically intermediated. These rocks are distributed around the Majixueshan OIB and gabbros in a thickness greater than a thousand meters and transitionally change along the ophiolite extension in a west-east direction, showing a symmetric distribution pattern as centered by the Majixueshan OIB, that is, from N-MORB, OIB and E-MORB association in the Dur'ngoi area to OIB in the Majixueshan area and then to N-MORB, OIB and E-MORB assemblage again in the Buqingshan area. By consideration of the rock association, the rock spatial distribution and the thickness of the mafic rocks in the Majixueshan, coupled with the metasomatic relationship between the OIB and MORB sources, it can be argued that the Majixueshan probably corresponds to an ancient hotspot or an ocean island formed by mantle plume on the A'nyemaqeh ocean ridge, that is the ridge-centered hotspot, tectonically similar to the present-day Iceland hotspot.

  15. Re - Os isotopic constraints on the origin of volcanic rocks, Gorgona Island, Colombia: Os isotopic evidence for ancient heterogeneities in the mantle (United States)

    Walker, R.J.; Echeverria, L.M.; Shirey, S.B.; Horan, M.F.


    The Re - Os isotopic systematics of komatiites and spatially associated basalts from Gorgona Island, Colombia, indicate that they were produced at 155??43 Ma. Subsequent episodes of volcanism produced basalts at 88.1??3.8 Ma and picritic and basaltic lavas at ca. 58 Ma. The age for the ultramafic rocks is important because it coincides with the late-Jurassic, early-Cretaceous disassembly of Pangea, when the North- and South-American plates began to pull apart. Deep-seated mantle upwelling possibly precipitated the break-up of these continental plates and caused a tear in the subducting slab west of Gorgona, providing a rare, late-Phanerozoic conduit for the komatiitic melts. Mantle sources for the komatiites were heterogeneous with respect to Os and Pb isotopic compositions, but had homogeneous Nd isotopic compositions (??Nd+9??1). Initial 187Os/186Os normalized to carbonaceous chondrites at 155 Ma (??Os) ranged from 0 to +22, and model-initial ?? values ranged from 8.17 to 8.39. The excess radiogenic Os, compared with an assumed bulk-mantle evolution similar to carbonaceous chondrites, was likely produced in portions of the mantle with long-term elevated Re concentrations. The Os, Pb and Nd isotopic compositions, together with major-element constraints, suggest that the sources of the komatiites were enriched more than 1 Ga ago by low (<20%) and variable amounts of a basalt or komatiite component. This component was added as either subducted oceanic crust or melt derived from greater depths in the mantle. These results suggest that the Re - Os isotope system may be a highly sensitive indicator of the presence of ancient subducted oceanic crust in mantle-source regions. ?? 1991 Springer-Verlag.

  16. Radiocarbon dating of ancient Japanese documents

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oda, H. [Nagoya Univ., Center for Chronological Research, Nagoya, Aichi (Japan)


    History is a reconstruction of past human activity, evidence of which is remained in the form of documents or relics. For the reconstruction of historic period, the radiocarbon dating of ancient documents provides important information. Although radiocarbon age is converted into calendar age with the calibration curve, the calibrated radiocarbon age is still different from the historical age when the document was written. The difference is known as 'old wood effect' for wooden cultural property. The discrepancy becomes more serious problem for recent sample which requires more accurate age determination. Using Tandetron accelerator mass spectrometer at Nagoya University, we have measured radiocarbon ages of Japanese ancient documents, sutras and printed books written dates of which are clarified from the paleographic standpoint. The purpose is to clarify the relation between calibrated radiocarbon age and historical age of ancient Japanese document by AMS radiocarbon dating. This paper reports 23 radiocarbon ages of ancient Japanese documents, sutras and printed books. The calibrated radiocarbon ages are in good agreement with the corresponding historical ages. It was shown by radiocarbon dating of the ancient documents that Japanese paper has little gap by 'old wood effect'; accordingly, ancient Japanese paper is a suitable sample for radiocarbon dating of recent historic period. (author)

  17. Ancient Marital Rites

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    Clearly defined rites governing speech and actions dominated both the social and domestic activities of ancient Chinese people. Rites not only dominated the lives of men, but were also prominent in the lives of women.

  18. Ancient Chinese Architecture

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    CHINESE people have accu-mulated a great deal ofexperience in architecture,constantly improving building ma-terials and thus creating uniquebuilding styles.The history of ancient Chinesearchitechtural development can be

  19. Tapping Ancient Roots: Plaited Paper Baskets (United States)

    Patrick, Jane


    With ancient roots, basket making has been practiced since the earliest civilizations, and according to textile experts, probably pre-dates pottery. This is partly conjecture since few baskets remain. It is through evidence found in clay impressions that the earliest baskets reveal themselves. Basically, basketry construction is like flat weaving.…

  20. [Ancient tattooing from today's point of view]. (United States)

    Zimmermann, R; Zimmermann, K


    Both literary and arachaeological evidence indicates that, up to now, ancient tattoos can be traced with certainty in painting only among Thracians. A comparison with modern tattoos reveals differences of motivation and motifs, whereas localization, technique, and removal show similarities. The illustrations demonstrate some tattoos typical for Thracians on Greek vases.

  1. Choosing a skeletal muscle relaxant. (United States)

    See, Sharon; Ginzburg, Regina


    Skeletal muscle relaxants are widely used in treating musculoskeletal conditions. However, evidence of their effectiveness consists mainly of studies with poor methodologic design. In addition, these drugs have not been proven to be superior to acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for low back pain. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses support using skeletal muscle relaxants for short-term relief of acute low back pain when nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or acetaminophen are not effective or tolerated. Comparison studies have not shown one skeletal muscle relaxant to be superior to another. Cyclobenzaprine is the most heavily studied and has been shown to be effective for various musculoskeletal conditions. The sedative properties of tizanidine and cyclobenzaprine may benefit patients with insomnia caused by severe muscle spasms. Methocarbamol and metaxalone are less sedating, although effectiveness evidence is limited. Adverse effects, particularly dizziness and drowsiness, are consistently reported with all skeletal muscle relaxants. The potential adverse effects should be communicated clearly to the patient. Because of limited comparable effectiveness data, choice of agent should be based on side-effect profile, patient preference, abuse potential, and possible drug interactions.

  2. Ancient Human Bone Microstructure in Medieval England: Comparisons between Two Socio-Economic Groups. (United States)

    Miszkiewicz, Justyna J; Mahoney, Patrick


    Understanding the links between bone microstructure and human lifestyle is critical for clinical and anthropological research into skeletal growth and adaptation. The present study is the first to report correspondence between socio-economic status and variation in bone microstructure in ancient humans. Products of femoral cortical remodeling were assessed using histological methods in a large human medieval sample (N = 450) which represented two distinct socio-economic groups. Osteonal parameters were recorded in posterior midshaft femoral sections from adult males (N = 233) and females (N = 217). Using univariate and multivariate statistics, intact, fragmentary, and osteon population densities, Haversian canal area and diameter, and osteon area were compared between the two groups, accounting for sex, age, and estimated femoral robusticity. The size of osteons and their Haversian canals, as well as osteon density, varied significantly between the socio-economic groups, although minor inconsistencies were observed in females. Variation in microstructure was consistent with historical textual evidence that describes differences in mechanical loading and nutrition between the two groups. Results demonstrate that aspects of ancient human lifestyle can be inferred from bone microstructure.

  3. The Vindolanda Tablets and the Ancient Economy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Evers, Kasper Grønlund

    , a model is outlined which takes into account the different economic behaviours revealed by the tablets and attempts to fit them together into one coherent, economic system, whilst also relating the activities to questions of scale in the ancient economy; moreover, the conclusions drawn in the study......, the aim is to investigate how best to comprehend the economic system attested at Vindolanda and to consider the wider implications for studies of the ancient economy in general. This is accomplished by a three-step approach: first, the nature of the Vindolandan evidence is assessed, and the state...... of research on both studies of the ancient economy and the economy of early Roman Britain is accounted for, so as to highlight the value of the Vindolanda Tablets and lay the ground for the interpretations which follow. Secondly, the economic activities attested by the tablets are analysed in terms of market...

  4. Dwarfs in ancient Egypt. (United States)

    Kozma, Chahira


    Ancient Egypt was one of the most advanced and productive civilizations in antiquity, spanning 3000 years before the "Christian" era. Ancient Egyptians built colossal temples and magnificent tombs to honor their gods and religious leaders. Their hieroglyphic language, system of organization, and recording of events give contemporary researchers insights into their daily activities. Based on the record left by their art, the ancient Egyptians documented the presence of dwarfs in almost every facet of life. Due to the hot dry climate and natural and artificial mummification, Egypt is a major source of information on achondroplasia in the old world. The remains of dwarfs are abundant and include complete and partial skeletons. Dwarfs were employed as personal attendants, animal tenders, jewelers, and entertainers. Several high-ranking dwarfs especially from the Old Kingdom (2700-2190 BCE) achieved important status and had lavish burial places close to the pyramids. Their costly tombs in the royal cemeteries and the inscriptions on their statutes indicate their high-ranking position in Egyptian society and their close relation to the king. Some of them were Seneb, Pereniankh, Khnumhotpe, and Djeder. There were at least two dwarf gods, Ptah and Bes. The god Ptah was associated with regeneration and rejuvenation. The god Bes was a protector of sexuality, childbirth, women, and children. He was a favored deity particularly during the Greco-Roman period. His temple was recently excavated in the Baharia oasis in the middle of Egypt. The burial sites and artistic sources provide glimpses of the positions of dwarfs in daily life in ancient Egypt. Dwarfs were accepted in ancient Egypt; their recorded daily activities suggest assimilation into daily life, and their disorder was not shown as a physical handicap. Wisdom writings and moral teachings in ancient Egypt commanded respect for dwarfs and other individuals with disabilities.

  5. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor expression is reduced in skeletal muscle in COPD

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Remels, A.H.; Schrauwen, P.; Broekhuizen, R.; Willems, J.; Kersten, A.H.; Gosker, H.R.; Schols, A.M.


    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a multiorgan systemic disease. The systemic features are skeletal muscle weakness and cachexia, the latter being associated with systemic inflammation. The exact mechanisms underlying skeletal muscle dysfunction in COPD remain obscure. Recent evidence

  6. [Ancient history of Indian pharmacy]. (United States)

    Okuda, Jun; Natsume, Yohko


    The study of the ancient history of Indian medicine has recently been revived due to the publication of polyglot translations. However, little is known of ancient Indian pharmacy. Archaeological evidence suggests the Indus people lived a settled life approximately in 2500 B.C. Their cities were enjoying the cleanest and most hygienic daily life with elaborate civic sanitation systems. The whole conception shows a remarkable concern for health. Then, the early Aryans invaded India about 1500 B.C. and the Vedic age started. The Rgveda texts contain the hymns for Soma and those for herbs. The term Ayurveda (i.e., science of life) is found in some old versions of both Ramāyana and Mahābhārata and in the Atharvaveda. Suśruta had the credit of making a breakthrough in the field of surgery. The Ayurveda, a work on internal medicine, gives the following transmission of sages: Brahmā-->Daksa-->Prajāpati-->Aśivinau-->Indra-->Caraka. On the other hand, the Suśruta-samhitā, which deals mainly with surgical medicine, explains it as follows; Indra-->Dhanvantari-->Suśruta Both Caraka and Suśruta were medical doctors as well as pharmacists, so they studied more than 1000 herbs thoroughly. The Ayurveda had been used by his devotees for medical purposes. It eventually spread over Asia with the advanced evolution of Buddhism.

  7. Ancient Human Parasites in Ethnic Chinese Populations (United States)

    Yeh, Hui-Yuan; Mitchell, Piers D.


    Whilst archaeological evidence for many aspects of life in ancient China is well studied, there has been much less interest in ancient infectious diseases, such as intestinal parasites in past Chinese populations. Here, we bring together evidence from mummies, ancient latrines, and pelvic soil from burials, dating from the Neolithic Period to the Qing Dynasty, in order to better understand the health of the past inhabitants of China and the diseases endemic in the region. Seven species of intestinal parasite have been identified, namely roundworm, whipworm, Chinese liver fluke, oriental schistosome, pinworm, Taenia sp. tapeworm, and the intestinal fluke Fasciolopsis buski. It was found that in the past, roundworm, whipworm, and Chinese liver fluke appear to have been much more common than the other species. While roundworm and whipworm remained common into the late 20th century, Chinese liver fluke seems to have undergone a marked decline in its prevalence over time. The iconic transport route known as the Silk Road has been shown to have acted as a vector for the transmission of ancient diseases, highlighted by the discovery of Chinese liver fluke in a 2,000 year-old relay station in northwest China, 1,500 km outside its endemic range. PMID:27853113

  8. Creative Ventures: Ancient Civilizations. (United States)

    Stark, Rebecca

    The open-ended activities in this book are designed to extend the imagination and creativity of students and encourage students to examine their feelings and values about historic eras. Civilizations addressed include ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Mayan, Stonehenge, and Mesopotamia. The activities focus upon the cognitive and affective pupil…

  9. Ancient Egypt: Personal Perspectives. (United States)

    Wolinski, Arelene

    This teacher resource book provides information on ancient Egypt via short essays, photographs, maps, charts, and drawings. Egyptian social and religious life, including writing, art, architecture, and even the practice of mummification, is conveniently summarized for the teacher or other practitioner in a series of one to three page articles with…

  10. Cloning Ancient Trees

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    west of Tiananmen Square in Beijing, in Zhongshan Park, there stand several ancient cypress trees, each more than 1,000 years old. Their leafy crowns are all more than 20 meters high, while four have trunks that are 6 meters in circumference. The most unique of these

  11. Ancient ports of Kalinga

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Tripati, S.

    The ancient Kingdom of Kalinga mentioned in the Hathigumpha inscription of Kharavela (1st century B.C.) extended from the mouths of the Ganges to the estuary of Godavari river on the East Coast. Ptolemy (100 A.D.) mentions that Paluru (District...

  12. Printing Ancient Terracotta Warriors (United States)

    Gadecki, Victoria L.


    Standing in awe in Xian, China, at the Terra Cotta warrior archaeological site, the author thought of sharing this experience and excitement with her sixth-grade students. She decided to let her students carve patterns of the ancient soldiers to understand their place in Chinese history. They would make block prints and print multiple soldiers on…

  13. [Anomalous pregnancies in ancient medicine]. (United States)

    Gazzaniga, Valentina


    In ancient Greek medicine female physiology is determined by a particular state of non-steady equilibrium, largely based on pregnancy and lactation, presented as the only balanced and healthy periods in women's life. Nonetheless, pregnancy can be also a pathological moment, in particular referring to specific alterations of its 'normal time' ('seven-months', 'eight-months' and 'ten-months' children). The article analyzes the well-known case of myle, an abnormal pregnancy developing in three and sometimes four years, non resolving in a normal delivery, but often in a dramatic haemorrhagic flux. The author compares Hippocratic and Aristotelic testimonies about myle and abnormal pregnancies with the evidence fournished by the historical-religious recent studies about Hera and her parthenogenetic, monstrous children.

  14. Tuberculosis in ancient times

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louise Cilliers


    Full Text Available In spite of an array of effective antibiotics, tuberculosis is still very common in developing countries where overcrowding, malnutrition and poor hygienic conditions prevail. Over the past 30 years associated HIV infection has worsened the situation by increasing the infection rate and mortality of tuberculosis. Of those diseases caused by a single organism only HIV causes more deaths internationally than tuberculosis. The tubercle bacillus probably first infected man in Neolithic times, and then via infected cattle, but the causative Mycobacteriacea have been in existence for 300 million years. Droplet infection is the most common way of acquiring tuberculosis, although ingestion (e.g. of infected cows’ milk may occur. Tuberculosis probably originated in Africa. The earliest path gnomonic evidence of human tuberculosis in man was found in osteo-archaeological findings of bone tuberculosis (Pott’s disease of the spine in the skeleton of anEgyptian priest from the 21st Dynasty (approximately 1 000 BC. Suggestive but not conclusiveevidence of tuberculotic lesions had been found in even earlier skeletons from Egypt and Europe. Medical hieroglyphics from ancient Egypt are silent on the disease, which could be tuberculosis,as do early Indian and Chinese writings. The Old Testament refers to the disease schachapeth, translated as phthisis in the Greek Septuagint. Although the Bible is not specific about this condition, tuberculosis is still called schachapeth in modern Hebrew. In pre-Hippocratic Greece Homer did not mention phthisis, a word meaning non-specific wasting of the body. However. Alexander of Tralles (6th century BC seemed to narrow the concept down to a specific disease, and in the Hippocratic Corpus (5th-4th centuries BC phthisis can be recognised as tuberculosis. It was predominantly a respiratory disease commonly seen and considered to be caused by an imbalance of bodily humours. It was commonest in autumn, winter and spring

  15. Internalization and fate of silica nanoparticles in C2C12 skeletal muscle cells: evidence of a beneficial effect on myoblast fusion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Poussard S


    Full Text Available Sylvie Poussard,1,2 Marion Decossas,1,2 Olivier Le Bihan,1,2 Stéphane Mornet,3 Grégoire Naudin,1,2 Olivier Lambert1,2 1Institute of Chemistry and Biology of Membranes and Nanoobjects, University of Bordeaux, UMR5248, Pessac, France; 2Institute of Chemistry and Biology of Membranes and Nanoobjects, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Institute of Chemistry and Biology of Membranes and Nanoobjects, UMR5248, Pessac, France; 3ICMCB, Institut de Chimie de la Matière Condensée de Bordeaux, CNRS UPR9048, Université de Bordeaux, Pessac, France Abstract: The use of silica nanoparticles for their cellular uptake capability opens up new fields in biomedical research. Among the toxicological effects associated with their internalization, silica nanoparticles induce apoptosis that has been recently reported as a biochemical cue required for muscle regeneration. To assess whether silica nanoparticles could affect muscle regeneration, we used the C2C12 muscle cell line to study the uptake of fluorescently labeled NPs and their cellular trafficking over a long period. Using inhibitors of endocytosis, we determined that the NP uptake was an energy-dependent process mainly involving macropinocytosis and clathrin-mediated pathway. NPs were eventually clustered in lysosomal structures. Myoblasts containing NPs were capable of differentiation into myotubes, and after 7 days, electron microscopy revealed that the NPs remained primarily within lysosomes. The presence of NPs stimulated the formation of myotubes in a dose-dependent manner. NP internalization induced an increase of apoptotic myoblasts required for myoblast fusion. At noncytotoxic doses, the NP uptake by skeletal muscle cells did not prevent their differentiation into myotubes but, instead, enhanced the cell fusion. Keywords: silica, nanoparticle, muscle, cell encapsulation, transmission electron microscopy, apoptosis

  16. Skeletally Dugundji spaces



    We introduce and investigate the class of skeletally Dugundji spaces as a skeletal analogue of Dugundji space. The main result states that the following conditions are equivalent for a given space $X$: (i) $X$ is skeletally Dugundji; (ii) Every compactification of $X$ is co-absolute to a Dugundji space; (iii) Every $C^*$-embedding of the absolute $p(X)$ in another space is strongly $\\pi$-regular; (iv) $X$ has a multiplicative lattice in the sense of Shchepin \\cite{s76} consisting of skeletal ...

  17. Ancient human microbiomes. (United States)

    Warinner, Christina; Speller, Camilla; Collins, Matthew J; Lewis, Cecil M


    Very recently, we discovered a vast new microbial self: the human microbiome. Our native microbiota interface with our biology and culture to influence our health, behavior, and quality of life, and yet we know very little about their origin, evolution, or ecology. With the advent of industrialization, globalization, and modern sanitation, it is intuitive that we have changed our relationship with microbes, but we have little information about the ancestral state of our microbiome, and we therefore lack a foundation for characterizing this change. High-throughput sequencing has opened up new opportunities in the field of paleomicrobiology, allowing us to investigate the evolution of the complex microbial ecologies that inhabit our bodies. By focusing on recent coprolite and dental calculus research, we explore how emerging research on ancient human microbiomes is changing the way we think about ancient disease and how archaeological studies can contribute to a medical understanding of health and nutrition today.

  18. Comets in ancient India

    CERN Document Server

    Gupta, Patrick Das


    The Indo-aryans of ancient India observed stars and constellations for ascertaining auspicious times for sacrificial rites ordained by vedas. It is but natural that they would have recounted in the vedic texts about comets. In Rigveda ($\\sim $ 1700 - 1500 BC) and Atharvaveda ($\\sim $ 1150 BC), there are references to dhumaketus and ketus, which stand for comets in Sanskrit. Varahamihira in 550 AD and Ballala Sena ($\\sim $ 1100 - 1200 AD) have described a large number of comets recorded by ancient seers such as Parashara, Vriddha Garga, Narada, Garga, etc. In this article, I conjecture that an episode narrated in Mahabharata of a radiant king, Nahusha, ruling the heavens, and later turning into a serpent after he had kicked the seer Agastya (also the star Canopus), is a mythological retelling of a cometary event.

  19. Ambrosia of Ancients

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    IN 196 B.C. a Chinese philosopher observedto his ruler: "A lord's to ppriority is the welfare of his subjects; to the peopie, eating is foremost." Chinese ancients perceived clearly the essentiality of grain cultivation to the survival of the population and country as a whole. This is apparent in the premillennial term for "country" -sheji literally translated as god of land and grain.

  20. Case report 872. "Ancient" schwannoma (degenerated neurilemoma). (United States)

    Schultz, E; Sapan, M R; McHeffey-Atkinson, B; Naidich, J B; Arlen, M


    A case of an ancient schwannoma was presented. The rare occurrence of this tumor has resulted in only a few reported cases with descriptions of its features on imaging. Our patient's tumor, like one previously reported case, demonstrated calcification on the plain film - a finding not associated with other histologic types of schwannomas. Angiography revealed the tumor to be hypervascular. Evaluation by MRI demonstrated a lobulated, encapsulated soft tissue mass containing several cystic areas that corresponded histologically to areas of necrosis. Hypertrophied blood vessels were seen in the periphery of the tumoral mass. Too few ancient schwannomas have been reported to conclude whether or not radiographic evidence of soft tissue calcification is characteristic of this histologically distinctive subtype of schwannoma. However, since calcification is seen histologically as part of the degenerating process, its presence on plain films could be a feature of this tumor. Furthermore, the presence of cystic areas on MRI is not surprising given the pathological changes that occur in this tumor. We suggest that a diagnosis of ancient schwannoma be considered when a patient presents with a hypervascular soft tissue mass containing amorphous calcification on plain films and cystic areas on MRI. Despite the nonspecificity of these imaging findings, this point is relevant because each of these features suggests the presence of a malignant mass. Awareness of the possibility of a benign ancient schwannoma could obviate unnecessary radical surgery.

  1. The Case of the Missing Ancient Fungal Polyploids. (United States)

    Campbell, Matthew A; Ganley, Austen R D; Gabaldón, Toni; Cox, Murray P


    Polyploidy-the increase in the number of whole chromosome sets-is an important evolutionary force in eukaryotes. Polyploidy is well recognized throughout the evolutionary history of plants and animals, where several ancient events have been hypothesized to be drivers of major evolutionary radiations. However, fungi provide a striking contrast: while numerous recent polyploids have been documented, ancient fungal polyploidy is virtually unknown. We present a survey of known fungal polyploids that confirms the absence of ancient fungal polyploidy events. Three hypotheses may explain this finding. First, ancient fungal polyploids are indeed rare, with unique aspects of fungal biology providing similar benefits without genome duplication. Second, fungal polyploids are not successful in the long term, leading to few extant species derived from ancient polyploidy events. Third, ancient fungal polyploids are difficult to detect, causing the real contribution of polyploidy to fungal evolution to be underappreciated. We consider each of these hypotheses in turn and propose that failure to detect ancient events is the most likely reason for the lack of observed ancient fungal polyploids. We examine whether existing data can provide evidence for previously unrecognized ancient fungal polyploidy events but discover that current resources are too limited. We contend that establishing whether unrecognized ancient fungal polyploidy events exist is important to ascertain whether polyploidy has played a key role in the evolution of the extensive complexity and diversity observed in fungi today and, thus, whether polyploidy is a driver of evolutionary diversifications across eukaryotes. Therefore, we conclude by suggesting ways to test the hypothesis that there are unrecognized polyploidy events in the deep evolutionary history of the fungi.

  2. Suicide in ancient Greece. (United States)

    Laios, K; Tsoukalas, G; Kontaxaki, M-I; Karamanou, M; Androutsos, G


    The theme of suicide appears several times in ancient Greek literature. However, each such reference acquires special significance depending on the field from which it originates. Most of the information found in mythology, but the suicide in a mythological tale, although in terms of motivation and mental situation of heroes may be in imitation of similar incidents of real life, in fact is linked with the principles of the ancient Greek religion. In ancient drama and mainly in tragedies suicide conduces to the tragic hypostasis of the heroes and to the evolution of the plot and also is a tool in order to be presented the ideas of poets for the relations of the gods, the relation among gods and men and the relation among the men. In ancient Greek philosophy there were the deniers of suicide, who were more concerned about the impact of suicide on society and also these who accepted it, recognizing the right of the individual to put an end to his life, in order to avoid personal misfortunes. Real suicides will be found mostly from historical sources, but most of them concern leading figures of the ancient world. Closer to the problem of suicide in the everyday life of antiquity are ancient Greek medicines, who studied the phenomenon more general without references to specific incidents. Doctors did not approve in principal the suicide and dealt with it as insane behavior in the development of the mental diseases, of melancholia and mania. They considered that the discrepancy of humors in the organ of logic in the human body will cause malfunction, which will lead to the absurdity and consequently to suicide, either due to excessive concentration of black bile in melancholia or due to yellow bile in mania. They believed that greater risk to commit suicide had women, young people and the elderly. As therapy they used the drugs of their time with the intention to induce calm and repression in the ill person, therefore they mainly used mandragora. In general, we would say

  3. Redox control of skeletal muscle atrophy. (United States)

    Powers, Scott K; Morton, Aaron B; Ahn, Bumsoo; Smuder, Ashley J


    Skeletal muscles comprise the largest organ system in the body and play an essential role in body movement, breathing, and glucose homeostasis. Skeletal muscle is also an important endocrine organ that contributes to the health of numerous body organs. Therefore, maintaining healthy skeletal muscles is important to support overall health of the body. Prolonged periods of muscle inactivity (e.g., bed rest or limb immobilization) or chronic inflammatory diseases (i.e., cancer, kidney failure, etc.) result in skeletal muscle atrophy. An excessive loss of muscle mass is associated with a poor prognosis in several diseases and significant muscle weakness impairs the quality of life. The skeletal muscle atrophy that occurs in response to inflammatory diseases or prolonged inactivity is often associated with both oxidative and nitrosative stress. In this report, we critically review the experimental evidence that provides support for a causative link between oxidants and muscle atrophy. More specifically, this review will debate the sources of oxidant production in skeletal muscle undergoing atrophy as well as provide a detailed discussion on how reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species modulate the signaling pathways that regulate both protein synthesis and protein breakdown.

  4. Identifying the Practice of Tattooing in Ancient Egypt and Nubia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geoffrey J. Tassie


    Full Text Available Tattooing was practised by many ancient societies, including the ancient Egyptians and Nubians. Egypt, for example, boasts iconographic and physical evidence for tattooing for a period spanning at least 4000 years – the longest known history of tattooing in the world. The second oldest physical evidence for tattooing worldwide was recovered from Middle Kingdom contexts in Egypt and C-Group contexts in Nubia (the Hanslabjoch ice man being the oldest. It has been suggested that tattooing was also practised in the Predynastic period as evidenced by figurines with geometric designs, however, no physical evidence for tattooing has yet been found for this early period. Strangely there is almost no mention of tattooing in ancient Egyptian written records. Historical and ethnographic records indicate that tattooing was also practised much more recently in the Coptic, Islamic and modern eras. Unlike many past societies, tattooing in Egypt appears to have been a custom practised almost exclusively on women. Tattooing tools have not yet been positively identified from ancient Egypt. Ethnographic sources suggest that bundles of metal rods were used in Egypt’s more recent history. This paper discusses physical and iconographic evidence for tattooing in ancient Egypt and investigates whether five copper rods found at Kafr Hassan Dawood, a Predynastic to Early Dynastic site in the East Delta, could be physical evidence for tattooing during this early period.

  5. Dance in Ancient Greek Culture


    Spalva, Rita


    The greatness and harmony of ancient Greece has had an impact upon the development of the Western European culture to this day. The ancient Greek culture has influenced contemporary literature genres and systems of philosophy, principles of architecture, sculpture and drama and has formed basis for such sciences as astronomy and mathematics. The art of ancient Greece with its penchant for beauty and clarity has been the example of the humanity’s search for an aesthetic ideal. Despite only bei...

  6. Ancient Egyptian Medicine: A Systematic Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel Adu-Gyamfi


    Full Text Available Our present day knowledge in the area of medicine in Ancient Egypt has been severally sourced from medical papyri several of which have been deduced and analyzed by different scholars. For educational purposes it is always imperative to consult different literature or sources in the teaching of ancient Egypt and medicine in particular. To avoid subjectivity the author has found the need to re-engage the efforts made by several scholars in adducing evidences from medical papyri. In the quest to re-engage the efforts of earlier writers and commentaries on the medical papyri, we are afforded the opportunity to be informed about the need to ask further questions to enable us to construct or reconstruct both past and modern views on ancient Egyptian medical knowledge. It is this vocation the author sought to pursue in the interim, through a preliminary review, to highlight, comment and reinvigorate in the reader or researcher the need for a continuous engagement of some pertinent documentary sources on Ancient Egyptian medical knowledge for educational and research purposes. The study is based on qualitative review of published literature. The selection of those articles as sources was based on the focus of the review, in order to purposively select and comment on articles that were published based either on information from a medical papyrus or focused on medical specialization among the ancient Egyptians as well as ancient Egyptian knowledge on diseases and medicine. It was found that the Egyptians developed relatively sophisticated medical practices covering significant medical fields such as herbal medicine, gynecology and obstetrics, anatomy and physiology, mummification and even the preliminary form of surgery. These practices, perhaps, were developed as remedies for the prevailing diseases and the accidents that might have occurred during the construction of their giant pyramids. It must be stated that they were not without flaws. Also, the

  7. Mathematics in ancient Greece

    CERN Document Server

    Dantzig, Tobias


    More than a history of mathematics, this lively book traces mathematical ideas and processes to their sources, stressing the methods used by the masters of the ancient world. Author Tobias Dantzig portrays the human story behind mathematics, showing how flashes of insight in the minds of certain gifted individuals helped mathematics take enormous forward strides. Dantzig demonstrates how the Greeks organized their precursors' melange of geometric maxims into an elegantly abstract deductive system. He also explains the ways in which some of the famous mathematical brainteasers of antiquity led

  8. Ancient concrete works

    CERN Document Server

    Sparavigna, Amelia Carolina


    It is commonly believed that the ancient Romans were the first to create and use concrete. This is not true, as we can easily learn from the Latin literature itself. For sure, Romans were able to prepare high-quality hydraulic cements, comparable with the modern Portland cements. In this paper, we will see that the use of concrete is quite older, ranging back to the Homeric times. For instance, it was used for the floors of some courts and galleries of the Mycenaean palace at Tiryns

  9. Anticancer activity of botanical compounds in ancient fermented beverages (review). (United States)

    McGovern, P E; Christofidou-Solomidou, M; Wang, W; Dukes, F; Davidson, T; El-Deiry, W S


    Humans around the globe probably discovered natural remedies against disease and cancer by trial and error over the millennia. Biomolecular archaeological analyses of ancient organics, especially plants dissolved or decocted as fermented beverages, have begun to reveal the preliterate histories of traditional pharmacopeias, which often date back thousands of years earlier than ancient textual, ethnohistorical, and ethnological evidence. In this new approach to drug discovery, two case studies from ancient Egypt and China illustrate how ancient medicines can be reconstructed from chemical and archaeological data and their active compounds delimited for testing their anticancer and other medicinal effects. Specifically, isoscopoletin from Artemisia argyi, artemisinin from Artemisia annua, and the latter's more easily assimilated semi-synthetic derivative, artesunate, showed the greatest activity in vitro against lung and colon cancers. In vivo tests of these compounds previously unscreened against lung and pancreatic cancers are planned for the future.

  10. Exploring Ancient Skies A Survey of Ancient and Cultural Astronomy

    CERN Document Server

    Kelley, David H


    Exploring Ancient Skies brings together the methods of archaeology and the insights of modern astronomy to explore the science of astronomy as it was practiced in various cultures prior to the invention of the telescope. The book reviews an enormous and growing body of literature on the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean, the Far East, and the New World (particularly Mesoamerica), putting the ancient astronomical materials into their archaeological and cultural contexts. The authors begin with an overview of the field and proceed to essential aspects of naked-eye astronomy, followed by an examination of specific cultures. The book concludes by taking into account the purposes of ancient astronomy: astrology, navigation, calendar regulation, and (not least) the understanding of our place and role in the universe. Skies are recreated to display critical events as they would have appeared to ancient observers—events such as the supernova of 1054 A.D., the "lion horoscope," and the Star of Bethlehem. Explori...

  11. Proteomics of Skeletal Muscle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Deshmukh, Atul


    Skeletal muscle is the largest tissue in the human body and plays an important role in locomotion and whole body metabolism. It accounts for ~80% of insulin stimulated glucose disposal. Skeletal muscle insulin resistance, a primary feature of Type 2 diabetes, is caused by a decreased ability...... of muscle to respond to circulating insulin. Physical exercise improves insulin sensitivity and whole body metabolism and remains one of the most promising interventions for the prevention of Type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance and exercise adaptations in skeletal muscle might be a cause, or consequence...

  12. Authenticity in ancient DNA studies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gilbert, M Thomas P; Willerslev, Eske


    Ancient DNA studies represent a powerful tool that can be used to obtain genetic insights into the past. However, despite the publication of large numbers of apparently successful ancient DNA studies, a number of problems exist with the field that are often ignored. Therefore, questions exist as ...

  13. Tamil merchant in ancient Mesopotamia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malliya Gounder Palanichamy

    Full Text Available Recent analyses of ancient Mesopotamian mitochondrial genomes have suggested a genetic link between the Indian subcontinent and Mesopotamian civilization. There is no consensus on the origin of the ancient Mesopotamians. They may be descendants of migrants, who founded regional Mesopotamian groups like that of Terqa or they may be merchants who were involved in trans Mesopotamia trade. To identify the Indian source population showing linkage to the ancient Mesopotamians, we screened a total of 15,751 mitochondrial DNAs (11,432 from the literature and 4,319 from this study representing all major populations of India. Our results although suggest that south India (Tamil Nadu and northeast India served as the source of the ancient Mesopotamian mtDNA gene pool, mtDNA of these ancient Mesopotamians probably contributed by Tamil merchants who were involved in the Indo-Roman trade.

  14. Tamil merchant in ancient Mesopotamia. (United States)

    Palanichamy, Malliya Gounder; Mitra, Bikash; Debnath, Monojit; Agrawal, Suraksha; Chaudhuri, Tapas Kumar; Zhang, Ya-Ping


    Recent analyses of ancient Mesopotamian mitochondrial genomes have suggested a genetic link between the Indian subcontinent and Mesopotamian civilization. There is no consensus on the origin of the ancient Mesopotamians. They may be descendants of migrants, who founded regional Mesopotamian groups like that of Terqa or they may be merchants who were involved in trans Mesopotamia trade. To identify the Indian source population showing linkage to the ancient Mesopotamians, we screened a total of 15,751 mitochondrial DNAs (11,432 from the literature and 4,319 from this study) representing all major populations of India. Our results although suggest that south India (Tamil Nadu) and northeast India served as the source of the ancient Mesopotamian mtDNA gene pool, mtDNA of these ancient Mesopotamians probably contributed by Tamil merchants who were involved in the Indo-Roman trade.

  15. Satellite cells in human skeletal muscle plasticity. (United States)

    Snijders, Tim; Nederveen, Joshua P; McKay, Bryon R; Joanisse, Sophie; Verdijk, Lex B; van Loon, Luc J C; Parise, Gianni


    Skeletal muscle satellite cells are considered to play a crucial role in muscle fiber maintenance, repair and remodeling. Our knowledge of the role of satellite cells in muscle fiber adaptation has traditionally relied on in vitro cell and in vivo animal models. Over the past decade, a genuine effort has been made to translate these results to humans under physiological conditions. Findings from in vivo human studies suggest that satellite cells play a key role in skeletal muscle fiber repair/remodeling in response to exercise. Mounting evidence indicates that aging has a profound impact on the regulation of satellite cells in human skeletal muscle. Yet, the precise role of satellite cells in the development of muscle fiber atrophy with age remains unresolved. This review seeks to integrate recent results from in vivo human studies on satellite cell function in muscle fiber repair/remodeling in the wider context of satellite cell biology whose literature is largely based on animal and cell models.

  16. Characterization of Ancient Tripitaka (United States)

    Gong, Y. X.; Geng, L.; Gong, D. C.


    Tripitaka is the world's most comprehensive version of Buddhist sutra. There are limited numbers of Tripitaka currently preserved, most of them present various patterns of degradation. As little is known about the materials and crafts used in Tripitaka, it appeared necessary to identify them, and to further define adapted conservation treatment. In this work, a study concerning the paper source and dyestuff of the Tripitaka from approximate 16th century was carried out using fiber analysis and thin-layer chromatography (TLC). The results proved that the papers were mainly made from hemp or bark of mulberry tree, and indigo was used for colorizing the paper. At the end, we provide with suggestions for protecting and restoring the ancient Tripitaka.

  17. Extinct 244Pu in Ancient Zircons (United States)

    Turner, Grenville; Harrison, T. Mark; Holland, Greg; Mojzsis, Stephen J.; Gilmour, Jamie


    We have found evidence, in the form of fissiogenic xenon isotopes, for in situ decay of 244Pu in individual 4.1- to 4.2-billion-year-old zircons from the Jack Hills region of Western Australia. Because of its short half-life, 82 million years, 244Pu was extinct within 600 million years of Earth's formation. Detrital zircons are the only known relics to have survived from this period, and a study of their Pu geochemistry will allow us to date ancient metamorphic events and determine the terrestrial Pu/U ratio for comparison with the solar ratio.

  18. The astronomical orientation of ancient Greek temples. (United States)

    Salt, Alun M


    Despite its appearing to be a simple question to answer, there has been no consensus as to whether or not the alignments of ancient Greek temples reflect astronomical intentions. Here I present the results of a survey of archaic and classical Greek temples in Sicily and compare them with temples in Greece. Using a binomial test I show strong evidence that there is a preference for solar orientations. I then speculate that differences in alignment patterns between Sicily and Greece reflect differing pressures in the expression of ethnic identity.

  19. How sex hormones promote skeletal muscle regeneration. (United States)

    Velders, Martina; Diel, Patrick


    Skeletal muscle regeneration efficiency declines with age for both men and women. This decline impacts on functional capabilities in the elderly and limits their ability to engage in regular physical activity and to maintain independence. Aging is associated with a decline in sex hormone production. Therefore, elucidating the effects of sex hormone substitution on skeletal muscle homeostasis and regeneration after injury or disuse is highly relevant for the aging population, where sarcopenia affects more than 30 % of individuals over 60 years of age. While the anabolic effects of androgens are well known, the effects of estrogens on skeletal muscle anabolism have only been uncovered in recent times. Hence, the purpose of this review is to provide a mechanistic insight into the regulation of skeletal muscle regenerative processes by both androgens and estrogens. Animal studies using estrogen receptor (ER) antagonists and receptor subtype selective agonists have revealed that estrogens act through both genomic and non-genomic pathways to reduce leukocyte invasion and increase satellite cell numbers in regenerating skeletal muscle tissue. Although animal studies have been more conclusive than human studies in establishing a role for sex hormones in the attenuation of muscle damage, data from a number of recent well controlled human studies is presented to support the notion that hormonal therapies and exercise induce added positive effects on functional measures and lean tissue mass. Based on the fact that aging human skeletal muscle retains the ability to adapt to exercise with enhanced satellite cell activation, combining sex hormone therapies with exercise may induce additive effects on satellite cell accretion. There is evidence to suggest that there is a 'window of opportunity' after the onset of a hypogonadal state such as menopause, to initiate a hormonal therapy in order to achieve maximal benefits for skeletal muscle health. Novel receptor subtype selective

  20. Ancient wheat and health: a legend or the reality? A review on KAMUT khorasan wheat. (United States)

    Bordoni, Alessandra; Danesi, Francesca; Di Nunzio, Mattia; Taccari, Annalisa; Valli, Veronica


    After WWII, the industrialized agriculture selected modern varieties of Triticum turgidum spp. durum and spp. aestivum (durum wheat and common wheat) based on higher yields and technological characteristics. Nowadays, the use of whole ancient grains and pseudo cereals is considered nutritionally important. How ancient grains have positive effects is not entirely known, the fragmentation of the scientific knowledge being also related to the fact that ancient grains are not a homogeneous category. The KAMUT(®) trademark indicates a specific and ancient variety of grain (Triticum turgidum ssp. turanicum, commonly khorasan wheat), and guarantees certain attributes making studies sufficiently comparable. In this work, studies on KAMUT(®) khorasan wheat have been systematically reviewed, evidencing different aspects supporting its benefits. Although it is not possible to establish whether all ancient grains share these positive characteristics, in total or in part, this review provides further evidences supporting the consumption of ancient grains.

  1. Layout of Ancient Maya Cities (United States)

    Aylesworth, Grant R.

    Although there is little doubt that the ancient Maya of Mesoamerica laid their cities out based, in part, on astronomical considerations, the proliferation of "cosmograms" in contemporary scholarly discourse has complicated matters for the acceptance of rigorous archaeoastronomical research.

  2. Astronomical Significance of Ancient Monuments (United States)

    Simonia, I.


    Astronomical significance of Gokhnari megalithic monument (eastern Georgia) is considered. Possible connection of Amirani ancient legend with Gokhnari monument is discussed. Concepts of starry practicality and solar stations are proposed.

  3. Hunting for Ancient Rocky Shores. (United States)

    Johnson, Markes E.


    Promotes the study of ancient rocky shores by showing how they can be recognized and what directions future research may follow. A bibliography of previous research articles, arranged by geologic period, is provided in the appendix to this paper. (CW)

  4. Aberration corrected STEM to study an ancient hair dyeing formula (United States)

    Patriarche, G.; Van Elslande, E.; Castaing, J.; Walter, P.


    Lead-based chemistry was initiated in ancient Egypt for cosmetic preparation more than 4000 years ago. Here, we study a hair-dyeing recipe using lead salts described in text since Greco-Roman times. We report direct evidence about the shape and distribution of PbS nanocrystals that form within the hair during blackening.

  5. Atmospheric science: Ancient air caught by shooting stars (United States)

    Zahnle, Kevin; Buick, Roger


    Ashes of ancient meteors recovered from a 2.7-billion-year-old lake bed imply that the upper atmosphere was rich in oxygen at a time when all other evidence implies that the atmosphere was oxygen-free. See Letter p.235

  6. Highly informative ancient DNA 'snippets' for New Zealand moa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan McCallum

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Analysis of ancient DNA has provided invaluable information on past ecologies, ancient populations, and extinct species. We used a short snippet of highly variable mitochondrial control region sequence from New Zealand's moa to characterise a large number of bones previously intractable to DNA analysis as well as bone fragments from swamps to gain information about the haplotype diversity and phylogeography that existed in five moa species. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: By targeting such 'snippets', we show that moa populations differed substantially in geographic structure that is likely to be related to population mobility and history. We show that populations of Pachyornis geranoides, Dinornis novaezealandiae, and Dinornis robustus were highly structured and some appear to have occupied the same geographic location for hundreds of thousands of years. In contrast, populations of the moa Anomalopteryx didiformis and Euryapteryx curtus were widespread, with specific populations of the latter occupying both the North and South Islands of New Zealand. We further show that for a specific area, in this case a North Island swamp, complete haplotype diversity and even sex can be recovered from collections of small, often discarded, bone fragments. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Short highly variable mitochondrial 'snippets' allow successful typing of environmentally damaged and fragmented skeletal material, and can provide useful information about ancient population diversity and structure without the need to sample valuable, whole bones often held by museums.

  7. Ancient Human Bone Microstructure in Medieval England: Comparisons between Two Socio-Economic Groups


    Miszkiewicz, Justyna J.; Mahoney, Patrick


    Understanding the links between bone microstructure and human lifestyle is critical for clinical and anthropological research into skeletal\\ud growth and adaptation. The present study is the first to report correspondence between socio-economic status and variation in bone microstructure\\ud in ancient humans. Products of femoral cortical remodeling were assessed using histological methods in a large human medieval\\ud sample (N:450) which represented two distinct socio-economic groups. Osteona...

  8. Genetic Drift. The ancient Egyptian dwarfs of the Walters Art Museum. (United States)

    Kozma, Chahira


    The ancient Egyptians left an impressive artistic legacy documenting many aspects of their society including the existence of dwarfs as highly valued members. In previous publications in the Journal, I discussed dwarfs and skeletal dysplasia in ancient Egypt. In this study, I examined the ancient Egyptian representations of dwarfs of the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. One of the highlights of the collection is a group of five ivory figurines from Predynastic Times (pre 3500-3100 BCE) depicting a couple, a man with a child, and two females. Representations from other periods include ordinary as well as dwarf deities. The dwarf gods, Bes and Ptah, are frequently depicted holding or biting snakes or standing on crocodiles symbolizing their ability to ward off dangers. A couple of statuettes from the Greco-Roman Period that, in contrast to earlier Egyptian Periods, depict harsh physical anomalies, twisted bodies, and facial pain. The artistic impression can be interpreted as either tragic or humorous. The grotesque depiction of dwarfs during the Greco-Roman Period in ancient Egypt is believed to be due to a greater infusion of Hellenistic influence. This study provides a microcosm of the legacy of dwarfs in ancient Egypt and supports the premise that dwarfs were accepted and integrated in the ancient Egyptian society, and with a few exceptions, their disorder was not depicted as a physical handicap.

  9. Did the ancient Egyptians migrate to ancient Nigeria?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jock M. Agai


    Full Text Available Literatures concerning the history of West African peoples published from 1900 to 1970 debate�the possible migrations of the Egyptians into West Africa. Writers like Samuel Johnson and�Lucas Olumide believe that the ancient Egyptians penetrated through ancient Nigeria but Leo�Frobenius and Geoffrey Parrinder frowned at this opinion. Using the works of these early�20th century writers of West African history together with a Yoruba legend which teaches�about the origin of their earliest ancestor(s, this researcher investigates the theories that the�ancient Egyptians had contact with the ancient Nigerians and particularly with the Yorubas.Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: There is an existing ideology�amongst the Yorubas and other writers of Yoruba history that the original ancestors of�the Yorubas originated in ancient Egypt hence there was migration between Egypt and�Yorubaland. This researcher contends that even if there was migration between Egypt and�Nigeria, such migration did not take place during the predynastic and dynastic period as�speculated by some scholars. The subject is open for further research.

  10. Reactive Oxygen Species in Skeletal Muscle Signaling



    Generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is a ubiquitous phenomenon in eukaryotic cells' life. Up to the 1990s of the past century, ROS have been solely considered as toxic species resulting in oxidative stress, pathogenesis and aging. However, there is now clear evidence that ROS are not merely toxic species but also—within certain concentrations—useful signaling molecules regulating physiological processes. During intense skeletal muscle contractile activity myotubes' mitochondria genera...

  11. Were the ancient Romans art forgers?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Casemen


    Full Text Available A popularly held tenet in the historical record on art is that the practice of forgery began in ancient Rome, where sculptures made by craftsmen of the day were passed off as classical Greek antiquities. However, revisionist scholars in recent decades have challenged this perspective. One line of criticism denies that forgery was present in Rome, asserting that the evidence for it has been misunderstood. A softer line suggests that while the traditional view overstates the case, there is still reason to accept that the culture of Rome harbored art forgery. This article assesses the competing claims in light of literary references by Roman authors, physical evidence including inscriptions on sculptures, the phenomenon of Corinthian bronze, the nature of Roman copying, social and economic conditions necessary for art forgery to arise, and what art forgery consists of by definition.

  12. Mechanotransduction pathways in skeletal muscle hypertrophy. (United States)

    Yamada, André Katayama; Verlengia, Rozangela; Bueno Junior, Carlos Roberto


    In the last decade, molecular biology has contributed to define some of the cellular events that trigger skeletal muscle hypertrophy. Recent evidence shows that insulin like growth factor 1/phosphatidyl inositol 3-kinase/protein kinase B (IGF-1/PI3K/Akt) signaling is not the main pathway towards load-induced skeletal muscle hypertrophy. During load-induced skeletal muscle hypertrophy process, activation of mTORC1 does not require classical growth factor signaling. One potential mechanism that would activate mTORC1 is increased synthesis of phosphatidic acid (PA). Despite the huge progress in this field, it is still early to affirm which molecular event induces hypertrophy in response to mechanical overload. Until now, it seems that mTORC1 is the key regulator of load-induced skeletal muscle hypertrophy. On the other hand, how mTORC1 is activated by PA is unclear, and therefore these mechanisms have to be determined in the following years. The understanding of these molecular events may result in promising therapies for the treatment of muscle-wasting diseases. For now, the best approach is a good regime of resistance exercise training. The objective of this point-of-view paper is to highlight mechanotransduction events, with focus on the mechanisms of mTORC1 and PA activation, and the role of IGF-1 on hypertrophy process.

  13. [Bow legged adjectives in ancient literature]. (United States)

    Simon, Frantisek; Steger, Florian


    This article addresses the issue of capturing the medical entity called 'curved legs' in a terminologically exact way. In so doing, it refers to the long-lasting process of differentiation of exact nuances of meaning in Ancient Greek and Latin. In the chronological perusal of ancient Greek literature, it becomes evident that the various adjectives employed are often vague when looking at non-medical literature. By contrast, in the Hippocratic corpus these terms are for the first time annotated with explanations intended to lead to a more precise understanding of the described deformity. Further attempts of differentiation can be found in the writings of Galen, who not only distinguishes between outward and inward curvatures, but also between deformities of the thigh and lower leg as well as between pathological and natural curvatures. Latin literature also provides a series of adjectives that were initially often used in the meaning of 'curved' but it was not until Celsus that these were differentiated with respect to the type and direction of the curvature. When comparing Greek and Latin adjectives, it turns out that though the Latin term blaesus can be traced back etymologically to the Greek word beta lambda alpha iota sigma ó zeta, the meaning of beta lambda alpha iota sigma ó zeta does not fully correspond to that of the Latin word. It is not before the later common transliteration of Greek words that this adjective took on the meaning of beta lambda alpha iota sigma ó zeta; however, this was finally lost again. In summary, the article concludes that exact word meanings in ancient literature are often unclear and precise ascriptions of meanings are inconsistent. In the case of "curved legs," this has led to misunderstandings regarding the respective types and directions of the curvature.

  14. Neonatal medicine in ancient art. (United States)

    Yurdakök, Murat


    There are a limited number of artistic objects from ancient times with particular importance in neonatal medicine. The best examples are figurines from ancient Egypt of Isis nursing Horus, showing the importance of breastfeeding. The earliest images of the human fetus were made by the Olmecs in Mexico around 1200- 400 BCE. One of the earliest representations of congenital anomalies is a figurine of diencephalic twins thought to be the goddess of Anatolia, dated to around 6500 BCE. In addition to these figurines, three sets of twins in the ancient world have medical importance, and Renaissance artists often used them as a subject for their paintings: "direct suckling animals" (Romulus and Remus), "heteropaternal superfecundation" (mother: Leda, fathers: Zeus, the king of the Olympian gods, and Leda's husband, Tyndareus), and "twin-to-twin transfusion" in monozygotic twins (Jacob and Esau).

  15. Ancient "Observatories" - A Relevant Concept? (United States)

    Belmonte, Juan Antonio

    It is quite common, when reading popular books on astronomy, to see a place referred to as "the oldest observatory in the world". In addition, numerous books on archaeoastronomy, of various levels of quality, frequently refer to the existence of "prehistoric" or "ancient" observatories when describing or citing monuments that were certainly not built with the primary purpose of observing the skies. Internet sources are also guilty of this practice. In this chapter, the different meanings of the word observatory will be analyzed, looking at how their significances can be easily confused or even interchanged. The proclaimed "ancient observatories" are a typical result of this situation. Finally, the relevance of the concept of the ancient observatory will be evaluated.

  16. Ancient Hawaiian Astronomy (United States)

    Ruggles, Clive L. N.

    The Hawaiian Islands provide a cultural setting where the prominent place of astronomy within religious, navigational, and calendrical traditions is evident from a rich ethnohistoric record. The many hundreds of temple platforms and enclosures (heiau) whose remains survive across the archipelago have provided a natural focus for archaeoastronomers not only to examine orientations and structural alignments but to explore a range of issues relating to field method and practice in a context where spatially patterned archaeological data and ethnohistorical evidence exist in relatively fine balance. As archaeoastronomy has developed within the islands, it has become better integrated into archaeological investigations tackling questions of broader anthropological significance, one of the most fascinating being when, how, and why Polynesian chiefdoms became transformed into archaic states, something that happened here but nowhere else in Polynesia.

  17. Night blindness and ancient remedy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H.A. Hajar Al Binali


    Full Text Available The aim of this article is to briefly review the history of night blindness and its treatment from ancient times until the present. The old Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Greeks and the Arabs used animal liver for treatment and successfully cured the disease. The author had the opportunity to observe the application of the old remedy to a patient. Now we know what the ancients did not know, that night blindness is caused by Vitamin A deficiency and the animal liver is the store house for Vitamin A.

  18. Essentials of skeletal radiology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yochum, T.R.; Rowe, L.J.


    This book discusses the following topics of skeletal radiology: Positioning of patients for diagnostic radiology and normal anatomy; congenital malformations of skeleton; measurements in radiology; spondylolisthesis; metabolic and endocrine diseases of bone and their diagnostic aspects; image processing of vertebrae, skeleton, bone fractures evaluations and epidemiological and social aspects of some bone diseases. Various modalities as CT scanning, NMR imaging, ultrasonography and biomedical radiography are briefly discussed in relation to bone pathology.

  19. Skeletal (stromal) stem cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abdallah, Basem M; Kermani, Abbas Jafari; Zaher, Walid


    Skeletal (marrow stromal) stem cells (BMSCs) are a group of multipotent cells that reside in the bone marrow stroma and can differentiate into osteoblasts, chondrocytes and adipocytes. Studying signaling pathways that regulate BMSC differentiation into osteoblastic cells is a strategy....../preadipocyte factor 1 (Dlk1/Pref-1), the Wnt co-receptor Lrp5 and intracellular kinases. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Stem Cells and Bone....

  20. Phylogenetic estimation of timescales using ancient DNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Molak, Martyna; Lorenzen, Eline; Shapiro, Beth;


    In recent years, ancient DNA has increasingly been used for estimating molecular timescales, particularly in studies of substitution rates and demographic histories. Molecular clocks can be calibrated using temporal information from ancient DNA sequences. This information comes from the ages...

  1. The eye and its diseases in Ancient Egypt

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, S. Ry


    Ophthalmology, History of ophthalmology, eyes in the Ancient Egypt, eye disease in Ancient Egypt, porotic hyperostosis, mummification......Ophthalmology, History of ophthalmology, eyes in the Ancient Egypt, eye disease in Ancient Egypt, porotic hyperostosis, mummification...

  2. Ancient aliens on mars

    CERN Document Server

    Bara, Mike


    Best-selling author and Secret Space Program researcher Bara brings us this lavishly illustrated volume on alien structures on Mars. Was there once a vast, technologically advanced civilization on Mars, and did it leave evidence of its existence behind for humans to find eons later? Did these advanced extraterrestrial visitors vanish in a solar system wide cataclysm of their own making, only to make their way to Earth and start anew? Was Mars once as lush and green as the Earth, and teeming with life? Did Mars once orbit a missing member of the solar system, a "Super Earth” that vanished in a disaster that devastated life on Earth and Venus and left us only the asteroid belt as evidence of its once grand existence? Did the survivors of this catastrophe leave monuments and temples behind, arranged in a mathematical precision designed to teach us the Secret of a new physics that could lift us back to the stars? Does the planet have an automated defense shield that swallows up robotic probes if they wander int...

  3. The ancient art of memory. (United States)

    Hobson, Allan


    Revision of Freud's theory requires a new way of seeking dream meaning. With the idea of elaborative encoding, Sue Llewellyn has provided a method of dream interpretation that takes into account both modern sleep science and the ancient art of memory. Her synthesis is elegant and compelling. But is her hypothesis testable?

  4. Ancient medicine--a review. (United States)

    Zuskin, Eugenija; Lipozencić, Jasna; Pucarin-Cvetković, Jasna; Mustajbegović, Jadranka; Schachter, Neil; Mucić-Pucić, Branka; Neralić-Meniga, Inja


    Different aspects of medicine and/or healing in several societies are presented. In the ancient times as well as today medicine has been closely related to magic, science and religion. Various ancient societies and cultures had developed different views of medicine. It was believed that a human being has two bodies: a visible body that belongs to the earth and an invisible body of heaven. In the earliest prehistoric days, a different kind of medicine was practiced in countries such as Egypt, Greece, Rome, Mesopotamia, India, Tibet, China, and others. In those countries, "medicine people" practiced medicine from the magic to modern physical practices. Medicine was magical and mythological, and diseases were attributed mostly to the supernatural forces. The foundation of modern medicine can be traced back to ancient Greeks. Tibetan culture, for instance, even today, combines spiritual and practical medicine. Chinese medicine developed as a concept of yin and yang, acupuncture and acupressure, and it has even been used in the modern medicine. During medieval Europe, major universities and medical schools were established. In the ancient time, before hospitals had developed, patients were treated mostly in temples.

  5. Ancient and modern environmental DNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Mikkel Winther; Overballe-Petersen, Søren; Ermini, Luca


    DNA obtained from environmental samples such as sediments, ice or water (environmental DNA, eDNA), represents an important source of information on past and present biodiversity. It has revealed an ancient forest in Greenland, extended by several thousand years the survival dates for mainland woo...

  6. Skeletal sarcoidosis; Skelettsarkoidose

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Freyschmidt, J. [Klinikum Bremen-Mitte, Beratungsstelle und Referenzzentrum fuer Osteoradiologie, Bremen (Germany); Freyschmidt, P. [Dermatologische Gemeinschaftspraxis, Schwalmstadt (Germany)


    Presentation of the etiology, pathology, clinical course, radiology and differential diagnostics of skeletal sarcoidosis. Noncaseating epithelioid cell granulomas can trigger solitary, multiple or disseminated osteolysis, reactive osteosclerosis and/or granulomatous synovitis. The incidence of sarcoidosis is 10-12 per 100,000 inhabitants per year. Skeletal involvement is approximately 14 %. Skeletal involvement occurs almost exclusively in the stage of lymph node and pulmonary manifestation. Most cases of skeletal involvement are clinically asymptomatic. In the case of synovial involvement, unspecific joint complaints (arthralgia) or less commonly arthritis can occur. Typical skin alterations can be diagnostically significant. Punch out lesions osteolysis, coarse destruction and osteosclerosis can occur, which are best visualized with projection radiography and/or computed tomography. Pure bone marrow foci without interaction with the bone can only be detected with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and more recently with positron emission tomography (PET), mostly as incidental findings. There is a predeliction for the hand and trunk skeleton. Skeletal tuberculosis, metastases, multiple myeloma, Langerhans cell histiocytosis and sarcoid-like reactions in solid tumors must be differentiated. The key factors for correct diagnosis are thorax radiography, thorax CT and dermatological manifestations. (orig.) [German] Darstellung von Aetiologie, Pathologie, Klinik, Radiologie und Differenzialdiagnose der Skelettsarkoidose. Nichtverkaesende Epitheloidzellgranulome koennen solitaere, multiple oder disseminierte Osteolysen, reaktive Osteosklerosen und/oder eine granulomatoese Synovialitis ausloesen. Inzidenz der Sarkoidose: 10-12/100.000 Einwohner/Jahr. Skelettbeteiligung ca. 14 %. Skelettbeteiligungen kommen fast ausschliesslich im Stadium einer Lymphknoten- und pulmonalen Manifestation vor. Die meisten Skelettbeteiligungen verlaufen klinisch stumm. Bei synovialer

  7. A Huge Ancient Schwannoma of the Epiglottis. (United States)

    Lee, Dong Hoon; Kim, Jo Heon; Yoon, Tae Mi; Lee, Joon Kyoo; Lim, Sang Chul


    Ancient schwannoma of the epiglottis is extremely rare. The authors report the first case of a patient with a huge ancient schwannoma of the epiglottis. Clinicians should consider the possibility that ancient schwannoma may originate in the epiglottis mimicking the other more frequently observed lesions.

  8. AMPK controls exercise endurance, mitochondrial oxidative capacity, and skeletal muscle integrity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lantier, Louise; Fentz, Joachim; Mounier, Rémi


    AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a sensor of cellular energy status that plays a central role in skeletal muscle metabolism. We used skeletal muscle-specific AMPKα1α2 double-knockout (mdKO) mice to provide direct genetic evidence of the physiological importance of AMPK in regulating muscle ...

  9. Mapping The Ancient Maya Landscape From Space (United States)

    Sever, Tom; Arnold, James E. (Technical Monitor)


    The Peten region of northern Guatemala is one of the last places on earth where major archeological sites remain to be discovered. It was in this region that the Maya civilization began, flourished, and abruptly disappeared. Remote sensing technology is helping to locate and map ancient Maya sites that are threatened today by accelerating deforestation and looting. Thematic Mapper and IKONOS satellite and airborne Star3-I radar data, combined with Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, are successfully detecting ancient Maya features such as cities, roadways, canals, and water reservoirs. Satellite imagery is also being used to map the bajos, which are seasonally flooded swamps that cover over 40% of the land surface. The use of bajos for farming has been a source of debate within the professional community for many years. But the recent detection and verification of cultural features within the bajo system by our research team are providing conclusive evidence that the ancient Maya had adapted well to wetland environments from the earliest times and utilized them until the time of the Maya collapse. The use of the bajos for farming is also an important resource for the future of the current inhabitants who are experiencing rapid population growth. Remote sensing imagery is also demonstrating that in the Preclassic period (600 BC- AD 250), the Maya had already achieved a high organizational level as evidenced by the construction of massive temples and an elaborate inter-connecting roadway system. Although they experienced several setbacks such as droughts and hurricanes, the Maya nevertheless managed the delicate forest ecosystem successfully for several centuries. However, around AD 800, something happened to the Maya to cause their rapid decline and eventual disappearance from the region. The evidence indicates that at this time there was increased climatic dryness, extensive deforestation, overpopulation, and widespread warfare. This raises a question that

  10. Skeletal Effects of Smoking. (United States)

    Cusano, Natalie E


    Smoking is a leading cause of preventable death and disability. Smoking has long been identified as a risk factor for osteoporosis, with data showing that older smokers have decreased bone mineral density and increased fracture risk compared to nonsmokers, particularly at the hip. The increase in fracture risk in smokers is out of proportion to the effects on bone density, indicating deficits in bone quality. Advanced imaging techniques have demonstrated microarchitectural deterioration in smokers, particularly in the trabecular compartment. The mechanisms by which smoking affects skeletal health remain unclear, although multiple pathways have been proposed. Smoking cessation may at least partially reverse the adverse effects of smoking on the skeleton.

  11. Exercise and obesity-induced insulin resistance in skeletal muscle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyo-Bum Kwak


    Full Text Available The skeletal muscle in our body is a major site for bioenergetics and metabolism during exercise. Carbohydrates and fats are the primary nutrients that provide the necessary energy required to maintain cellular activities during exercise. The metabolic responses to exercise in glucose and lipid regulation depend on the intensity and duration of exercise. Because of the increasing prevalence of obesity, recent studies have focused on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of obesity-induced insulin resistance in skeletal muscle. Accumulation of intramyocellular lipid may lead to insulin resistance in skeletal muscle. In addition, lipid intermediates (e.g., fatty acyl-coenzyme A, diacylglycerol, and ceramide impair insulin signaling in skeletal muscle. Recently, emerging evidence linking obesity-induced insulin resistance to excessive lipid oxidation, mitochondrial overload, and mitochondrial oxidative stress have been provided with mitochondrial function. This review will provide a brief comprehensive summary on exercise and skeletal muscle metabolism, and discuss the potential mechanisms of obesity-induced insulin resistance in skeletal muscle.

  12. Zebrafish Fins as a Model System for Skeletal Human Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Marí-Beffa


    Full Text Available Recent studies on the morphogenesis of the fins of Danio rerio (zebrafish during development and regeneration suggest that a number of inductive signals involved in the process are similar to some of those that affect bone and cartilage differentiation in mammals and humans. Akimenko et al. (2002 has shown that bone morphogenetic protein-2b (BMP2b is involved in the induction of dermal bone differentiation during fin regeneration. Many other groups have also shown that molecules from the transforming growth factor-beta superfamily (TGFβ, including BMP2, are effective in promoting chondrogenesis and osteogenesis in vivo in higher vertebrates, including humans. In the present study, we review the state of the art of this topic by a comparative analysis of skeletal tissue development, regeneration and renewal processes in tetrapods, and fin regeneration in fishes. A general conclusion of this study states that lepidotrichia is a special skeletal tissue different to cartilage, bone, enamel, or dentine in fishes, according to its extracellular matrix (ECM composition. However, the empirical analysis of inducing signals of skeletal tissues in fishes and tetrapods suggests that lepidotrichia is different to any responding features with main skeletal tissues. A number of new inductive molecules are arising from fin development and regeneration studies that might establish an empirical basis for further molecular approaches to mammal skeletal tissues differentiation. Despite the tissue dissimilarity, this empirical evidence might finally lead to clinical applications to skeletal disorders in humans.

  13. Ancient Leishmaniasis in a Highland Desert of Northern Chile


    Maria Antonietta Costa; Carney Matheson; Lucia Iachetta; Agustín Llagostera; Otto Appenzeller


    BACKGROUND: Leishmaniasis is an infectious disease endemic today in many areas of South America. METHODOLOGY: We discovered morphologic and molecular evidence of ancient infections in 4 female skulls in the archaeological cemetery of Coyo Oriente, in the desert of San Pedro de Atacama, Northern Chile. The boney facial lesions visible in the skulls could have been caused by a number of chronic infections including chronic Leishmaniasis. This diagnosis was confirmed using PCR-sequenced analyses...

  14. Ancient DNA from marine mammals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foote, Andrew David; Hofreiter, Michael; Morin, Philip A


    such as bone, tooth, baleen, skin, fur, whiskers and scrimshaw using ancient DNA (aDNA) approaches provide an oppor- tunity for investigating such changes over evolutionary and ecological timescales. Here, we review the application of aDNA techniques to the study of marine mammals. Most of the studies have...... focused on detecting changes in genetic diversity following periods of exploitation and environmental change. To date, these studies have shown that even small sample sizes can provide useful information on historical genetic diversity. Ancient DNA has also been used in investigations of changes...... in distribution and range of marine mammal species; we review these studies and discuss the limitations of such ‘presence only’ studies. Combining aDNA data with stable isotopes can provide further insights into changes in ecology and we review past studies and suggest future potential applications. We also...

  15. Mitogenomic analyses from ancient DNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Paijmans, Johanna L.A.; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Hofreiter, Michael


    analyses (whether using modern or ancient DNA) were largely restricted to the analysis of short fragments of the mitochondrial genome. However, due to many technological advances during the past decade, a growing number of studies have explored the power of complete mitochondrial genome sequences...... (mitogenomes). Such studies were initially limited to analyses of extant organisms, but developments in both DNA sequencing technologies and general methodological aspects related to working with degraded DNA have resulted in complete mitogenomes becoming increasingly popular for ancient DNA studies as well....... To date, at least 124 partially or fully assembled mitogenomes from more than 20 species have been obtained, and, given the rapid progress in sequencing technology, this number is likely to dramatically increase in the future. The increased information content offered by analysing full mitogenomes has...

  16. Models of ancient sound vases (United States)

    Bruel, Per V.


    Models were made of vases described by Vitruvius in Rome in about the year 70 A.D. and of sound vases (lydpotter) placed in Danish churches from 1100-1300 A.D. Measurements of vase's resonant frequencies and damping (reradiation) verified that the model vases obeyed expected physical rules. It was concluded that the excellent acoustical quality of many ancient Greek and Roman theaters cannot be ascribed to the vases placed under their seats. This study also found that sound vases placed in Nordic churches could not have shortened the reverberation time because there are far too few of them. Moreover, they could not have covered a broad frequency range. It remains a mystery why vases were installed under the seats of ancient Greek theaters and why, 1000 years later, Danes placed vases in their churches.

  17. The Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency in Ancient Egyptian Population from Baharia Oasis, the Greco Roman Period

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rokia Abd ElShafy Soliman El-Banna*, , Azza Mohamed Sarry El-Din*, Fatma Ahmed Eid**, Walaa Yousef Mohamed Ali


    Full Text Available Background: Vitamin D deficiency is considered to be the most common nutritional deficiency and also one of the most common undiagnosed medical conditions in the world. Vitamin D is naturally present only in minor amounts in most foods; the great majority is synthesized by the action of ultraviolet light on chemical precursors in the skin. The manifestation of vitamin D deficiency in sub adults is referred to as rickets, and in adults, osteomalacia . Rickets and osteomalacia are the sub adult and adult expressions of a disease in which the underlying problem is a failure to mineralize bone protein (osteoid. The most common cause of this disease is a physiological deficiency in vitamin D. The associated problems include deformed bones. Material and Methods: This study aimed to investigate the skeletal remains of ancient Egyptians from Baharia Oasis population for lesions indicative of vitamin D deficiency (rickets and osteomalacia. The material consisted of 1075 commingled bones (38 sub adults and1037 adults. They were recovered from Baharia oasis. Results: The results showed that, there was no evidence of rickets in sub adult group. The prevalence of osteomalacia in adult Baharia populations was 7.4% ; all were adult males. This result could indicate that this population was subjected to sunlight all over the year and their diet was rich of calcium and phosphorus. Conclusion: These few cases that were found may be due to mechanical stress during wine and textile production.

  18. Splendid Arts Fram Ancient Capitals

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    IT was in the golden autumn in Beijing, when the sky was high and the air clear, that I hurried to Zhongshan Park to witness the display of the songs and dances of the seven Chinese ancient capitals. The flower beds arranged for the celebration of National Day were still there and the colorful blooms looked especially bright in the sunshine. The seven cities which have served as capitals in Chinese history are Beijing,

  19. Psychiatric Thoughts in Ancient India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ravi Abhyankar


    Full Text Available A review of the literature regarding psychiatric thoughts in ancient India is attempted. Besides interesting reading, many of the concepts are still relevant and can be used in day-to-day practice especially towards healthy and happy living. Certain concepts are surprisingly contemporary and valid today. They can be used in psychotherapy and counselling and for promoting mental health. However, the description and classification of mental illness is not in tune with modern psychiatry.

  20. Nanoscience of an ancient pigment. (United States)

    Johnson-McDaniel, Darrah; Barrett, Christopher A; Sharafi, Asma; Salguero, Tina T


    We describe monolayer nanosheets of calcium copper tetrasilicate, CaCuSi(4)O(10), which have strong near-IR luminescence and are amenable to solution processing methods. The facile exfoliation of bulk CaCuSi(4)O(10) into nanosheets is especially surprising in view of the long history of this material as the colored component of Egyptian blue, a well-known pigment from ancient times.

  1. Exercise, hormones and skeletal adaptations during childhood and adolescence. (United States)

    Farr, Joshua N; Laddu, Deepika R; Going, Scott B


    Although primarily considered a disorder of the elderly, emerging evidence suggests the antecedents of osteoporosis are established during childhood and adolescence. A complex interplay of genetic, environmental, hormonal and behavioral factors determines skeletal development, and a greater effort is needed to identify the most critical factors that establish peak bone strength. Indeed, knowledge of modifiable factors that determine skeletal development may permit optimization of skeletal health during growth and could potentially offset reductions in bone strength with aging. The peripubertal years represent a unique period when the skeleton is particularly responsive to loading exercises, and there is now overwhelming evidence that exercise can optimize skeletal development. While this is not controversial, the most effective exercise prescription and how much investment in this prescription is needed to significantly impact bone health continues to be debated. Despite considerable progress, these issues are not easy to address, and important questions remain unresolved. This review focuses on the key determinants of skeletal development, whether exercise during childhood and adolescence should be advocated as a safe and effective strategy for optimizing peak bone strength, and whether investment in exercise early in life protects against the development of osteoporosis and fractures later in life.

  2. Novel contribution on the diagenetic physicochemical features of bone and teeth minerals, as substrates for ancient DNA typing. (United States)

    Grunenwald, A; Keyser, C; Sautereau, A M; Crubézy, E; Ludes, B; Drouet, C


    The extraction of DNA from skeletal remains is a major step in archeological or forensic contexts. However, diagenesis of mineralized tissues often compromises this task although bones and teeth may represent preservation niches allowing DNA to persist over a wide timescale. This exceptional persistence is not only explained on the basis of complex organo-mineral interactions through DNA adsorption on apatite crystals composing the mineral part of bones and teeth but is also linked to environmental factors such as low temperatures and/or a dry environment. The preservation of the apatite phase itself, as an adsorption substrate, is another crucial factor susceptible to significantly impact the retrieval of DNA. With the view to bring physicochemical evidence of the preservation or alteration of diagenetic biominerals, we developed here an analytical approach on various skeletal specimens (ranging from ancient archeological samples to recent forensic specimens), allowing us to highlight several diagenetic indices so as to better apprehend the complexity of bone diagenesis. Based on complementary techniques (X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), calcium and phosphate titrations, SEM-EDX, and gravimetry), we have identified specific indices that allow differentiating 11 biological samples, primarily according to the crystallinity and maturation state of the apatite phase. A good correlation was found between FTIR results from the analysis of the v3(PO4) and v4(PO4) vibrational domains and XRD-based crystallinity features. A maximal amount of information has been sought from this analytical approach, by way of optimized posttreatment of the data (spectral subtraction and enhancement of curve-fitting parameters). The good overall agreement found between all techniques leads to a rather complete picture of the diagenetic changes undergone by these 11 skeletal specimens. Although the heterogeneity and scarcity of the studied samples did not allow us

  3. Pediatric aspects of skeletal dysplasia. (United States)

    Ozono, Keiichi; Namba, Noriyuki; Kubota, Takuo; Kitaoka, Taichi; Miura, Kohji; Ohata, Yasuhisa; Fujiwara, Makoto; Miyoshi, Yoko; Michigami, Toshimi


    Skeletal dysplasia is a disorder of skeletal development characterized by abnormality in shape, length, a number and mineral density of the bone. Skeletal dysplasia is often associated with manifestation of other organs such as lung, brain and sensory systems. Skeletal dysplasias or dysostosis are classified with more than 400 different names. Enchondral bone formation is a coordinated event of chondrocyte proliferation, differentiation and exchange of terminally maturated chondrocyte with bone. Impaired enchondral bone formation will lead to skeletal dysplasia, especially associated with short long bones. Appropriate bone volume and mineral density are achieved by balance of bone formation and bone resorption and mineralization. The gene encoding fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 is responsible for achondroplasia, representative skeletal dysplasia with short stature. The treatment with growth hormone is approved for achondroplasia in Japan. Osteogenesis imperfecta is characterized by low bone mineral density and fragile bone. Data on the beneficial effect of bisphosphonate for osteogenesis imperfecta are accumulating. Osteopetrosis has high bone mineral density, but sometimes show bone fragility. In Japan as well as other countries, pediatrician treat larger numbers of patients with skeletal dysplasia with short stature and fragile bones compared to 20 years ago.

  4. Skeletal muscle connective tissue

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brüggemann, Dagmar Adeline

      The connective tissue content of skeletal muscle is believed to be the major factor responsible for defining the eating quality of different meat cuts, although attempts to correlate quantifications based on traditional histological methods have not as yet been able to prove this relation....... Collagen, being the major protein in connective tissue, has been extensively investigated with regard to its relation to meat tenderness, but the results have been rather conflicting. Meat from older animals is tougher than that from younger animals, and changes in the properties of the collagen due...... that collagen plays a significant role in determining the tenderness of meat. What are we missing? Therefore, fundamental aspects of connective tissue research have been the centre of attention throughout this thesis. A holistic view has been applied, glancing at this complex tissue which has many facets...

  5. Microstructures of ancient and modern cast silver–copper alloys

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Northover, S.M., E-mail: [Materials Engineering, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (United Kingdom); Northover, J.P., E-mail: [Department of Materials, University of Oxford, Parks Rd, Oxford OX1 3PH,UK (United Kingdom)


    The microstructures of modern cast Sterling silver and of cast silver objects about 2500 years old have been compared using optical microscopy (OM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis (EDX) and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD). Microstructures of both ancient and modern alloys were typified by silver-rich dendrites with a few pools of eutectic and occasional cuprite particles with an oxidised rim on the outer surface. EBSD showed the dendrites to have a complex internal structure, often involving extensive twinning. There was copious intragranular precipitation within the dendrites, in the form of very fine copper-rich rods which TEM, X-ray diffraction (XRD), SEM and STEM suggest to be of a metastable face-centred-cubic (FCC) phase with a cube–cube orientation relationship to the silver-rich matrix but a higher silver content than the copper-rich β in the eutectic. Samples from ancient objects displayed a wider range of microstructures including a fine scale interpenetration of the adjoining grains not seen in the modern material. Although this study found no unambiguous evidence that this resulted from microstructural change produced over archaeological time, the copper supersaturation remaining after intragranular precipitation suggests that such changes, previously proposed for wrought and annealed material, may indeed occur in ancient silver castings. - Highlights: • Similar twinned structures and oxidised surfaces seen in ancient and modern cast silver • General precipitation of fine Cu-rich rods apparently formed by discontinuous precipitation is characteristic of as-cast silver. • The fine rods are cube-cube related to the matrix in contrast with the eutectic. • The silver-rich phase remains supersaturated with copper. • Possibly age-related grain boundary features seen in ancient cast silver.

  6. Skeletal Muscle Na+ Channel Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dina eSimkin


    Full Text Available Five inherited human disorders affecting skeletal muscle contraction have been traced to mutations in the gene encoding the voltage-gated sodium channel Nav1.4. The main symptoms of these disorders are myotonia or periodic paralysis caused by changes in skeletal muscle fiber excitability. Symptoms of these disorders vary from mild or latent disease to incapacitating or even death in severe cases. As new human sodium channel mutations corresponding to disease states become discovered, the importance of understanding the role of the sodium channel in skeletal muscle function and disease state grows.

  7. Wall paintings facies and their possible genetic correlates in the ancient Pompeii: A bio-anthropologic message from the past? (United States)

    Ponti, Giovanni; Manfredini, Marco; Ruini, Cristel


    The figurative arts and precisely the ancient Pompeian wall paintings portraits can provide an additional source of information in supplementing bio-anthropological studies. There are several genetic diseases with a wide spectrum of congenital bone stigmata in association to distinctive facial features. Gorlin-Goltz syndrome, also named nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome, is an autosomal dominant syndrome characterized by unusual skeletal changes, such as macrocephaly, facial asymmetry, hypertelorism, frontal and parietal bossing caused by germline mutations of the gene PTCH1. The Gorlin syndrome, clinically defined in 1963, existed during Dynastic Egyptian times, as revealed by a spectrum of skeletal findings compatible with the syndrome in mummies dating back to three thousand years ago and, most likely, in the ancient population of Pompeii. In the present research, we discuss the potential relationship between Pompeian wall paintings portrait and the cranio-metric bone changes revealed among the Pompeian skull collections assuming that the ancient portraits can constitute an important tool that should be strictly integrated with osteologic and biomolecular data in order to argue a syndromic diagnosis in ancient population.

  8. From Here I Walked into Ancient China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yan Manman


    @@ When I was a little girl, I had heard about the eighth world wonder - terra cotta warriors in Qin Emperor Mausoleum.I have been wishing to visit there to see those magnificent scene which were created thousands of years ago.While with my age added, I gradually learned the terra cotta warriors were lust only one of many ancient marks of Xi'an, which once was capital of 13 dynasties in ancient China.Xi'an actually is a carrier of ancient China culture, where I walked from the modern world to the ancient China.

  9. Ancient Indian Leaps into Mathematics

    CERN Document Server

    Yadav, B S


    This book presents contributions of mathematicians covering topics from ancient India, placing them in the broader context of the history of mathematics. Although the translations of some Sanskrit mathematical texts are available in the literature, Indian contributions are rarely presented in major Western historical works. Yet some of the well-known and universally-accepted discoveries from India, including the concept of zero and the decimal representation of numbers, have made lasting contributions to the foundation of modern mathematics. Through a systematic approach, this book examines th

  10. Chinese Ancient Football with Romanticism

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    江凌; 李晓勤


    Like other traditional Chinese sports, the ancient Chinese football, which used to be called “cuju”, has some differences from several sports in western countries concerning cultural and hamanist purport as well as metal aspiration, although it was similar with modern football to some extent, such as a leather-made ball with a bladder, rectangle sports ground, referee, goal and certain competitiveness. The author tries to talk about such difference in cultural and humanist purport as well as mental aspiration by making a comparison between “cuju” and modern football.

  11. Counteracting age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bechshøft, Rasmus; Reitelseder, Søren; Højfeldt, Grith;


    to training, thereby attenuating the overall benefits of training. We hypothesize that light load resistance training is more efficient when both adherence and physical improvement are considered longitudinally. We launched the interdisciplinary project on Counteracting Age-related Loss of Skeletal Muscle...... Intervention Study will generate scientific evidence and recommendations to counteract age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass in elderly individuals.......Background Aging is associated with decreased muscle mass and functional capacity, which in turn decrease quality of life. The number of citizens over the age of 65 years in the Western world will increase by 50 % over the next four decades, and this demographic shift brings forth new challenges...

  12. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) as skeletal therapeutics-an update

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Saeed, H.; Ahsan, M.; Saleem, Z.


    Mesenchymal stem cells hold the promise to treat not only several congenital and acquired bone degenerative diseases but also to repair and regenerate morbid bone tissues. Utilizing MSCs, several lines of evidences advocate promising clinical outcomes in skeletal diseases and skeletal tissue repair....../regeneration. In this context, both, autologous and allogeneic cell transfer options have been utilized. Studies suggest that MSCs are transplanted either alone by mixing with autogenous plasma/serum or by loading onto repair/induction supportive resorb-able scaffolds. Thus, this review is aimed at highlighting a wide range...

  13. Contributions of ancient Indian physicians - Implications for modern times

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J Singh


    Full Text Available Ayurveda traces its origins to contributions of mythological and real physicians that lived millennia earlier. In many respects, Western medicine also had similar origins and beliefs, however, the introduction of anatomical dissection and progressive application of scientific evidence based practices have resulted in divergent paths taken by these systems. We examined the lives, careers, and contributions made by nine ancient Indian physicians. Ancient texts, translations of these texts, books, and biographical works were consulted to obtain relevant information, both for Indian traditional medicine as well as for Western medicine. Ayurveda has retained principles enunciated by these physicians, with minor conceptual advances over the centuries. Western medicine separated from ancient Indian medicine several hundred years ago, and remains the foundation of modern medicine. Modern medicine is evidence based, and randomized clinical trials (RCTs are the gold standard by which efficacy of treatment is evaluated. Ayurvedic medicine has not undergone such critical evaluation to any large extent. The few RCTs that have evaluated alternative medical treatment recently have shown that such therapy is no better than placebo; however, placebo treatment is 30% effective. We suggest that foreign domination, initially by Mughals, and later by the British, may have contributed, in part, to this inertia and protracted status quo.

  14. LUCApedia: a database for the study of ancient life. (United States)

    Goldman, Aaron David; Bernhard, Tess M; Dolzhenko, Egor; Landweber, Laura F


    Organisms represented by the root of the universal evolutionary tree were most likely complex cells with a sophisticated protein translation system and a DNA genome encoding hundreds of genes. The growth of bioinformatics data from taxonomically diverse organisms has made it possible to infer the likely properties of early life in greater detail. Here we present LUCApedia, (, a unified framework for simultaneously evaluating multiple data sets related to the Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA) and its predecessors. This unification is achieved by mapping eleven such data sets onto UniProt, KEGG and BioCyc IDs. LUCApedia may be used to rapidly acquire evidence that a certain gene or set of genes is ancient, to examine the early evolution of metabolic pathways, or to test specific hypotheses related to ancient life by corroborating them against the rest of the database.

  15. Ancient DNA perspectives on American colonization and population history. (United States)

    Raff, Jennifer A; Bolnick, Deborah A; Tackney, Justin; O'Rourke, Dennis H


    Ancient DNA (aDNA) analyses have proven to be important tools in understanding human population dispersals, settlement patterns, interactions between prehistoric populations, and the development of regional population histories. Here, we review the published results of sixty-three human populations from throughout the Americas and compare the levels of diversity and geographic patterns of variation in the ancient samples with contemporary genetic variation in the Americas in order to investigate the evolution of the Native American gene pool over time. Our analysis of mitochondrial haplogroup frequencies and prehistoric population genetic diversity presents a complex evolutionary picture. Although the broad genetic structure of American prehistoric populations appears to have been established relatively early, we nevertheless identify examples of genetic discontinuity over time in select regions. We discuss the implications this finding may have for our interpretation of the genetic evidence for the initial colonization of the Americas and its subsequent population history.

  16. DNA extraction of ancient animal hard tissue samples via adsorption to silica particles. (United States)

    Rohland, Nadin


    A large number of subfossil and more recent skeletal remains, many of which are stored in museums and private collections, are potentially accessible for DNA sequence analysis. In order to extract the small amount of DNA preserved in these specimens, an efficient DNA release and purification method is required. In this chapter, I describe an efficient and straightforward purification and concentration method that uses DNA adsorption to a solid surface of silica particles. Comparative analysis of extraction methods has shown that this method works reliably for ancient as well as younger, museum-preserved specimens.

  17. Does skeletal muscle have an 'epi'-memory? The role of epigenetics in nutritional programming, metabolic disease, aging and exercise. (United States)

    Sharples, Adam P; Stewart, Claire E; Seaborne, Robert A


    Skeletal muscle mass, quality and adaptability are fundamental in promoting muscle performance, maintaining metabolic function and supporting longevity and healthspan. Skeletal muscle is programmable and can 'remember' early-life metabolic stimuli affecting its function in adult life. In this review, the authors pose the question as to whether skeletal muscle has an 'epi'-memory? Following an initial encounter with an environmental stimulus, we discuss the underlying molecular and epigenetic mechanisms enabling skeletal muscle to adapt, should it re-encounter the stimulus in later life. We also define skeletal muscle memory and outline the scientific literature contributing to this field. Furthermore, we review the evidence for early-life nutrient stress and low birth weight in animals and human cohort studies, respectively, and discuss the underlying molecular mechanisms culminating in skeletal muscle dysfunction, metabolic disease and loss of skeletal muscle mass across the lifespan. We also summarize and discuss studies that isolate muscle stem cells from different environmental niches in vivo (physically active, diabetic, cachectic, aged) and how they reportedly remember this environment once isolated in vitro. Finally, we will outline the molecular and epigenetic mechanisms underlying skeletal muscle memory and review the epigenetic regulation of exercise-induced skeletal muscle adaptation, highlighting exercise interventions as suitable models to investigate skeletal muscle memory in humans. We believe that understanding the 'epi'-memory of skeletal muscle will enable the next generation of targeted therapies to promote muscle growth and reduce muscle loss to enable healthy aging.

  18. Contesting the presence of wheat in the British Isles 8,000 years ago by assessing ancient DNA authenticity from low-coverage data. (United States)

    Weiß, Clemens L; Dannemann, Michael; Prüfer, Kay; Burbano, Hernán A


    Contamination with exogenous DNA is a constant hazard to ancient DNA studies, since their validity greatly depend on the ancient origin of the retrieved sequences. Since contamination occurs sporadically, it is fundamental to show positive evidence for the authenticity of ancient DNA sequences even when preventive measures to avoid contamination are implemented. Recently the presence of wheat in the United Kingdom 8000 years before the present has been reported based on an analysis of sedimentary ancient DNA (Smith et al. 2015). Smith et al. did not present any positive evidence for the authenticity of their results due to the small number of sequencing reads that were confidently assigned to wheat. We developed a computational method that compares postmortem damage patterns of a test dataset with bona fide ancient and modern DNA. We applied this test to the putative wheat DNA and find that these reads are most likely not of ancient origin.

  19. Paleo-oncology: the role of ancient remains in the study of cancer. (United States)

    Halperin, Edward C


    Paleo-oncology is the study of carcinomas and sarcomas in ancient human populations and their hominid precursors. These populations are informative concerning the possible influences on cancer of morphologic and functional evolution, diet, lifestyle, and other environmental factors. The prevalence of cancer in ancient populations might have differed from that in modern humans, because of substantial differences in tobacco and alcohol use, diet, life expectancy, and the availability of treatment. The available physical data concerning cancer in antiquity includes evidence of its existence in animal fossils and ancient humans and their precursors. The difficulties of paleo-oncologic research include a limited soft tissue record. In evaluating cancer in ancient remains, one must also deal with the problem of pseudopathology: whether an observed tissue change is all antemortem pathologic lesion or a postmortem artifact. Future archeological discoveries and the application of improved diagnostic techniques may enable paleo-oncology to make further contributions to our understanding of cancer.

  20. Foreign Guests in Ancient Greece

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zora Žbontar


    Full Text Available Xenía was a special relationship between a foreign guest and his host in Ancient Greece. The ritual of hosting a foreigner included an exchange of objects, feasting, and the establishment of friendship between people from different social backgrounds. This relationship implied trust, loyalty, friendship, and mutual aid between the people involved. Goods and services were also exchanged without any form of payment. There were no formal laws governing xenía – it was based entirely on a moral appeal. Mutual appreciation between the host and the guest was established during the ritual, but the host did retain a certain level of superiority over the guest. Xenía was one of the most important institutions in Ancient Greece. It had a lot of features and obligations similar to kinship and marriage. In literary sources the word xénos varies in meaning from “enemy stranger”, “friendly stranger”, “foreigner”, “guest”, “host” to “ritual friend”, and it is often hard to tell which usage is appropriate in a given passage. The paper describes the emphasis on hospitality towards foreigners. It presents an example of a depiction indicating xenía is presented, as well as several objects which were traded during the ritual. The paper also addresses the importance of hospitality in Greek drama in general, especially with examples of violations of the hospitality code.

  1. Simvastatin effects on skeletal muscle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Steen; Stride, Nis; Hey-Mogensen, Martin;


    Glucose tolerance and skeletal muscle coenzyme Q(10) (Q(10)) content, mitochondrial density, and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) capacity were measured in simvastatin-treated patients (n = 10) and in well-matched control subjects (n = 9).......Glucose tolerance and skeletal muscle coenzyme Q(10) (Q(10)) content, mitochondrial density, and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) capacity were measured in simvastatin-treated patients (n = 10) and in well-matched control subjects (n = 9)....

  2. Examining Ancient Inter-domain Horizontal Gene Transfer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisca C. Almeida


    Full Text Available Details of the genomic changes that occurred in the ancestors of Eukarya, Archaea and Bacteria are elusive. Ancient interdomain horizontal gene transfer (IDHGT amongst the ancestors of these three domains has been difficult to detect and analyze because of the extreme degree of divergence of genes in these three domains and because most evidence for such events are poorly supported. In addition, many researchers have suggested that the prevalence of IDHGT events early in the evolution of life would most likely obscure the patterns of divergence of major groups of organisms let alone allow the tracking of horizontal transfer at this level. In order to approach this problem, we mined the E. coli genome for genes with distinct paralogs. Using the 1,268 E. coli K-12 genes with 40% or higher similarity level to a paralog elsewhere in the E. coli genome we detected 95 genes found exclusively in Bacteria and Archaea and 86 genes found in Bacteria and Eukarya. These genes form the basis for our analysis of IDHGT. We also applied a newly developed statistical test (the node height test, to examine the robustness of these inferences and to corroborate the phylogenetically identifi ed cases of ancient IDHGT. Our results suggest that ancient inter domain HGT is restricted to special cases, mostly involving symbiosis in eukaryotes and specific adaptations in prokaryotes. Only three genes in the Bacteria + Eukarya class (Deoxyxylulose-5-phosphate synthase (DXPS, fructose 1,6-phosphate aldolase class II protein and glucosamine-6-phosphate deaminase and three genes–in the Bacteria + Archaea class (ABC-type FE3+ -siderophore transport system, ferrous iron transport protein B, and dipeptide transport protein showed evidence of ancient IDHGT. However, we conclude that robust estimates of IDHGT will be very difficult to obtain due to the methodological limitations and the extreme sequence saturation of the genes suspected of being involved in IDHGT.

  3. Earthquake Archaeology: a case study from Ancient Cnidus (United States)

    Stewart, I. S.; Altunel, E.; Piccardi, L.


    Ancient earthquakes can leave their mark in the mythical practices and literary accounts of ancient peoples, the stratigraphy of their site histories, and the structural integrity of their constructions. The ancient Greek/Roman city of Cnidus in southwestern Turkey records all three. A spectacular exposed fault plane cliff bordering the northern edge of the city appears to have been an important revered site, bearing votive niches carved into the near-vertical slip plane and associated with a Sanctuary of Demeter that implies a connection to the underworld. Stratigraphic evidence for earthquake faulting can be found in the form of a destruction horizon of contorted soil, relics and human remains exposed in the original excavations of the Sanctuary of Demeter by Sir Charles Newton (1857-58) and in a destruction horizon of burnt soil and bone uncovered by the ongoing excavation of a colonnaded street. Structural damage to constructions is widespread across the site, with warped and offset walls in the Sanctuary of Demeter, collapsed buildings in several places, and a parallel arrangement of fallen columns in the colonnaded street. The most remarkable structural evidence for fault activity, however, is the rupture of the ancient city's famous Round Temple of Aphrodite, whose podium reveals a history of damage and which is unambiguously displaced across a bedrock fault. While these phenomena are equivocal when viewed in isolation, collectively they imply at least two damaging earthquakes at the site, one (possibly both) of which ruptured along the fault on which the city is found. The Cnidus case study highlights how reliable identification of archaeoseismic damage relies on compiling an assemblage of indicators rather than the discovery of a diagnostic "smoking gun".

  4. Does I-131-MIBG underestimate skeletal disease burden in neuroblastoma?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barai Sukanta


    Full Text Available Background: Controversy persists as to the need for both MIBG and bone scanning in routine evaluation of neuroblastoma. Aim: To compare the efficacy of I-131- metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG scan against that of conventional Tc99m- methylene diphosphonate (MDP bone scan for the detection of skeletal deposition of neuroblastoma. Methods and Material: The study included 57 patients (36 boys, 21 girls: age range 1-14 years of neuroblastoma who underwent both bone scan with Tc99m-MDP and I-131-MIBG scan within 15 days of each other at presentation and during follow-up. Results: At presentation 11(19.2% patients had evidence of skeletal metastases on MDP scan against 7 patients who showed bony secondaries on MIBG scan. Of the 7 patients, with positive MIBG and MDP scans, MDP scan detected 11 sites whereas MIBG scan detected 7 sites. On follow-up study, 3 patients with initial abnormal MDP scan but normal MIBG scan, developed skeletal metastases detectable on MIBG scan, whereas 3 of the 46 patients who had normal MDP and MIBG scan at presentation; developed skeletal metastases detectable on MDP scan. MIBG scan was concordant in 2 of them but was normal in the third patient. Conclusion: I-131-MIBG underestimates skeletal disease burden in neuroblastoma. Therefore, Tc99m-MDP bone scan should remain a part of routine assessment of patients with neuroblastoma.

  5. Attitudes Toward Deviant Sex in Ancient Mesopotamia (United States)

    Bullough, Vern L.


    The article concludes that the whole question of sexual life in ancient Mesopotamia is difficult to reconstruct and fraught with many uncertainties. Nevertheless, it seems certain that the ancient Mesopotamians had fewer prohibitions against sex than our own civilization, and regarded as acceptable many practices which later societies condemned.…

  6. Women--Sex Objects in Ancient Egypt. (United States)

    Mutimer, Brian T. P.

    Although it has been said that the women in Ancient Egypt enjoyed a reasonable state of social and professional equality with men, this paper presents an alternate theory--that women were second-class citizens whose physical prowess was secondary to their role as sex objects. It appears that men and women in Ancient Egypt often participated in the…

  7. The Idea of Ancient Greek Philosophy

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    As the source of western philosophy, ancient Greek philosophy had a profound influence on western philosophy. Ancient philosophers were hard to reach a consensus on the existence of all the things in the world. They tried to grasp the profound understanding of the world, which is the clue of the history of philosophy.

  8. Multidisciplinary studies on ancient sandstone quarries of Western Sardinia (Italy). (United States)

    Grillo, Silvana Maria; Del Vais, Carla; Naitza, Stefano


    The ancient coastal quarries of Mediterranean are increasingly considered geosites of multidisciplinary relevance. They are sites of historical-archaeological interest that show ancient techniques of stone extraction; they are significant for cultural heritage conservation and restoration, as sources of the stones used in ancient buildings and monuments; they are sites of geological relevance, as often retain important stratigraphic sections; they are also useful markers of secular changes in the sea level. A multisciplinary study is in progress on the ancient quarries of the Sinis region (western Sardinia island), integrating archaeological, geological, minero-petrographical data. In Sardinia, coastal quarries have been established from Punic and Roman times. Many of them exploited Quaternary sediments along the southern and western coasts of the island. They consist of middle-late Pleistocene marine conglomerates and carbonate sandstones, and of coastal (aeolian) carbonate sandstones. Sandstone blocks of different sizes have been widely used in ancient cities for buildings, defensive works, harbours, etc. Three main areas of stone extraction (San Giovanni di Sinis, Punta Maimoni, Is Arutas) have been so far recognized in the Sinis. GIS-supported mapping and documentation of the sites includes their geology and stratigraphy, the extension and layout of the quarries, and an evaluation of volumes of extracted rocks. Documented archaeological evidences include ancient extraction fronts, spoil heaps, working areas, working traces in the old fronts, transport routes of blocks, and traces of loading facilities. The study is aimed at reconstructing the relationships of the quarries with the urban areas of Sinis, as the ancient Punic-Roman city of Tharros. Consequently, a minero-petrographical characterization (optical microscopy, XRD) is performed on sandstones sampled in each quarry, and in historical buildings in Tharros and other centres of the region (Cabras

  9. Aneuploidy and Skeletal Health (United States)

    Kamalakar, Archana; Harris, John R.; McKelvey, Kent D.; Suva, Larry J.


    The normal human chromosome complement consists of 46 chromosomes comprising 22 morphologically different pairs of autosomes and one pair of sex chromosomes. Variations in either chromosome number and/or structure frequently result in significant mental impairment, and/or a variety of other clinical problems, among them, altered bone mass and strength. Chromosomal syndromes associated with specific chromosomal abnormalities are classified as either numerical or structural and may involve more than one chromosome. Aneuploidy refers to the presence of an extra copy of a specific chromosome, or trisomy, as seen in Down’s syndrome (trisomy 21), or the absence of a single chromosome, or monosomy, as seen in Turner syndrome (a single X chromosome in females: 45, X). Aneuploidies have diverse phenotypic consequences, ranging from severe mental retardation and developmental abnormalities to increased susceptibility to various neoplasms and premature death. In fact, trisomy 21 is the prototypical aneuploidy in humans, is the most common genetic abnormality associated with longevity and is one of the most widespread genetic causes of intellectual disability. In this review, the impact of trisomy 21 on the bone mass, architecture, skeletal health and quality of life of people with Down syndrome will be discussed. PMID:24980541

  10. Mechanisms in ancient Chinese books with illustrations

    CERN Document Server

    Hsiao, Kuo-Hung


    This book presents a unique approach for studying mechanisms and machines with drawings that were depicted unclearly in ancient Chinese books. The historical, cultural and technical backgrounds of the mechanisms are explained, and various mechanisms described and illustrated in ancient books are introduced. By utilizing the idea for the conceptual design of modern mechanisms, all feasible designs of ancient mechanisms with uncertain members and joints that meet the technical standards of the subjects’ time periods are synthesized systematically. Ancient Chinese crossbows (the original crossbow and repeating crossbows), textile mechanisms (silk-reeling mechanism, spinning mechanisms, and looms), and many other artisan's tool mechanisms are used as illustrated examples.  Such an approach provides a logical method for the reconstruction designs of ancient mechanisms with uncertain structures. It also provides an innovative direction for researchers to further identify the original structures of mechanisms...

  11. Structural recognition of ancient Chinese ideographic characters

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Li Ning; Chen Dan


    Ancient Chinese characters, typically the ideographic characters on bones and bronze before Shang Dynasty (16th—11th century B.C.), are valuable culture legacy of history. However the recognition of Ancient Chinese characters has been the task of paleography experts for long. With the help of modern computer technique, everyone can expect to be able to recognize the characters and understand the ancient inscriptions. This research is aimed to help people recognize and understand those ancient Chinese characters by combining Chinese paleography theory and computer information processing technology. Based on the analysis of ancient character features, a method for structural character recognition is proposed. The important characteristics of strokes and basic components or radicals used in recognition are introduced in detail. A system was implemented based on above method to show the effectiveness of the method.

  12. Skeletal blood flow in Paget's disease of bone and its response to calcitonin therapy. (United States)

    Wootton, R; Reeve, J; Spellacy, E; Tellez-Yudilevich, M


    1. Blood flow to the skeleton was measured by the 18F clearance method of Wooton, Reeve & Veall (1976) in 24 patients with untreated Paget's disease. In every patient but one, resting skeletal blood flow was increased. There was a significant positive correlation between skeletal blood flow and serum alkaline phosphatase and between skeletal blood flow and urinary total hydroxyproline excretion. 2. Fourteen patients were re-studied after they had received short-term (7 days or less) or long-term (7 weeks or more) calcitonin. Skeletal blood flow, alkaline phosphatase and urinary hydroxy-proline excretion fell towards normal in every case. There was some evidence from the short-term studies that calcitonin produced a more rapid fall in skeletal blood flow than in alkaline phosphatase. 3. Glomerular filtration rate appeared to increase transiently in response to calcitonin.

  13. Detecting hybridization using ancient DNA. (United States)

    Schaefer, Nathan K; Shapiro, Beth; Green, Richard E


    It is well established that related species hybridize and that this can have varied but significant effects on speciation and environmental adaptation. It should therefore come as no surprise that hybridization is not limited to species that are alive today. In the last several decades, advances in technologies for recovering and sequencing DNA from fossil remains have enabled the assembly of high-coverage genome sequences for a growing diversity of organisms, including many that are extinct. Thanks to the development of new statistical approaches for detecting and quantifying admixture from genomic data, genomes from extinct populations have proven useful both in revealing previously unknown hybridization events and informing the study of hybridization between living organisms. Here, we review some of the key recent statistical innovations for detecting ancient hybridization using genomewide sequence data and discuss how these innovations have revised our understanding of human evolutionary history.

  14. [Being old in ancient Hellas]. (United States)

    van Hooff, A J


    There is room for a more balanced view of old age among the ancient Greeks than is furnished by De Beauvoir's la Vieillesse and other more or less one-sided publications. The old body was despised by the Greeks of classical times; especially walking with three legs (tripous) was stressed as a mark of old age. The Hippocratic writings show some interest in the infirmities of elderly people. Specific psychic and intellectual qualities were not attributed to senescence: old age brought out good and bad qualities of a person more sharply than before. The share of old people in the population cannot be established with any certainty, but there was always a group of men in their sixties who had specific tasks in society. Old age was not an autonomous theme in art, it was solely accidental. The position of the elderly was challenged occasionally in democratic Athens, but it was never undermined. Old people were never marginated in classical Greece.

  15. Ancient Acupuncture Literature on Apoplexy

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XU Yi-zeng; BI Zhen; Xiao Yuan-chun


    This paper reviews twenty-eight Chinese medicine books with complete prescriptions prior to the Qing Dynasty, and analyzes the characteristics of acupoint selection and needling manipulations from the perspective of apoplectic symptoms. It is concluded that,in ancient times, apoplexy is often treated on the basis of its symptoms and a great number of acupoints are employed; hemiplegia is mainly treated by the acupoints of the Large Intestine Meridian and Gallbladder Meridian,with two key acupoints; coma is mainly treated by first-aid acupoints and qi-supplementing acupoints, with seven key acupoints; wry mouth and convulsion are mainly treated by the local acupoints; as for needling manipulations, moxibustion with moxa cones is principally used, while needling is less used.

  16. Dental indicators of ancient dietary patterns: dental analysis in archaeology. (United States)

    Forshaw, R


    What can the study of ancient teeth tell us about the dietary habits of our ancestors? Diet plays a prominent role in the organisation and evolution of human cultures and an increasingly diverse array of analytical techniques are available to help reconstruct diet in ancient populations. Dental palaeopathology is particularly important as it can provide direct evidence of the type of diet an individual consumed during life. Heavy occlusal tooth wear is the most frequent condition recognisable and an examination of both macro and microscopic patterns of wear can establish the differences between the hard fibrous diet typical of a hunter-gatherer, and a diet primarily consisting of softer plant foods consumed by an agriculturist. The distributions of trace elements and stable isotopes in food webs make it possible to use them as natural tracers of foodstuffs. Through a consideration of photosynthetic pathways, the ratios of the different stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen can determine which specific groups of plants and animals were dominant in the food chains of various populations - a fact that has been used to trace the spread of agriculture in ancient civilisations.

  17. Human tuberculosis predates domestication in ancient Syria. (United States)

    Baker, Oussama; Lee, Oona Y-C; Wu, Houdini H T; Besra, Gurdyal S; Minnikin, David E; Llewellyn, Gareth; Williams, Christopher M; Maixner, Frank; O'Sullivan, Niall; Zink, Albert; Chamel, Bérénice; Khawam, Rima; Coqueugniot, Eric; Helmer, Daniel; Le Mort, Françoise; Perrin, Pascale; Gourichon, Lionel; Dutailly, Bruno; Pálfi, György; Coqueugniot, Hélène; Dutour, Olivier


    The question of pre-neolithic tuberculosis is still open in paleopathological perspective. One of the major interests is to explore what type of infection could have existed around the early stage of animal domestication. Paleopathological lesions evoking skeletal TB were observed on five human skeletons coming from two PPNB sites in Syria, which belongs to the geographical cradle of agriculture. These sites represent respectively pre-domestication phase (Dja'de el Mughara, Northern Syria, 8800-8300 BCE cal.) and early domestication phase (Tell Aswad, Southern Syria, 8200-7600 BCE cal.). MicroCT scan analyses were performed on two specimens (one per site) and revealed microscopic changes in favor of TB infection. Detection of lipid biomarkers is positive for two specimens (one per site). Initial molecular analysis further indicates the presence of TB in one individual from Dja'de. Interestingly, no morphological evidence of TB was observed on animal remains of wild and newly domesticated species, discovered in these sites. These observations strongly suggest the presence of human tuberculosis before domestication and at its early stages.

  18. Letter to the editor: Genetics and the archaeology of ancient Israel. (United States)

    Brody, Aaron J; King, Roy J


    This letter is a call for DNA testing on ancient skeletal materials from the southern Levant to begin a database of genetic information of the inhabitants of this crossroads region. In this region, during the Iron I period traditionally dated to circa 1200-1000 BCE, archaeologists and biblical historians view the earliest presence of a group that called itself Israel. They lived in villages in the varied hill countries of the region, contemporary with urban settlements in the coastal plains, inland valleys, and central hill country attributed to varied indigenous groups collectively called Canaanite. The remnants of Egyptian imperial presence in the region lasted until around 1150 BCE, postdating the arrival of an immigrant group from the Aegean called the Philistines circa 1175 BCE. The period that follows in the southern Levant is marked by the development of territorial states throughout the region, circa 1000-800 BCE. These patrimonial kingdoms, including the United Kingdom of Israel and the divided kingdoms of northern Israel and Judah, coalesced varied peoples under central leadership and newly founded administrative and religious bureaucracies. Ancient DNA testing will give us a further refined understanding of the individuals who peopled the region of the southern Levant throughout its varied archaeological and historic periods and provide scientific data that will support, refute, or nuance our sociohistoric reconstruction of ancient group identities. These social identities may or may not map onto genetic data, but without sampling of ancient DNA we may never know. A database of ancient DNA will also allow for comparisons with modern DNA samples collected throughout the greater region and the Mediterranean littoral, giving a more robust understanding of the long historical trajectories of regional human genetics and the genetics of varied ancestral groups of today's Jewish populations and other cultural groups in the modern Middle East and Mediterranean.

  19. gargammel: a sequence simulator for ancient DNA. (United States)

    Renaud, Gabriel; Hanghøj, Kristian; Willerslev, Eske; Orlando, Ludovic


    Ancient DNA has emerged as a remarkable tool to infer the history of extinct species and past populations. However, many of its characteristics, such as extensive fragmentation, damage and contamination, can influence downstream analyses. To help investigators measure how these could impact their analyses in silico, we have developed gargammel, a package that simulates ancient DNA fragments given a set of known reference genomes. Our package simulates the entire molecular process from post-mortem DNA fragmentation and DNA damage to experimental sequencing errors, and reproduces most common bias observed in ancient DNA datasets.

  20. The Characteristics of the Theory of History in Ancient China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Qu Lindong


    Historical studies in ancient China have left us many bountiful legacies.One of them is the theory of(objective) history,whose major characteristics can be loosely divided into the following categories:(1)a wide variety of literary forms,including theoretical remarks affixed to historical narratives and even special chapters and books on historical criticism;(2)continuity of research at many levels of historiographic theory;(3)reasoning through facts(i.e.,basing theory on facts and offering arguments by following historical evidence);and(4)a wealth of masterpieces.

  1. Studies on protozoa in ancient remains - A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liesbeth Frías


    Full Text Available Paleoparasitological research has made important contributions to the understanding of parasite evolution and ecology. Although parasitic protozoa exhibit a worldwide distribution, recovering these organisms from an archaeological context is still exceptional and relies on the availability and distribution of evidence, the ecology of infectious diseases and adequate detection techniques. Here, we present a review of the findings related to protozoa in ancient remains, with an emphasis on their geographical distribution in the past and the methodologies used for their retrieval. The development of more sensitive detection methods has increased the number of identified parasitic species, promising interesting insights from research in the future.

  2. Role of autophagy in COPD skeletal muscle dysfunction. (United States)

    Hussain, Sabah N A; Sandri, Marco


    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a debilitating disease caused by parenchymal damage and irreversible airflow limitation. In addition to lung dysfunction, patients with COPD develop weight loss, malnutrition, poor exercise performance, and skeletal muscle atrophy. The latter has been attributed to an imbalance between muscle protein synthesis and protein degradation. Several reports have confirmed that enhanced protein degradation and atrophy of limb muscles of COPD patient is mediated in part through activation of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway and that this activation is triggered by enhanced production of reactive oxygen species. Until recently, the importance of the autophagy-lysosome pathway in protein degradation of skeletal muscles has been largely ignored, however, recent evidence suggests that this pathway is actively involved in recycling of cytosolic proteins, organelles, and protein aggregates in normal skeletal muscles. The protective role of autophagy in the regulation of muscle mass has recently been uncovered in mice with muscle-specific suppression of autophagy. These mice develop severe muscle weakness, atrophy, and decreased muscle contractility. No information is yet available about the involvement of the autophagy in the regulation of skeletal muscle mass in COPD patients. Pilot experiments on vastus lateralis muscle samples suggest that the autophagy-lysosome system is induced in COPD patients compared with control subjects. In this review, we summarize recent progress related to molecular structure, regulation, and roles of the autophagy-lysosome pathway in normal and diseased skeletal muscles. We also speculate about regulation and functional importance of this system in skeletal muscle dysfunction in COPD patients.

  3. Cerebro-Oculo-Facio-Skeletal Syndrome (COFS) (United States)

    ... Information... You are here Home » Disorders » All Disorders Cerebro-Oculo-Facio-Skeletal Syndrome (COFS) Information Page Cerebro-Oculo-Facio-Skeletal Syndrome (COFS) Information Page Search ...

  4. Skeletal stem cells in space and time. (United States)

    Kassem, Moustapha; Bianco, Paolo


    The nature, biological characteristics, and contribution to organ physiology of skeletal stem cells are not completely determined. Chan et al. and Worthley et al. demonstrate that a stem cell for skeletal tissues, and a system of more restricted, downstream progenitors, can be identified in mice and demonstrate its role in skeletal tissue maintenance and regeneration.

  5. Arterio-venous balance studies of skeletal muscle fatty acid metabolism: what can we believe?


    Guo, ZengKui; Jensen, Michael D


    The arterio-venous balance (A-V balance/difference) technique has been used by a number of groups, including ours, to study skeletal muscle fatty acid metabolism. Several lines of evidence indicate that, like glycogen, intramyocellular triglycerides (imcTG) are an energy source for local use. As such, the report that increased release of free fatty acids (FFA) via lipolysis from skeletal muscle, but not from adipose tissue, is responsible for the increased systemic lipolysis during IL-6 infus...

  6. Rac1 signalling towards GLUT4/glucose uptake in skeletal muscle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chiu, Tim T; Jensen, Thomas Elbenhardt; Sylow, Lykke


    Small Rho family GTPases are important regulators of cellular traffic. Emerging evidence now implicates Rac1 and Rac-dependent actin reorganisation in insulin-induced recruitment of glucose transporter-4 (GLUT4) to the cell surface of muscle cells and mature skeletal muscle. This review summarises...... the current thinking on the regulation of Rac1 by insulin, the role of Rac-dependent cortical actin remodelling in GLUT4 traffic, and the impact of Rac1 towards insulin resistance in skeletal muscle....

  7. Skeletal morphology of two controversial Poecilosclerid genera (Porifera, Demospongiae): Discorhabdella and Crambe (United States)

    Maldonado, M.; Uriz, M. J.


    The genera Discorhabdella and Crambe are characterized by bearing uncommon spicule types, i.e. pseudoastrose acanthostyles and sphaeroclones, respectively. They have traditionally been considered to be unrelated taxa, but the present reexamination made evident that an important amount of skeletal features are shared by both. Some of these morphological features, such as the ornamentation on the point of the ectosomal subtylostyles, are reported for the first time. The study also revealed that a tuberose nature of the tyles of the main choanosomal megascleres could be a common ancestral condition in both genera. The morphology of the multi-toothed anchorate chelae showed a gradual transition across the species, suggesting that the morphological diversity in chelae was generated in these genera through a “palmate-anchorate-arcuate” evolutionary sequence. However, the forward or backward direction of this sequence remained unclear from the available evidence. Important levels of skeletal variability were found to affect many of the skeletal characters, especially in the genus Crambe. In some cases, this variability transgressed the limits theoretically defining a species, making evident that the traditional procedure just based on comparison of the skeletons becomes unreliable when tackling the taxonomy of these genera. Most of the skeletal variability seemed to correspond to genetic polymorphisms, except in the case of C. acuata. In this taxon, the skeletal variability could be a result of the existence of a cryptic species, originated by a misconceived synonymy between C. acuata and C. chelastra. Besides the skeletal variability, the obscure taxonomic meaning of many skeletal features favored the existence of conflicting taxonomic proposals for the suprageneric location of these genera, depending on the author’s criteria. This study made evident that any subsequent attempt of phylogenetic inference should be based on an unweighted analysis of the available

  8. Aiding the Interpretation of Ancient Documents

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Roued-Cunliffe, Henriette

    How can Decision Support System (DSS) software aid the interpretation process involved in the reading of ancient documents? This paper discusses the development of a DSS prototype for the reading of ancient texts. In this context the term ‘ancient documents’ is used to describe mainly Greek...... and Latin texts and the term ‘scholars’ is used to describe readers of these documents (e.g. papyrologists, epigraphers, palaeographers). However, the results from this research can be applicable to many other texts ranging from Nordic runes to 18th Century love letters. In order to develop an appropriate...... tool it is important first to comprehend the interpretation process involved in reading ancient documents. This is not a linear process but rather a recursive process where the scholar moves between different levels of reading, such as ‘understanding the meaning of a character’ or ‘understanding...


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION : Schwannoma is a common benign tumour of nerve sheath. Degenerating type of schwannoma is called ancient schwannoma. Ancient schwannomas of scalp are rare and are often misdiagnosed as sebaceous cyst or dermoid cyst. CASE REPORT : We present a thirty two year old male presented with scalp swel ling of eight years duration. X - ray showed no intracranial extension. He underwent excision of the tumour and histopathology was reported as ancient schwannoma. DISCUSSION : Histopathologically , ancient schwannomas charecterised by cellular Antoni type A ar eas and less cellular Antoni type - B areas. 9 th , 7 th , 11 th , 5 th and 4 th cranial nerves are often affected and may be associated with multiple neuro fibramatosis (Von - Recklinghausen’s disease. Impact : Case is presented for its rarity and possible pre - operative misdiagnosis

  10. Ancient Magnetic Reversals: Clues to the Geodynamo. (United States)

    Hoffman, Kenneth A.


    Discusses the question posed by some that the earth's magnetic field may reverse. States that rocks magnetized by ancient fields may offer clues to the underlying reversal mechanism in the earth's core. (TW)

  11. Evidences of active and ancient Volcanism on Mars. A review

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    Full Text Available Since t h e end of t h e last Century some observations concerning
    flare-phenomena on Mars were reported by different explorers. According
    to the opinion of Heuseler ( u . 1 2 . 1 3 , Katterfeld (", Saheki (16,
    Sato (16 and other authors, t h e respective light-phenomena might have been
    t h e signs of active volcanoes on t h e planet. Grey clouds, observed b y Japanese
    explorers as well as by Capen (3, may be also a t t r i b u t e d to volcanic
    o u t b u r s t s . There are some observations, carried out by Dollfus (10, which
    revealed the existence of relatively small, white, persistent clouds over cert
    a i n Martian regions which can be i n t e r p r e t e d as w h i t e vapour-clouds emitted
    by Martian volcanoes.
    The author of the present s t u d y has investigated the distribution of
    t h e s e phenomena over t h e Martian surface and found t h a t t h e distribution
    is not random. The events occurred — in t h e overwhelming m a j o r i t y of the
    cases — 011 a r e a s which are lying along t h e t r a n s i t i o n a l region between dark
    and bright territories. It is i m p o r t a n t to note t h a t many of t h e lunar transient
    events (probably postvolcanic phenomena have a similar position 011
    t h e lunar surface, t h a t is t h e y can be found mostly at t h e border of lunar
    c o n t i n e n t s or basins respectively. On the other hand the most important
    volcanic zones of t h e E a r t h are also t o be found along t h e edges of t h e Pacific

  12. Surgical history of ancient China: Part 2. (United States)

    Fu, Louis


    In this second part of ancient Chinese surgical history, the practice of bone setting in China began around 3000 years ago. Throughout this period, significant progress was made, some highlights of which are cited. These methods, comparable with Western orthopaedic technique, are still being practised today. In conclusion, the possible reasons for the lack of advancement in operative surgery are discussed, within context of the cultural, social and religious background of ancient China.

  13. Bio-Anthropological Studies on Human Skeletons from the 6th Century Tomb of Ancient Silla Kingdom in South Korea (United States)

    Lee, Won-Joon; Woo, Eun Jin; Oh, Chang Seok; Yoo, Jeong A.; Kim, Yi-Suk; Hong, Jong Ha; Yoon, A. Young; Wilkinson, Caroline M.; Ju, Jin Og; Choi, Soon Jo; Lee, Soong Doek; Shin, Dong Hoon


    In November and December 2013, unidentified human skeletal remains buried in a mokgwakmyo (a traditional wooden coffin) were unearthed while conducting an archaeological investigation near Gyeongju, which was the capital of the Silla Kingdom (57 BCE– 660 CE) of ancient Korea. The human skeletal remains were preserved in relatively intact condition. In an attempt to obtain biological information on the skeleton, physical anthropological, mitochondrial DNA, stable isotope and craniofacial analyses were carried out. The results indicated that the individual was a female from the Silla period, of 155 ± 5 cm height, who died in her late thirties. The maternal lineage belonged to the haplogroup F1b1a, typical for East Asia, and the diet had been more C3- (wheat, rice and potatoes) than C4-based (maize, millet and other tropical grains). Finally, the face of the individual was reconstructed utilizing the skull (restored from osseous fragments) and three-dimensional computerized modeling system. This study, applying multi-dimensional approaches within an overall bio-anthropological analysis, was the first attempt to collect holistic biological information on human skeletal remains dating to the Silla Kingdom period of ancient Korea. PMID:27249220

  14. Mummies and dental health in the ancient Ilo valley, southern Peru

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Hillson


    Full Text Available In the very arid climate of southern Peru, archaeological remains, including many human burials, are extremely well preserved. Study of the teeth of mummified people from different cultural groups and time periods is beginning to provide evidence of diet and disease among the ancient inhabitants of the Ilo valley between the foot-hills of the Andes and the desert coast.

  15. Ancient Shores of Lake Erie, Student Guide and Teacher Guide. OEAGLS Investigation 3. (United States)

    Comienski, James; Mayer, Victor J.

    This guidebook for teachers is accompanied by a student workbook. The investigations are intended to offer the students an opportunity to learn to use topographic maps and profiles to locate evidence of ancient water levels of Lake Erie and man's use of the beach ridges near the lake. Maps, diagrams, and data tables accompany the written material.…

  16. An Investigation of Craniocervical Posture in Class II & Class III Skeletal Patients

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    T. HoseinZadeh-Nik


    Full Text Available Statement of Problem: Craniocervical Posture is a factor in the development and function of Craniofacial Structure. Previous studies of different samples have demonstrated associations between craniocervical posture and craniofacial morphology.Purpose: This study aimed lo examine whether any significant association is evident or not between craniocervical posture and the occurrence of Class il & Class III skeletal malocclusions.Materials and Methods: A sample of 76 subjects with Class II & Class III skeletal malocclusion aged 9-i 1 and>18 years were selected. None of them had received orthodontic treatment. Lateral cephalometric radiographs were taken in natural head position (NHP, and craniocervical and craniohorizental angels were traced and determined for analysis of craniocervical posture. Results: According to the craniocervical posture, most class II skeletal patients have flexed heads and class MI skeletal patients have extended heads, as a result malocclusion in these patients seems to become more severe. With increase in age. class II skeletal patients have more flexed their heads and malocclusion become more severe, while with increase in age in class ill skeletal patients, their heads become extended and once again malocclusion thought lo be more severe. In class II skeletal patients, craniocervical posture has a significant correlation with the vertical growth pattern, but shows little correlation with the horizontal growth pattern. In class 111 skeletal patients, craniocervical posture shows no correlation to any of the vertical & horizontal growth patterns, of course the mean of vertical angles is less in these patients and probably in order to make these relation significant in Class III skeletal patients there is need for more samples, in class II & class III skeletal patients, the amount of Na.prep-point A and pog-Na.prep with craniocervical posture shows a significant correlation. Conclusion: Consideration of craniocervical


    Di Vincenzo, Fabio; Carbone, Iacopo; Ottini, Laura; Profico, Antonio; Ricci, Francesca; Tafuri, Mary Anne; Fornaciari, Gino; Manzi, Giorgio


    The Middle Pastoral human remains from Wadi Takarkori in the Libyan Acacus mountains (Fezzan) are exceptionally preserved partial mummies ranging between 6100 and 5000 uncal years BP; this small sample represents the most ancient of its kind ever found. In this report, we present a survey of the skeletal anatomy of these mummifed corpses, based on high resolution CT-scan data, including a preliminary phenetic interpretation of their cranial morphology.

  18. Magnetic Strips Preserve Record of Ancient Mars (United States)


    This image is a map of Martian magnetic fields in the southern highlands near the Terra Cimmeria and Terra Sirenum regions, centered around 180 degrees longitude from the equator to the pole. It is where magnetic stripes possibly resulting from crustal movement are most prominent. The bands are oriented approximately east - west and are about 100 miles wide and 600 miles long, although the longest band stretches more than 1200 miles. The false blue and red colors represent invisible magnetic fields in the Martian crust that point in opposite directions. The magnetic fields appear to be organized in bands, with adjacent bands pointing in opposite directions, giving these stripes a striking similarity to patterns seen in the Earth's crust at the mid-oceanic ridges. NASA's Mars Global Surveyor has discovered surprising new evidence of past movement of the Martian crust, suggesting that ancient Mars was a more dynamic, Earth-like planet than it is today. Scientists using the spacecraft's magnetometer have found banded patterns of magnetic fields on the Martian surface. The adjacent magnetic bands point in opposite directions, giving these invisible stripes a striking similarity to patterns seen in the crust of Earth's sea floors. [figure removed for brevity, see original site] (P50330,MRPS94769) Above: An artist's concept comparing the present day magnetic fields on Earth and Mars. Earth's magnetic field is generated by an active dynamo - a hot core of molten metal. The magnetic field surrounds Earth and is considered global (left). The various Martian magnetic fields (right) do not encompass the entire planet and are local. The Martian dynamo is extinct, and its magnetic fields are 'fossil' remnants of its ancient, global magnetic field. I On the Earth, the sea floor spreads apart slowly at mid-oceanic ridges as new crust flows up from Earth's hot interior. Meanwhile, the direction of Earth's magnetic field reverses occasionally, resulting in alternating stripes in

  19. Skeletal fluorosis from indoor burning of coal in southwestern China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Watanabe, T.; Kondo, T.; Asanuma, S.; Ando, M.; Tamura, K.; Sakuragi, S.; Ji, R.D.; Liang, C.K. [Saku Central Hospital, Nagano (Japan)


    The effects of airborne fluoride from unvented indoor burning of fluoride-rich coal on the bones and teeth of residents of two rural villages in SW China were investigated and compared. In the highly polluted village of Xaochang in Sichuan Province, stage HI skeletal fluorosis was found in 43 (84%) of 51 examinees. In the moderately polluted village of Minzhu in Guizhu Province, this stage was seen in 25 (51%) of 49 examinees. In the nonpolluted control village of Shucai in Jiangxi Province in SE China, none of 47 examinees showed any evidence of skeletal fluorosis. In Minzhu, but not in Xaochang, significantly more males than females were afflicted with stage III skeletal fluorosis. In contrast with Xaochang, some examinees in Minzhu had serious skeletal effects but normal teeth or minor dental fluorosis, A high frequency of extremital transverse bone growth lines was observed in Xaochang but not in Minzhu, These findings suggest that greater exposure to fluoride occurred during infancy and early childhood in Xaochang than in Minzhu.

  20. Bright Times for an Ancient Star (United States)

    Fuhrmann, K.; Chini, R.


    Field stars of Population II are among the oldest sources in the Galaxy. Most of their solar-type dwarfs are non-single and, given their extreme age, a significant fraction is accompanied by stellar remnants. Here we report the discovery of the bright F7V star 49 Lib as a massive and very metal-rich Population II field blue straggler, along with evidence for a white dwarf as its dark and unseen companion. 49 Lib is known as a relatively fast-rotating, single-lined spectroscopic binary in a 3 year orbit and with an apparent age of about τ ≃ 2.3 Gyr. Its chemistry and kinematics, however, both consistently imply that 49 Lib must be an ancient Population II star at τ ≃ 12 Gyr. With reference to the inclination from the astrometric orbit, leading to a {M}{WD}={0.50}-0.04+0.03 M⊙ low-mass white dwarf, and in view of the {M}{BS}={1.55}-0.13+0.07 M⊙ massive, evolved F-type blue straggler star, we demonstrate that 49 Lib must have been the subject of a mostly conservative mass transfer with a near-equal-mass M ≃ 1.06 + 1.00 M⊙ G-type binary at birth. For its future evolution, we point to the possibility as a progenitor system toward a type Ia supernova. Most importantly, however, we note that the remarkable metal enrichment of 49 Lib at [Mg/H] = +0.23 and [Fe/H] = ‑0.11 has principally very relevant implications for the early epoch when the Milky Way came into being.

  1. Malignant tumors in an ancient Egyptian population. (United States)

    Zink, A; Rohrbach, H; Szeimies, U; Hagedorn, H G; Haas, C J; Weyss, C; Bachmeier, B; Nerlich, A G


    Since it is still an open debate whether malignant tumors are mainly influenced by environmental factors, the frequency of such malignant tumors in historic populations with different living conditions is of particular interest. In the present study, we investigated the occurrence of malignant tumors affecting bone tissue in a population of mumrnies and skeletons, which had been excavated from the large necropolis of Thebes-West, Upper Egypt. Our study material comprised a series of at least 415 individuals (thereof 325 adults) dating from approx. 1500-500 B.C. All individuals had been mummified, but were severely damaged and partially broken by grave robbers, so that often only parts of the mummies/skeletons were available for investigation. The available specimens were subjected to careful macroscopic examination, while isolated findings were radiologically analyzed. Using this approach, we identified at least 4 cases showing malignant tumors affecting the skeleton. In two cases, multiple mixed osteolytic-osteoblastic lesions suggested multiple metastases from carcinomas. Two further individuals presented with multiple osteolyses (vertebra, pelvis, skull) most suggestive of multiple myeloma. The observation of at least 4 cases of malignant tumors with osseous manifestation in a series of 325 adult individuals provides clear evidence that malignant tumors were not a rare event in the ancient Egyptian study population, particularly when the limitations of a study of tumors manifested only in osseous remnants are taken into consideration. A calculation of the age- and sex-adjusted tumor frequency in our material in comparison with a recent model for such a material by Waldron (1996) indicates that the rate of malignant tumors with bone affection in our series is higher than in an English population from 1901-1905, although lower than in a comparable present day population. This clearly indicates that important factors affecting malignant tumors were effective even

  2. The Evolution of Al2O3 Content in Ancient Chinese Glasses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Cheng-yu


    Full Text Available Based on the evidence from museums, collectors, the dug out of the grave, the evolution of Al2O3 content in Chinese glasses from Western Zhou to Qing dynasty was documented in this paper in detail. It was found that Al2O3 contents in ancient Chinese glasses were relatively higher than those of outside of China in the world. This is the character of the ancient Chinese glasses which is caused by not only the high Al contents in the raw materials but also by the Chinese people’s preference of the milky glasses similar to jade

  3. Human skeletal muscle digitalis glycoside receptors (Na,K-ATPase)--importance during digitalization. (United States)

    Schmidt, T A; Holm-Nielsen, P; Kjeldsen, K


    The aims of the present study were to evaluate in humans the putative importance of skeletal muscle digitalis glycoside receptors (Na,K-ATPase) in the volume of distribution of digoxin and to assess whether therapeutic digoxin exposure might cause digitalis receptor upregulation in skeletal muscle. Samples of the vastus lateralis were obtained postmortem from 11 long-term (9 months to 9 years) digitalized (125-187.5 micrograms daily) and eight undigitalized subjects. In intact samples from digitalized patients, vanadate-facilitated 3H-ouabain binding increased 15% (p 0.30) before and after washing in specific digoxin antibody fragments, respectively. Thus, the present study indicates a approximately 13% occupancy of skeletal muscle digitalis glycoside receptors with digoxin during digitalization. In light of the large skeletal muscle contribution to body mass, this indicates that the skeletal muscle Na,K-ATPase pool constitutes a major volume of distribution for digoxin during digitalization. The results gave no indication of skeletal muscle digitalis glycoside receptor upregulation in response to digoxin treatment. On the contrary, there was evidence of significantly lower (37%, p digitalized patients, which may be of importance for skeletal muscle incapacity in heart failure.

  4. Prediction of Skeletal Medial–Lateral for transfemoral ischial containment sockets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael P. Dillon, PhD


    Full Text Available Accurate measurement of the pelvis is critical for well-fitting and comfortable ischial containment sockets. The "Skeletal Medial-Lateral (ML" is intrusive and unreliable to measure in vivo. This study aimed to determine how accurately the Skeletal ML could be predicted and to identify which measurements were significant predictors. Computed tomography scans were randomly sampled from a cadaveric database (n = 200. Inclusion criteria were age > 20 yr; lower-limb alignment that replicated the anatomical position; and no evidence of osteological trauma, implants, or bony growths. Multivariate linear regression models were developed to predict the Skeletal ML based on a suite of independent variables, including sex, body mass, and distance between pelvic landmarks. The regression model explained 76% of the variance in the Skeletal ML (p < 0.001. Variables that contributed significantly to the prediction of the Skeletal ML (p < 0.05 included body mass, sex, inter-greater trochanter distance, pelvic depth, and age. Significant predictors of the Skeletal ML dimension characterize variation in subcutaneous adipose tissue thickness and pelvic morphology. The Skeletal ML could be predicted with relatively small errors (standard error of estimate = 7 mm that could be easily and reliably adjusted during socket fitting. Further research is needed to test the predictive tool in a real-world setting.

  5. Genetic diversity among ancient Nordic populations. (United States)

    Melchior, Linea; Lynnerup, Niels; Siegismund, Hans R; Kivisild, Toomas; Dissing, Jørgen


    Using established criteria for work with fossil DNA we have analysed mitochondrial DNA from 92 individuals from 18 locations in Denmark ranging in time from the Mesolithic to the Medieval Age. Unequivocal assignment of mtDNA haplotypes was possible for 56 of the ancient individuals; however, the success rate varied substantially between sites; the highest rates were obtained with untouched, freshly excavated material, whereas heavy handling, archeological preservation and storage for many years influenced the ability to obtain authentic endogenic DNA. While the nucleotide diversity at two locations was similar to that among extant Danes, the diversity at four sites was considerably higher. This supports previous observations for ancient Britons. The overall occurrence of haplogroups did not deviate from extant Scandinavians, however, haplogroup I was significantly more frequent among the ancient Danes (average 13%) than among extant Danes and Scandinavians (approximately 2.5%) as well as among other ancient population samples reported. Haplogroup I could therefore have been an ancient Southern Scandinavian type "diluted" by later immigration events. Interestingly, the two Neolithic samples (4,200 YBP, Bell Beaker culture) that were typed were haplogroup U4 and U5a, respectively, and the single Bronze Age sample (3,300-3,500 YBP) was haplogroup U4. These two haplogroups have been associated with the Mesolithic populations of Central and Northern Europe. Therefore, at least for Southern Scandinavia, our findings do not support a possible replacement of a haplogroup U dominated hunter-gatherer population by a more haplogroup diverse Neolithic Culture.

  6. Skeletal muscle dysfunction in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ho Cheol Kim


    Full Text Available Ho Cheol Kim1, Mahroo Mofarrahi2, Sabah NA Hussain21Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Gyeongsang National University, Gyeongsang University Hospital, Jinju, Korea; 2Critical Care and Respiratory Divisions, Royal Victoria Hospital, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec, CanadaAbstract: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD is a debilitating disease characterized by inflammation-induced airflow limitation and parenchymal destruction. In addition to pulmonary manifestations, patients with COPD develop systemic problems, including skeletal muscle and other organ-specific dysfunctions, nutritional abnormalities, weight loss, and adverse psychological responses. Patients with COPD often complain of dyspnea on exertion, reduced exercise capacity, and develop a progressive decline in lung function with increasing age. These symptoms have been attributed to increases in the work of breathing and in impairments in gas exchange that result from airflow limitation and dynamic hyperinflation. However, there is mounting evidence to suggest that skeletal muscle dysfunction, independent of lung function, contributes significantly to reduced exercise capacity and poor quality of life in these patients. Limb and ventilatory skeletal muscle dysfunction in COPD patients has been attributed to a myriad of factors, including the presence of low grade systemic inflammatory processes, nutritional depletion, corticosteroid medications, chronic inactivity, age, hypoxemia, smoking, oxidative and nitrosative stresses, protein degradation and changes in vascular density. This review briefly summarizes the contribution of these factors to overall skeletal muscle dysfunction in patients with COPD, with particular attention paid to the latest advances in the field.Keywords: skeletal muscles, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diaphragm, quadriceps, fatigue, disuse, atrophy, smoking, exercise

  7. Vitamin D and extra-skeletal health: causality or consequence. (United States)

    Al Nozha, Omar M


    Vitamin D deficiency /insufficiency is widely recognized as a global health problem that is likely to be involved in pathogenesis or progression of many acute and chronic health disorders. Its relation to skeletal health has been clearly demonstrated and thoroughly examined. This review aims to highlight the continuous debate about the relation between vitamin D and extra-skeletal health and whether it is a causality or just an association. Overall, the available evidence does not meet the criteria for establishing cause-and-effect relationships because of the limitations of observational studies to corroborate the causality due to many potential confounders. Moreover, the causal relationship couldn't be established in randomized studies or in many meta-analyses. This may reflect the fact that vitamin D level reduction is just a biomarker of ill health. The inflammatory processes involved in the disease occurrence and the functional limitations of the diseases would have a role in reducing serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D "25 (OH) D" level, which would explain why low vitamin D is reported in a wide range of disorders. This may underscore the possibility of harm instead of benefit of vitamin D supplementation when its exact role is not fully established, thus many guidelines and interest groups are still hesitant toward recommending replacement in extra-skeletal disease. Future directions entails the need for a large well-designed randomized control trials (RCTs) to resolve the active debate on the benefits of vitamin D replacement for extra-skeletal disease, and not only that, future studies should establish specific, clinically relevant effects of vitamin D repletion, provide cut-values for optimal serum levels of 25 (OH) D, and appropriate doses for non-skeletal health benefits.

  8. Soothing the sleeping giant: improving skeletal muscle oxygen kinetics and exercise intolerance in HFpEF. (United States)

    Sarma, Satyam; Levine, Benjamin D


    Patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) have similar degrees of exercise intolerance and dyspnea as patients with heart failure with reduced EF (HFrEF). The underlying pathophysiology leading to impaired exertional ability in the HFpEF syndrome is not completely understood, and a growing body of evidence suggests "peripheral," i.e., noncardiac, factors may play an important role. Changes in skeletal muscle function (decreased muscle mass, capillary density, mitochondrial volume, and phosphorylative capacity) are common findings in HFrEF. While cardiac failure and decreased cardiac reserve account for a large proportion of the decline in oxygen consumption in HFrEF, impaired oxygen diffusion and decreased skeletal muscle oxidative capacity can also hinder aerobic performance, functional capacity and oxygen consumption (V̇o2) kinetics. The impact of skeletal muscle dysfunction and abnormal oxidative capacity may be even more pronounced in HFpEF, a disease predominantly affecting the elderly and women, two demographic groups with a high prevalence of sarcopenia. In this review, we 1) describe the basic concepts of skeletal muscle oxygen kinetics and 2) evaluate evidence suggesting limitations in aerobic performance and functional capacity in HFpEF subjects may, in part, be due to alterations in skeletal muscle oxygen delivery and utilization. Improving oxygen kinetics with specific training regimens may improve exercise efficiency and reduce the tremendous burden imposed by skeletal muscle upon the cardiovascular system.

  9. Skeletal and body composition evaluation (United States)

    Mazess, R. B.


    Research on radiation detectors for absorptiometry; analysis of errors affective single photon absorptiometry and development of instrumentation; analysis of errors affecting dual photon absorptiometry and development of instrumentation; comparison of skeletal measurements with other techniques; cooperation with NASA projects for skeletal evaluation in spaceflight (Experiment MO-78) and in laboratory studies with immobilized animals; studies of postmenopausal osteoporosis; organization of scientific meetings and workshops on absorptiometric measurement; and development of instrumentation for measurement of fluid shifts in the human body were performed. Instrumentation was developed that allows accurate and precise (2% error) measurements of mineral content in compact and trabecular bone and of the total skeleton. Instrumentation was also developed to measure fluid shifts in the extremities. Radiation exposure with those procedures is low (2-10 MREM). One hundred seventy three technical reports and one hundred and four published papers of studies from the University of Wisconsin Bone Mineral Lab are listed.

  10. Genetic drift. The ancient Egyptian dwarfs of the pyramids: the high official and the female worker. (United States)

    Kozma, Chahira; Sarry El Din, Azza Mohamed; El Shafy El Banna, Rokia Abd; El Samie Kandeel, Wafaa Abd; Lachman, Ralph


    The existence of dwarfism is amply documented in ancient Egypt due to the rich biological and artistic legacies. In previous articles published in this journal, I discussed the roles of people with skeletal dysplasia in ancient Egyptian civilization. In this article I, along with my Egyptian and American colleagues, describe two skeletons of dwarfs that date to 2700-2184 BCE and were unearthed from a funerary complex near the Great Pyramids in Giza. The first skeleton belongs to a high official, Per-ni-ankh-w, who died between 45 and 50 years of age. His statue is on display in the Egyptian Museum of Cairo. The second skeleton belongs to a pregnant female worker found with a fetus in situ. Her estimated age at death was 25-30 years. She most likely died during childbirth due to a small pelvic outlet as supported by her narrow sacrum. The fetal bones appear normal. Radiological examination of both skeletons confirmed the clinical diagnosis of achondroplasia. Ancient Egyptians concerned themselves with the search for spiritual fulfillment through the tradition of moral teachings. Amenemope, a wise man who lived during the reign of Amenhotep III (1391-1354 BCE), advocated respect toward individuals with disabilities: Do not jeer at a blind man nor tease a dwarf, Neither interfere with the condition of a cripple. Do not taunt a man who is in the hand of God, Nor scowl at him if he errs. In summary, artistic, biological, and written resources indicate that dwarfs were well integrated in ancient Egyptian society.

  11. The temporal and spatial distribution of ancient rice in China and its implications

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GONG ZiTong; CHEN HongZhao; YUAN DaGang; ZHAO YuGuo; WU YunJin; ZHANG GanLin


    The relics of ancient rice have been regarded as the most important objective evidence of the origination and spread of rice cultivation. Based on the records of 280 rice relics sites and the rice cropping regionalization as well as the distribution map of paddy soils, the current study compiled the temporal and spatial distribution map of ancient rice distribution in China. The map shows that the distribution of ancient rice is spatially extensive and meantime comparatively concentrated, temporarily covering a long and relatively continuous time-span. The rice relics in the Central China double and single rice cropping regions are among the earliest and the most abundant ones, possessing continuity in time sequence. Combined with the discovery of ancient rice and paddy filed relics, soil micromorphology,pollen combination and element geochemistry, it is suggested that Central China was the origin center of rice cultivation in China. Rice had been spread to the rest part of China in three major waves, also to the East Asian part like Korea and Japan. The temporal and spatial distribution of ancient rice reflects the past environmental change, which is also meaningful to the current rice regionalization and planning as well as food security in China.

  12. Epigenetic regulation of skeletal myogenesis


    Saccone, Valentina; Puri, Pier Lorenzo


    During embryogenesis a timely and coordinated expression of different subsets of genes drives the formation of skeletal muscles in response to developmental cues. In this review, we will summarize the most recent advances on the “epigenetic network” that promotes the transcription of selective groups of genes in muscle progenitors, through the concerted action of chromatin-associated complexes that modify histone tails and microRNAs (miRNAs). These epigenetic players cooperate to establish fo...

  13. The clinical spectrum and pathophysiology of skeletal complications in lysosomal storage disorders. (United States)

    Clarke, Lorne A; Hollak, Carla E M


    Lysosomal storage disorders affect multiple organs including the skeleton. Disorders with prominent skeletal symptoms are type 1 and 3 Gaucher disease, the mucopolysaccharidoses, the glycoproteinoses and pycnodysostosis. Clinical manifestations range from asymptomatic radiographical evidence of bone pathology to overt bone crises (Gaucher), short stature with typical imaging features known as dysostosis multiplex (MPS), with spine and joint deformities (mucopolysaccharidoses, mucolipidosis), or osteopetrosis with pathological fractures (pynodysostosis). The pathophysiology of skeletal disease is only partially understood and involves direct substrate storage, inflammation and other complex alterations of cartilage and bone metabolism. Current treatments are enzyme replacement therapy, substrate reduction therapy and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. However, effects of these interventions on skeletal disease manifestations are less well established and outcomes are highly dependent on disease burden at treatment initiation. It is now clear that adjunctive treatments that target skeletal disease are needed and should be part of future research agenda.

  14. Prediction of Skeletal Medial-Lateral for transfemoral ischial containment sockets. (United States)

    Dillon, Michael P; Fernandez, Richard G D; Erbas, Bircan; Briggs, Chris; Quigley, Matthew


    Accurate measurement of the pelvis is critical for well-fitting and comfortable ischial containment sockets. The "Skeletal Medial-Lateral (ML)" is intrusive and unreliable to measure in vivo. This study aimed to determine how accurately the Skeletal ML could be predicted and to identify which measurements were significant predictors. Computed tomography scans were randomly sampled from a cadaveric database (n = 200). Inclusion criteria were age > 20 yr; lower-limb alignment that replicated the anatomical position; and no evidence of osteological trauma, implants, or bony growths. Multivariate linear regression models were developed to predict the Skeletal ML based on a suite of independent variables, including sex, body mass, and distance between pelvic landmarks. The regression model explained 76% of the variance in the Skeletal ML (p socket fitting. Further research is needed to test the predictive tool in a real-world setting.

  15. Cryptic species in putative ancient asexual darwinulids (Crustacea, Ostracoda.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isa Schön

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Fully asexually reproducing taxa lack outcrossing. Hence, the classic Biological Species Concept cannot be applied. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used DNA sequences from the mitochondrial COI gene and the nuclear ITS2 region to check species boundaries according to the evolutionary genetic (EG species concept in five morphospecies in the putative ancient asexual ostracod genera, Penthesilenula and Darwinula, from different continents. We applied two methods for detecting cryptic species, namely the K/θ method and the General Mixed Yule Coalescent model (GMYC. We could confirm the existence of species in all five darwinulid morphospecies and additional cryptic diversity in three morphospecies, namely in Penthesilenula brasiliensis, Darwinula stevensoni and in P. aotearoa. The number of cryptic species within one morphospecies varied between seven (P. brasiliensis, five to six (D. stevensoni and two (P. aotearoa, respectively, depending on the method used. Cryptic species mainly followed continental distributions. We also found evidence for coexistence at the local scale for Brazilian cryptic species of P. brasiliensis and P. aotearoa. Our ITS2 data confirmed that species exist in darwinulids but detected far less EG species, namely two to three cryptic species in P. brasiliensis and no cryptic species at all in the other darwinulid morphospecies. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results clearly demonstrate that both species and cryptic diversity can be recognized in putative ancient asexual ostracods using the EG species concept, and that COI data are more suitable than ITS2 for this purpose. The discovery of up to eight cryptic species within a single morphospecies will significantly increase estimates of biodiversity in this asexual ostracod group. Which factors, other than long-term geographic isolation, are important for speciation processes in these ancient asexuals remains to be investigated.

  16. Ancient Leishmaniasis in a highland desert of Northern Chile.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Antonietta Costa

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Leishmaniasis is an infectious disease endemic today in many areas of South America. METHODOLOGY: We discovered morphologic and molecular evidence of ancient infections in 4 female skulls in the archaeological cemetery of Coyo Oriente, in the desert of San Pedro de Atacama, Northern Chile. The boney facial lesions visible in the skulls could have been caused by a number of chronic infections including chronic Leishmaniasis. This diagnosis was confirmed using PCR-sequenced analyses of bone fragments from the skulls of the affected individuals.Leishmaniasis is not normally found in the high-altitude desert of Northern Chile; where the harsh climate does not allow the parasite to complete its life cycle. The presence of Leishmaniasis in ancient skulls from the region implies infection by the protozoan in an endemic area-likely, in our subjects, to have been the lowlands of North-Eastern Argentina or in Southern Bolivia. CONCLUSIONS: We propose that the presence of the disease in ancient times in the high altitude desert of San Pedro de Atacama is the result of an exogamic system of patrilocal marriages, where women from different cultures followed their husbands to their ancestral homes, allowing immigrant women, infected early in life, to be incorporated in the Atacama desert society before they became disfigured by the disease. The present globalization of goods and services and the extraordinary facile movement of people across borders and continents have lead to a resurgence of infectious diseases and re-emergence of infections such as Leishmaniasis. We show here that such factors were already present millennia ago, shaping demographic trends and the epidemiology of infections just as they do today.

  17. Twins in Ancient Greece: a synopsis. (United States)

    Malamitsi-Puchner, Ariadne


    This brief outline associates twins with several aspects of life in Ancient Greece. In Greek mythology twins caused ambivalent reactions and were believed to have ambivalent feelings for each other. Very often, they were viewed as the representatives of the dualistic nature of the universe. Heteropaternal superfecundation, which dominates in ancient myths, explains on one hand, the god-like qualities and, on the other hand, the mortal nature of many twins. An assumption is presented that legends referring to twins might reflect the territorial expansions of Ancient Greeks in Northern Mediterranean, around the Black Sea, in Asia Minor, as well as North East Africa. In conclusion, in Greek antiquity, twins have been used as transitional figures between myth and reality.

  18. Genetic diversity among ancient Nordic populations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Melchior, Linea Cecilie; Lynnerup, Niels; Siegismund, Hans Redlef


    the ancient Danes (average 13%) than among extant Danes and Scandinavians ( approximately 2.5%) as well as among other ancient population samples reported. Haplogroup I could therefore have been an ancient Southern Scandinavian type "diluted" by later immigration events. Interestingly, the two Neolithic...... samples (4,200 YBP, Bell Beaker culture) that were typed were haplogroup U4 and U5a, respectively, and the single Bronze Age sample (3,300-3,500 YBP) was haplogroup U4. These two haplogroups have been associated with the Mesolithic populations of Central and Northern Europe. Therefore, at least...... for Southern Scandinavia, our findings do not support a possible replacement of a haplogroup U dominated hunter-gatherer population by a more haplogroup diverse Neolithic Culture....

  19. Palaeoparasitology - Human Parasites in Ancient Material. (United States)

    Araújo, Adauto; Reinhard, Karl; Ferreira, Luiz Fernando


    Parasite finds in ancient material launched a new field of science: palaeoparasitology. Ever since the pioneering studies, parasites were identified in archaeological and palaeontological remains, some preserved for millions of years by fossilization. However, the palaeoparasitological record consists mainly of parasites found specifically in human archaeological material, preserved in ancient occupation sites, from prehistory until closer to 2015. The results include some helminth intestinal parasites still commonly found in 2015, such as Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura and hookworms, besides others such as Amoebidae and Giardia intestinalis, as well as viruses, bacteria, fungi and arthropods. These parasites as a whole provide important data on health, diet, climate and living conditions among ancient populations. This chapter describes the principal findings and their importance for knowledge on the origin and dispersal of infectious diseases.

  20. Prediction of autosomal STR typing success in ancient and Second World War bone samples. (United States)

    Zupanič Pajnič, Irena; Zupanc, Tomaž; Balažic, Jože; Geršak, Živa Miriam; Stojković, Oliver; Skadrić, Ivan; Črešnar, Matija


    Human-specific quantitative PCR (qPCR) has been developed for forensic use in the last 10 years and is the preferred DNA quantification technique since it is very accurate, sensitive, objective, time-effective and automatable. The amount of information that can be gleaned from a single quantification reaction using commercially available quantification kits has increased from the quantity of nuclear DNA to the amount of male DNA, presence of inhibitors and, most recently, to the degree of DNA degradation. In skeletal remains samples from disaster victims, missing persons and war conflict victims, the DNA is usually degraded. Therefore the new commercial qPCR kits able to assess the degree of degradation are potentially able to predict the success of downstream short tandem repeat (STR) typing. The goal of this study was to verify the quantification step using the PowerQuant kit with regard to its suitability as a screening method for autosomal STR typing success on ancient and Second World War (WWII) skeletal remains. We analysed 60 skeletons excavated from five archaeological sites and four WWII mass graves from Slovenia. The bones were cleaned, surface contamination was removed and the bones ground to a powder. Genomic DNA was obtained from 0.5g of bone powder after total demineralization. The DNA was purified using a Biorobot EZ1 device. Following PowerQuant quantification, DNA samples were subjected to autosomal STR amplification using the NGM kit. Up to 2.51ng DNA/g of powder were extracted. No inhibition was detected in any of bones analysed. 82% of the WWII bones gave full profiles while 73% of the ancient bones gave profiles not suitable for interpretation. Four bone extracts yielded no detectable amplification or zero quantification results and no profiles were obtained from any of them. Full or useful partial profiles were produced only from bone extracts where short autosomal (Auto) and long degradation (Deg) PowerQuant targets were detected. It is

  1. Pectus excavatum in mummies from ancient Egypt. (United States)

    Kwiecinski, Jakub


    Pectus excavatum is one of the common congenital anomalies, yet there seems to be a suspicious absence of any cases or descriptions of this deformity from antiquity. This could represent a real change in disease prevalence but is more likely just due to an inadequate reporting in medico-historical literature. The current study reviews reports of computed tomography (CT) scans of 217 ancient Egyptian mummies, revealing 3 presumed cases of this deformity. Therefore, pectus excavatum was in fact present already in ancient times, with prevalence roughly similar to the modern one.

  2. Symmetries in Images on Ancient Seals

    CERN Document Server

    Sparavigna, Amelia


    In this paper, we discuss the presence of symmetries in images engraved on ancient seals, in particular on stamp seals. Mainly used to secure the containers from tampering and for owner's identification, these objects appeared during the 5th millennium BC in Mesopotamia. Usually the seals were engraved with simple images, suitable to communicate an immediate information. Rotational symmetries are already displayed by the most ancient stamp seals, whose images reach a quasi-perfect symmetry in their small circular or ovoid spaces. Bilateral symmetries are quite common in Egyptian scarab seals.

  3. Automatic indexing and reformulation of ancient dictionaries


    Belaïd, Abdel; Turcan, Isabelle; Pierrel, Jean-Marie; Belaïd, Yolande; Rangoni, Yves; Hadjamar, Hassen


    International audience; This paper is related to automatic indexing and reformu-lation of ancient dictionaries. The objective is to make easy the access to ancient printed documents from XVI to XIX century for a diversified public (historians, scien-tists, librarians, etc.). Since the facsimile mode is insuffi-cient, the aim is to look further for the use of the index-ing based on the formal structure representative of some contents in order to optimize their exploration. Starting from a firs...

  4. Mythological Emblem Glyphs of Ancient Maya Kings

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Helmke, Christophe


    Heinrich Berlin’s identification of Emblem Glyphs in 1958 has rightly been hailed as one of the major breakthroughs in the decipherment of ancient Maya writing. Although their exact function and meaning was unclear at the time, these are now recognized to serve as exalted regal titles that incorp......Heinrich Berlin’s identification of Emblem Glyphs in 1958 has rightly been hailed as one of the major breakthroughs in the decipherment of ancient Maya writing. Although their exact function and meaning was unclear at the time, these are now recognized to serve as exalted regal titles...

  5. A Modern Take on an Ancient Master

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    A new English translation of The Analects gives a fresh perspective on Confucius and his philosophy by Zan Jifang Confucius(551-491 B.C.) is generally viewed as ancient China’s foremost thinker.His philosophy is probably best catalogued in The Analects,a record of the sage’s wisdom compiled after his death.This Confucian classic provides a shortcut to understanding Chinese culture. A new English edition of the ancient classic(published by the Foreign Languages Press)

  6. Evolution of medical education in ancient Greece

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Emmanouil Pikoulis; Pavlos Msaouel; Efthimios D Avgerinos; Sofia Anagnostopoulou; Christos Tsigris


    @@ The study of ancient Greece is essential for the proper understanding of the evolution of modem Western medicine.An important innovation of classical Greek medicine was the development of a body of medical theory associated with natural philosophy,i.e.a strong secular tradition of free enquiry,or what would now be called "science" (Επιστημη).Medical education rests upon the ancient Greek foundations and its history remains a fascinating topic for modem physicians and medical teachers.

  7. The exercised skeletal muscle: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Marini


    Full Text Available The skeletal muscle is the second more plastic tissue of the body - second to the nervous tissue only. In fact, both physical activity and inactivity contribute to modify the skeletal muscle, by continuous signaling through nerve impulses, mechanical stimuli and humoral clues. In turn, the skeletal muscle sends signals to the body, thus contributing to its homeostasis. We'll review here the contribute of physical exercise to the shaping of skeletal muscle, to the adaptation of its mass and function to the different needs imposed by different physical activities and to the attainment of the health benefits associated with active skeletal muscles. Focus will primarily be on the molecular pathways and on gene regulation that result in skeletal muscle adaptation to exercise.

  8. Androgens regulate gene expression in avian skeletal muscles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J Fuxjager

    Full Text Available Circulating androgens in adult reproductively active male vertebrates influence a diversity of organ systems and thus are considered costly. Recently, we obtained evidence that androgen receptors (AR are expressed in several skeletal muscles of three passeriform birds, the golden-collared manakin (Manacus vitellinus, zebra finch (Taenopygia guttata, and ochre-bellied flycatcher (Mionectes oleagieus. Because skeletal muscles that control wing movement make up the bulk of a bird's body mass, evidence for widespread effects of androgen action on these muscles would greatly expand the functional impact of androgens beyond their well-characterized effects on relatively discrete targets throughout the avian body. To investigate this issue, we use quantitative PCR (qPCR to determine if androgens alter gene mRNA expression patterns in wing musculature of wild golden-collared manakins and captive zebra finches. In manakins, the androgen testosterone (T up-regulated expression of parvalbumin (PV and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I, two genes whose products enhance cellular Ca(2+ cycling and hypertrophy of skeletal muscle fibers. In T-treated zebra finches, the anti-androgen flutamide blunted PV and IGF-I expression. These results suggest that certain transcriptional effects of androgen action via AR are conserved in passerine skeletal muscle tissue. When we examined wing muscles of manakins, zebra finches and ochre-bellied flycatchers, we found that expression of PV and IGF-I varied across species and in a manner consistent with a function for AR-dependent gene regulation. Together, these findings imply that androgens have the potential to act on avian muscle in a way that may enhance the physicality required for successful reproduction.

  9. Analyses of DNA from ancient bones of a pre-Columbian Cuban woman and a child

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo Lleonart


    Full Text Available Molecular anthropology has brought new possibilities into the study of ancient human populations. Amplification of chromosomal short tandem repeat (STR loci and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA has been successfully employed in analyses of ancient bone material. Although several studies have reported on continental Amerindian populations, none have addressed the ancient populations inhabiting the Caribbean islands. We used STR and mtDNA analyses to study the skeletal remains of a Cuban Ciboney female adult holding an infant. Results showed that for the STR analyzed the skeletal remains shared common alleles, suggesting a relationship. Mitochondrial DNA analysis showed sequence identity, thus corroborating a possible mother-child relationship. The mtDNA sequence grouped these remains into haplogroup A, commonly found in Amerindian populations. Based on these results, we speculated on a South American origin of pre-Columbian Antilles populations and possible infanticide practices in these populations. This constitutes the first report on DNA analysis of ancient pre-Columbian Cuban populations.A antropologia molecular trouxe novas possibilidades para o estudo de populações humanas antigas. A amplificação de loci em pequenos segmentos cromossômicos repetidos (short tandem repeat, STR e de DNA mitocondrial (mtDNA tem sido empregada com sucesso em análises de material ósseo antigo. Embora vários estudos tenham sido publicados a respeito de populações ameríndias continentais, nenhum estudou as populações antigas que habitavam as ilhas do Caribe. Nós usamos análise de STR e mtDNA para estudar os restos de ossos de uma mulher adulta da tribo Ciboney cubana carregando uma criança. Os resultados mostraram que para o STR analisado os restos ósseos compartilhavam alelos comuns, sugerindo um parentesco. A análise de mtDNA mostrou identidade de seqüência, corroborando assim uma possível relação mãe-filho. A seqüência de mtDNA alocou esses

  10. Unusual florid skeletal manifestations of primary hyperparathyroidism

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ashebu, Samuel D.; Dahniya, Mohamed H.; Muhtaseb, Sayeed A.; Aduh, Prosper [Department of Radiology, Al-Adan Hospital (Kuwait)


    We report a case of primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) with advanced and unusual skeletal manifestations - a rare occurrence in developed countries nowadays. The literature is briefly reviewed. (orig.)

  11. Reading Habakkuk 3 in the light of ancient unit delimiters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gert T.M. Prinsloo


    Full Text Available Habakkuk 3 is one of the most controversial texts in the Hebrew Bible. Diverging opinions have been expressed on literally every facet of the text. Quite surprising though, interpreters are virtually unanimous in their opinion about the structure of the pericope. Apart from a superscript (3:1 and subscript (3:19b four units are normally demarcated: a prayer (3:2, a theophany (3:3–7, a hymn (3:8–15 and a confession of trust (3:16–19a. Unit delimiters in ancient Hebrew manuscripts demarcate two (3:1–13 and 3:14–19 or three (3:1–7; 3:8–13; 3:14–19 units. This study evaluates this evidence and reads Habakkuk 3 in the light of the units demarcated in ancient manuscripts. It raises awareness of interesting structural patterns in the poem, calls for a rethinking of traditional form critical categories, and opens avenues for an alternative understanding of the pericope.

  12. An ancient recipe for flood-basalt genesis. (United States)

    Jackson, Matthew G; Carlson, Richard W


    Large outpourings of basaltic lava have punctuated geological time, but the mechanisms responsible for the generation of such extraordinary volumes of melt are not well known. Recent geochemical evidence suggests that an early-formed reservoir may have survived in the Earth's mantle for about 4.5 billion years (ref. 2), and melts of this reservoir contributed to the flood basalt emplaced on Baffin Island about 60 million years ago. However, the volume of this ancient mantle domain and whether it has contributed to other flood basalts is not known. Here we show that basalts from the largest volcanic event in geologic history--the Ontong Java plateau--also exhibit the isotopic and trace element signatures proposed for the early-Earth reservoir. Together with the Ontong Java plateau, we suggest that six of the largest volcanic events that erupted in the past 250 million years derive from the oldest terrestrial mantle reservoir. The association of these large volcanic events with an ancient primitive mantle source suggests that its unique geochemical characteristics--it is both hotter (it has greater abundances of the radioactive heat-producing elements) and more fertile than depleted mantle reservoirs-may strongly affect the generation of flood basalts.

  13. The Kalash genetic isolate: ancient divergence, drift, and selection. (United States)

    Ayub, Qasim; Mezzavilla, Massimo; Pagani, Luca; Haber, Marc; Mohyuddin, Aisha; Khaliq, Shagufta; Mehdi, Syed Qasim; Tyler-Smith, Chris


    The Kalash represent an enigmatic isolated population of Indo-European speakers who have been living for centuries in the Hindu Kush mountain ranges of present-day Pakistan. Previous Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA markers provided no support for their claimed Greek descent following Alexander III of Macedon's invasion of this region, and analysis of autosomal loci provided evidence of a strong genetic bottleneck. To understand their origins and demography further, we genotyped 23 unrelated Kalash samples on the Illumina HumanOmni2.5M-8 BeadChip and sequenced one male individual at high coverage on an Illumina HiSeq 2000. Comparison with published data from ancient hunter-gatherers and European farmers showed that the Kalash share genetic drift with the Paleolithic Siberian hunter-gatherers and might represent an extremely drifted ancient northern Eurasian population that also contributed to European and Near Eastern ancestry. Since the split from other South Asian populations, the Kalash have maintained a low long-term effective population size (2,319-2,603) and experienced no detectable gene flow from their geographic neighbors in Pakistan or from other extant Eurasian populations. The mean time of divergence between the Kalash and other populations currently residing in this region was estimated to be 11,800 (95% confidence interval = 10,600-12,600) years ago, and thus they represent present-day descendants of some of the earliest migrants into the Indian sub-continent from West Asia.

  14. Ancient Blacksmiths, The Iron Age, Damascus Steels, and Modern Metallurgy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sherby, O.D.; Wadsworth, J.


    The history of iron and Damascus steels is described through the eyes of ancient blacksmiths. For example, evidence is presented that questions why the Iron Age could not have begun at about the same time as the early Bronze Age (i.e. approximately 7000 B.C.). It is also clear that ancient blacksmiths had enough information from their forging work, together with their observation of color changes during heating and their estimate of hardness by scratch tests, to have determined some key parts of the present-day iron-carbon phase diagram. The blacksmiths' greatest artistic accomplishments were the Damascus and Japanese steel swords. The Damascus sword was famous not only for its exceptional cutting edge and toughness, but also for its beautiful surface markings. Damascus steels are ultrahigh carbon steels (UHCSs) that contain from 1.0 to 2.1%. carbon. The modern metallurgical understanding of UHCSs has revealed that remarkable properties can be obtained in these hypereutectoid steels. The results achieved in UHCSs are attributed to the ability to place the carbon, in excess of the eutectoid composition, to do useful work that enhances the high temperature processing of carbon steels and that improves the low and intermediate temperature mechanical properties.

  15. Records of solar eclipse observations in ancient China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    Like ancient people at other places of the world, the ancient Chinese lived in awe of the Sun. As they felt solar eclipses extremely significant events, they closely observed the occurrence of solar eclipse. Ancient astronomers further realized very early that solar eclipses were one of the important astronomical phenomena to revise and improve the ancient calendar. Interestingly, ancient emperors regarded solar eclipses as warnings from heaven that might affect the stability of their throne. Consequently, observing and recording solar eclipses became official, which dated far back to ancient China when numerous relevant descriptions were recorded in historical books. These records contribute substantially to China as an ancient civilization, as well as to the research of the long-term variation of the rotation rate of the Earth during >2000 years before the 17th century. This paper briefly reviews the perception, observations and recording of solar eclipses by ancient Chinese astronomers.

  16. Records of solar eclipse observations in ancient China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HAN YanBen; QIAO OiYuan


    Like ancient people at other places of the world, the ancient Chinese lived in awe of the Sun. As they felt solar eclipses extremely significant events, they closely observed the occurrence of solar eclipse. Ancient astronomers further realized very early that solar eclipses were one of the important astro-nomical phenomena to revise and improve the ancient calendar. Interestingly, ancient emperors re-garded solar eclipses as warnings from heaven that might affect the stability of their throne. Conse-quently, observing and recording solar eclipses became official, which dated far back to ancient China when numerous relevant descriptions were recorded in historical books. These records contribute substantially to China as an ancient civilization, as well as to the research of the long-term variation of the rotation rate of the Earth during >2000 years before the 17th century. This paper briefly reviews the perception, observations and recording of solar eclipses by ancient Chinese astronomers.

  17. Ancient Persian Skywatching and Calendars (United States)

    Sołtysiak, Arkadiusz

    The peoples of Iran used lunisolar calendars until the early fifth century BCE when the 365-day calendar with 30 months and 5 epagomenal days was introduced. This calendar was not corrected to the actual length of the tropical year, and therefore, seasonal festivals gradually moved away from their seasons. Finally, around the turn of the fifth century CE, a partially successful calendar reform was undertaken, and the feasts were restored to their original seasons. In that time, Sasanian kings were interested in astrology, and some Greek and Hindu astrological texts were translated into Persian, but there is no evidence of indigenous contributions to skywatching.

  18. Triennial Growth Symposium--A role for vitamin D in skeletal muscle development and growth. (United States)

    Starkey, J D


    Although well known for its role in bone development and mineral homeostasis, there is emerging evidence that vitamin D is capable of functioning as a regulator of skeletal muscle development and hypertrophic growth. This review will focus on the relatively limited body of evidence regarding the impact of vitamin D on prenatal development and postnatal growth of skeletal muscle in meat animal species. Recent evidence indicating that improvement of maternal vitamin D status through dietary 25-hydroxycholecalciferol supplementation can positively affect fetal skeletal muscle fiber number and myoblast activity in swine as well as work demonstrating that posthatch vitamin D status enhancement stimulates a satellite cell-mediated skeletal muscle hypertrophy response in broiler chickens is discussed. The relative lack of information regarding how and when to best supply dietary vitamin D to promote optimal prenatal development and postnatal growth of skeletal muscle provides an exciting field of research. Expansion of knowledge in this area will ultimately improve our ability to efficiently and effectively produce the livestock required to meet the increasing worldwide demand for meat products.

  19. Dialogue Genre Texts in Ancient Greek Prose: Linguostylistic Aspect


    Gita Bērziņa


    Dialogue Genre Texts in Ancient Greek Prose: Linguostylistic Aspect Doctoral thesis deals with the study of essential linguistic features of the Ancient Greek dialogue as an important ancient prose genre. The goal of the thesis is to disclose the specific linguistic characteristics of the genre of Ancient Greek dialogue on the basis of comparative analysis of the linguistic structure (on all levels as well as in style) of the texts of three most prominent authors (Plato, Xenoph...

  20. Fire usage and ancient hominin detoxification genes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aarts, Jac M.M.J.G.; Alink, Gerrit M.; Scherjon, Fulco; MacDonald, Katharine; Smith, Alison C.; Nijveen, Harm; Roebroeks, Wil


    Studies of the defence capacity of ancient hominins against toxic substances may contribute importantly to the reconstruction of their niche, including their diets and use of fire. Fire usage implies frequent exposure to hazardous compounds from smoke and heated food, known to affect general heal

  1. Discovering the Ancient Maya from Space (United States)

    Sever, T. L.


    The Pet6n region of northern Guatemala contains some of the most significant Mayan archeological sites in Latin America. It was in this region that the Maya civilization began, flourished, and abruptly disappeared. Remote sensing technology is helping to locate and map ancient Maya sites that are threatened today by accelerating deforestation and looting. Thematic Mapper, IKONOS, and QuickBird satellite, and airborne STAR-3i and AIRSAR radar data, combined with Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, are successfully detecting ancient Maya features such as sites, roadways, canals, and water reservoirs. Satellite imagery is also being used to map the bajos, which are seasonally flooded swamps that cover over 40% of the land surface. Through the use of various airborne and satellite sensor systems we have been able to detect and map ancient causeways, temples, reservoirs, and land forms, and locate these features on the ground through GPS technology. Recently, we have discovered that there is a strong relationship between a tropical forest vegetation signature in satellite imagery and the location of archeological sites. We believe that the use of limestone and lime plasters in ancient Maya construction affects the moisture, nutrition, and plant species of the surface vegetation. We have mapped these vegetation signatures in the imagery and verified through field survey that they are indicative of archeological sites. Through the use of remote sensing and GIS technology it is possible to identify unrecorded archeological features in a dense tropical forest environment and monitor these cultural features for their protection.

  2. Ancient bronze disks, decorations and calendars

    CERN Document Server

    Sparavigna, Amelia Carolina


    Recently, it was published that some ancient bronze disks could had been calendars, that is, that their decorations had this function. Here I am discussing an example, the disk of the Trundholm Sun Chariot, proposing a new interpretation of it, giving a calendar of 360 days. Some geometric diagrams concerning the decoration layout are also proposed.

  3. Ancient DNA analysis of dental calculus. (United States)

    Weyrich, Laura S; Dobney, Keith; Cooper, Alan


    Dental calculus (calcified tartar or plaque) is today widespread on modern human teeth around the world. A combination of soft starchy foods, changing acidity of the oral environment, genetic pre-disposition, and the absence of dental hygiene all lead to the build-up of microorganisms and food debris on the tooth crown, which eventually calcifies through a complex process of mineralisation. Millions of oral microbes are trapped and preserved within this mineralised matrix, including pathogens associated with the oral cavity and airways, masticated food debris, and other types of extraneous particles that enter the mouth. As a result, archaeologists and anthropologists are increasingly using ancient human dental calculus to explore broad aspects of past human diet and health. Most recently, high-throughput DNA sequencing of ancient dental calculus has provided valuable insights into the evolution of the oral microbiome and shed new light on the impacts of some of the major biocultural transitions on human health throughout history and prehistory. Here, we provide a brief historical overview of archaeological dental calculus research, and discuss the current approaches to ancient DNA sampling and sequencing. Novel applications of ancient DNA from dental calculus are discussed, highlighting the considerable scope of this new research field for evolutionary biology and modern medicine.

  4. Ancient Pyramids Help Students Learn Math Concepts (United States)

    Smith, Courtney D.; Stump, Amanda M.; Lazaros, Edward J.


    This article presents an activity that allows students to use mathematics and critical-thinking skills to emulate processes used by the ancient Egyptians to prepare the site for the Pyramids of Giza. To accomplish this, they use three different methods. First, they create a square using only simple technological tools that were available to the…

  5. Defining Astrology in Ancient and Classical History (United States)

    Campion, Nicholas


    Astrology in the ancient and classical worlds can be partly defined by its role, and partly by the way in which scholars spoke about it. The problem is complicated by the fact that the word is Greek - it has no Babylonian or Egyptian cognates - and even in Greece it was interchangeable with its cousin, 'astronomy'. Yet if we are to understand the role of the sky, stars and planets in culture, debates about the nature of ancient astrology, by both classical and modern scholars, must be taken into account. This talk will consider modern scholars' typologies of ancient astrology, together with ancient debates from Cicero in the 1st century BC, to Plotinus (204/5-270 AD) and Isidore of Seville (c. 560 - 4 April 636). It will consider the implications for our understanding of astronomy's role in culture, and conclude that in the classical period astrology may be best understood through its diversity and allegiance to competing philosophies, and that its functions were therefore similarly varied.

  6. Ancient whole grain gluten-free flatbreads (United States)

    The USDA food guide recommends that at least ½ of all the grains eaten should be whole grains. The FDA allows food Health Claim labels for food containing 51% whole gains and 11 g of dietary fiber. This is the only report demonstrating innovative ancient whole grain gluten-free (no yeast or chemical...

  7. An ancient musical instrument returns home

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    After 300 years abroad, an ancient Chinese musical instrument returned home with its face lifted and a Japanese name. Originally a one-stringed plucker, the Daisho Modo now features a whole family of electric high-, medium-pitched and bass instruments. With crisp tone and wide range, the Daisho Modo is

  8. Fossil avian eggshell preserves ancient DNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Oskam, Charlotte L; Haile, James Seymour; McLay, Emma


    Owing to exceptional biomolecule preservation, fossil avian eggshell has been used extensively in geochronology and palaeodietary studies. Here, we show, to our knowledge, for the first time that fossil eggshell is a previously unrecognized source of ancient DNA (aDNA). We describe the successful...

  9. The Study of Women in Ancient Society. (United States)

    Moscovich, M. James


    Presents ideas for teaching about the roles of women in ancient Greek and Roman societies for undergraduate history and sociology classes. The discussion covers the roots of misogyny in Western culture, parallels between mythologies and sociocultural patterns, and the legal status of women in antiquity. (AM)

  10. Communication Arts in the Ancient World. (United States)

    Havelock, Eric A., Ed.; Hershbell, Jackson P., Ed.

    Intended for both classicists and nonclassicists, this volume explores the beginnings of literacy in ancient Greece and Rome and examines the effects of written communication on these cultures. The nine articles, written by classical scholars and educators in the field of communication, discuss the following: the superiority of the alphabet over…

  11. Paragons of Education in Ancient Times

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    MOTHERS contributed greatly to children’s education in ancient China long before schools took shape. Behind many prominent figures lay greatmothers whose personal example and verbal instruction benefited their children throughout life. There is an old sayingabout the "stern father and compassionate mother."However, you will always

  12. The Roots of Science in Ancient China. (United States)

    Fisher, Arthur


    A 45-year-old research project (culminating in the multivolume "Science and Civilization in China") is examining major scientific innovations in ancient China and attempting to explain why, although the Chinese gained a technological edge in the past, they did not make the forward leap into modern science. (JN)

  13. The Challenges of Qualitatively Coding Ancient Texts (United States)

    Slingerland, Edward; Chudek, Maciej


    We respond to several important and valid concerns about our study ("The Prevalence of Folk Dualism in Early China," "Cognitive Science" 35: 997-1007) by Klein and Klein, defending our interpretation of our data. We also argue that, despite the undeniable challenges involved in qualitatively coding texts from ancient cultures, the standard tools…

  14. Mitochondrial phylogenomics of modern and ancient equids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vilstrup, Julia T; Seguin-Orlando, Andaine; Stiller, Mathias;


    to calibrate reliable molecular clocks. Additional mitochondrial genome sequence data, including radiocarbon dated ancient equids, will be required before revisiting the exact timing of the lineage radiation leading up to modern equids, which for now were found to have possibly shared a common ancestor as far...

  15. Genomic correlates of atherosclerosis in ancient humans. (United States)

    Zink, Albert; Wann, L Samuel; Thompson, Randall C; Keller, Andreas; Maixner, Frank; Allam, Adel H; Finch, Caleb E; Frohlich, Bruno; Kaplan, Hillard; Lombardi, Guido P; Sutherland, M Linda; Sutherland, James D; Watson, Lucia; Cox, Samantha L; Miyamoto, Michael I; Narula, Jagat; Stewart, Alexandre F R; Thomas, Gregory S; Krause, Johannes


    Paleogenetics offers a unique opportunity to study human evolution, population dynamics, and disease evolution in situ. Although histologic and computed x-ray tomographic investigations of ancient mummies have clearly shown that atherosclerosis has been present in humans for more than 5,000 years, limited data are available on the presence of genetic predisposition for cardiovascular disease in ancient human populations. In a previous whole-genome study of the Tyrolean Iceman, a 5,300-year-old glacier mummy from the Alps, an increased risk for coronary heart disease was detected. The Iceman's genome revealed several single nucleotide polymorphisms that are linked with cardiovascular disease in genome-wide association studies. Future genetic studies of ancient humans from various geographic origins and time periods have the potential to provide more insights into the presence and possible changes of genetic risk factors in our ancestors. The study of ancient humans and a better understanding of the interaction between environmental and genetic influences on the development of heart diseases may lead to a more effective prevention and treatment of the most common cause of death in the modern world.

  16. The Ancient stellar population of Leo A.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Saha, Abhijit; Fiorentino, Giuliana; Tolstoy, Eline; Cole, Andrew


    The primary goal of our proposal is the characterisation of the oldest stellar populations in Leo A using the properties of ancient RR Lyrae variable stars as tracers. Well known and long established correlations exist between the periods and luminosities of RR Lyrae variable stars and their ages an

  17. The Ancient Kemetic Roots of Library and Information Science. (United States)

    Zulu, Itibari M.

    This paper argues that the ancient people of Kemet (Egypt), "the black land," built and operated the first major libraries and institutions of higher education in the world. Topics of discussion include the Ancient Egyptians as an African people; a chronology of Ancient Kemet; literature in Kemet; a history of Egyptian Librarianship; the…

  18. Deep sequencing of RNA from ancient maize kernels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fordyce, Sarah Louise; Avila Arcos, Maria del Carmen; Rasmussen, Morten;


    The characterization of biomolecules from ancient samples can shed otherwise unobtainable insights into the past. Despite the fundamental role of transcriptomal change in evolution, the potential of ancient RNA remains unexploited - perhaps due to dogma associated with the fragility of RNA. We...... maize kernels. The results suggest that ancient seed transcriptomics may offer a powerful new tool with which to study plant domestication....

  19. Co-existent Paget’s Disease of the Bone, Prostate Carcinoma Skeletal Metastases and Fracture on Skeletal Scintigraphy-Lessons to be Learned

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luke I Sonoda


    Full Text Available Bone scintigraphy, despite being non-specific, is a very sensitive and simple investigation for patients with active Paget’s disease of the bone. Skeletal metastases and Paget’s disease may co-exist in the elderly patients as both conditions are commonly seen in this age group. Clinical and radiological correlation may help to improve the diagnostic specificity of a bone scintigram. We report a patient in whom concurrent Paget’s disease and a rib fracture became evident only on repeat scintigraphy following successful treatment of prostate carcinoma skeletal metastases.

  20. Genetic diversity among ancient Nordic populations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linea Melchior

    Full Text Available Using established criteria for work with fossil DNA we have analysed mitochondrial DNA from 92 individuals from 18 locations in Denmark ranging in time from the Mesolithic to the Medieval Age. Unequivocal assignment of mtDNA haplotypes was possible for 56 of the ancient individuals; however, the success rate varied substantially between sites; the highest rates were obtained with untouched, freshly excavated material, whereas heavy handling, archeological preservation and storage for many years influenced the ability to obtain authentic endogenic DNA. While the nucleotide diversity at two locations was similar to that among extant Danes, the diversity at four sites was considerably higher. This supports previous observations for ancient Britons. The overall occurrence of haplogroups did not deviate from extant Scandinavians, however, haplogroup I was significantly more frequent among the ancient Danes (average 13% than among extant Danes and Scandinavians (approximately 2.5% as well as among other ancient population samples reported. Haplogroup I could therefore have been an ancient Southern Scandinavian type "diluted" by later immigration events. Interestingly, the two Neolithic samples (4,200 YBP, Bell Beaker culture that were typed were haplogroup U4 and U5a, respectively, and the single Bronze Age sample (3,300-3,500 YBP was haplogroup U4. These two haplogroups have been associated with the Mesolithic populations of Central and Northern Europe. Therefore, at least for Southern Scandinavia, our findings do not support a possible replacement of a haplogroup U dominated hunter-gatherer population by a more haplogroup diverse Neolithic Culture.

  1. Ancient Egypt in our Cultural Heritage?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vera Vasiljević


    Full Text Available Inspiration derived from ancient Egypt is usually expressed through the Egyptian motifs in arts and popular culture of the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as through the non-scientific interpretations of the culture, very much based upon the Renaissance ones. The number and variety of material and non-material traces of this fascination are most expressed in the countries where, along with the early support for the institutional development of Egyptology, there existed economically potent educated middle classes (Western and Central Europe, USA, but may also be traced elsewhere. The public fascination by ancient Egypt has not ceased by the times of foundation of Egyptology, marked by the decipherment of the hieroglyphic script in 1822. Until the end of the 20th century Egyptologists have rarely dealt with the prelude to their discipline, limiting their interest to the critical approach to ancient sources and to noting the attempts to interpret the hieroglyphic script and the function of pyramids. However, the rising importance of the reception studies in other disciplines raised the interest of Egyptologists for the "fascination of Egypt", thus changing the status of various modes of expressing "Egyptomania" – they have thus become a part of the cultural heritage, registered, documented, preserved and studied. The research of this kind is only beginning in Serbia. The line of inquiry enhances the knowledge of the scope, manifestations and roles of the interest in Egypt, not limited by the national or political borders. On the other hand, the existence of the cultural heritage similar to the wider European view of ancient Egypt – short remarks by Jerotej Račanin, Kandor by Atanasije Stojković, the usage of architectural motifs derived from Egypt, the emergence of small private collections, to mention several early examples – all show that the research into the reception of ancient Egypt may contribute to the knowledge about the history

  2. Ancient and Medieval Cosmology in Armenian Highland (United States)

    Farmanyan, Sona V.; Mickaelian, Areg M.


    Humankind has always sought to recognize the nature of various sky related phenomena and tried to give them explanations. It is especially vivid in ancient cultures, many of which are related to the Middle East. The purpose of this study is to identify ancient Armenian's pantheistic and cosmological perceptions, world view, notions and beliefs. By this study we answer the question "How did the Universe work in Ancient Armenian Highland?" The paper focuses on the structure of the Universe and many phenomena of nature that have always had major influence on ancient Armenians thinking. Here we weave together astronomy, anthropology and mythology of Armenia, and scientific thinking revealed in local astronomy traditions. The initial review of the study covers Moses of Khoren, Yeznik of Koghb, Anania Shirakatsi and other 5th-7th centuries historians' and scientists' records about the Universe related superstitious beliefs and cosmological understanding. By discussing and comparing Universe structure in various regional traditions, myths, folk songs and phraseological units we very often came across "seven worlds", "seven earths" and "seven layers" concepts. We draw parallels between scientific and mythological Earth and Heaven and thus find similar number of layers on both of the ancient and modern thinking. In the article we also give some details about the tripartite structure of the Universe and how these parts are connected with axis. This axis is either a column or a Cosmic Tree (Kenatz Tsar). In Armenian culture the preliminary meanings of the Kenatz Tsar are more vivid in folk songs (Jan gyulums), plays, epic, and so on, which was subsequently mixed with religious and spiritual views. We conclude that the perception of the Universe structure and celestial objects had a significant impact on culture and worldview of the people of the Armenian Highland; particularly it was one of the bases of the regional cultural diversity.

  3. Complexities of Nitrogen Isotope Biogeochemistry in Plant-Soil Systems: Implications for the Study of Ancient Agricultural and Animal Management Practices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul eSzpak


    Full Text Available Nitrogen isotopic studies have potential to shed light on the structure of ancient ecosystems, agropastoral regimes, and human-environment interactions. Until relatively recently, however, little attention was paid to the complexities of nitrogen transformations in ancient plant-soil systems and their potential impact on plant and animal tissue nitrogen isotopic compositions. This paper discusses the importance of understanding nitrogen dynamics in ancient contexts, and highlights several key areas of archaeology where a more detailed understanding of these processes may enable us to answer some fundamental questions. This paper explores two larger themes that are prominent in archaeological studies using stable nitrogen isotope analysis: (1 agricultural practices (use of animal fertilizers, burning of vegetation or shifting cultivation, and tillage and (2 animal domestication and husbandry (grazing intensity/stocking rate and the foddering of domestic animals with cultigens. The paucity of plant material in ancient deposits necessitates that these issues are addressed primarily through the isotopic analysis of skeletal material rather than the plants themselves, but the interpretation of these data hinges on a thorough understanding of the underlying biogeochemical processes in plant-soil systems. Building on studies conducted in modern ecosystems and under controlled conditions, these processes are reviewed, and their relevance discussed for ancient contexts.

  4. Emerging Roles of ER Stress and Unfolded Protein Response Pathways in Skeletal Muscle Health and Disease. (United States)

    Bohnert, Kyle R; McMillan, Joseph D; Kumar, Ashok


    Skeletal muscle is the most abundant tissue in the human body and can adapt its mass as a consequence of physical activity, metabolism, growth factors, and disease conditions. Skeletal muscle contains an extensive network of endoplasmic reticulum (ER), called sarcoplasmic reticulum, which plays an important role in the regulation of proteostasis and calcium homeostasis. In many cell types, environmental and genetic factors that disrupt ER function cause an accumulation of misfolded and unfolded proteins in the ER lumen that ultimately leads to ER stress. To alleviate the stress and restore homeostasis, the ER activates a signaling network called the unfolded protein response (UPR). The UPR has three arms, which regulate protein synthesis and expression of many ER chaperone and regulatory proteins. However, the role of individual UPR pathways in skeletal muscle has just begun to be investigated. Recent studies suggest that UPR pathways play pivotal roles in muscle stem cell homeostasis, myogenic differentiation, and regeneration of injured skeletal muscle. Moreover, markers of ER stress and the UPR are activated in skeletal muscle in diverse conditions such as exercise, denervation, starvation, high fat diet, cancer cachexia, and aging. Accumulating evidence also suggests that ER stress may have important roles in the pathogenesis of inflammatory myopathies and genetic muscle disorders. The purpose of this review article is to discuss the role and potential mechanisms by which ER stress and the individual arms of the UPR regulate skeletal muscle formation, plasticity, and function in various physiological and pathophysiological conditions. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  5. Ancient origin and maternal inheritance of blue cuckoo eggs. (United States)

    Fossøy, Frode; Sorenson, Michael D; Liang, Wei; Ekrem, Torbjørn; Moksnes, Arne; Møller, Anders P; Rutila, Jarkko; Røskaft, Eivin; Takasu, Fugo; Yang, Canchao; Stokke, Bård G


    Maternal inheritance via the female-specific W chromosome was long ago proposed as a potential solution to the evolutionary enigma of co-existing host-specific races (or 'gentes') in avian brood parasites. Here we report the first unambiguous evidence for maternal inheritance of egg colouration in the brood-parasitic common cuckoo Cuculus canorus. Females laying blue eggs belong to an ancient (∼2.6 Myr) maternal lineage, as evidenced by both mitochondrial and W-linked DNA, but are indistinguishable at nuclear DNA from other common cuckoos. Hence, cuckoo host races with blue eggs are distinguished only by maternally inherited components of the genome, which maintain host-specific adaptation despite interbreeding among males and females reared by different hosts. A mitochondrial phylogeny suggests that blue eggs originated in Asia and then expanded westwards as female cuckoos laying blue eggs interbred with the existing European population, introducing an adaptive trait that expanded the range of potential hosts.

  6. Sympathetic actions on the skeletal muscle. (United States)

    Roatta, Silvestro; Farina, Dario


    The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) modulates several functions in skeletal muscle fibers, including metabolism, ionic transport across the membrane, and contractility. These actions, together with the sympathetic control of other organ systems, support intense motor activity. However, some SNS actions on skeletal muscles may not always be functionally advantageous. Implications for motor control and sport performance are discussed.

  7. Skeletal stem cells in space and time

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kassem, Moustapha; Bianco, Paolo


    The nature, biological characteristics, and contribution to organ physiology of skeletal stem cells are not completely determined. Chan et al. and Worthley et al. demonstrate that a stem cell for skeletal tissues, and a system of more restricted, downstream progenitors, can be identified in mice...

  8. A novel potassium channel in skeletal muscle mitochondria. (United States)

    Skalska, Jolanta; Piwońska, Marta; Wyroba, Elzbieta; Surmacz, Liliana; Wieczorek, Rafal; Koszela-Piotrowska, Izabela; Zielińska, Joanna; Bednarczyk, Piotr; Dołowy, Krzysztof; Wilczynski, Grzegorz M; Szewczyk, Adam; Kunz, Wolfram S


    In this work we provide evidence for the potential presence of a potassium channel in skeletal muscle mitochondria. In isolated rat skeletal muscle mitochondria, Ca(2+) was able to depolarize the mitochondrial inner membrane and stimulate respiration in a strictly potassium-dependent manner. These potassium-specific effects of Ca(2+) were completely abolished by 200 nM charybdotoxin or 50 nM iberiotoxin, which are well-known inhibitors of large conductance, calcium-activated potassium channels (BK(Ca) channel). Furthermore, NS1619, a BK(Ca)-channel opener, mimicked the potassium-specific effects of calcium on respiration and mitochondrial membrane potential. In agreement with these functional data, light and electron microscopy, planar lipid bilayer reconstruction and immunological studies identified the BK(Ca) channel to be preferentially located in the inner mitochondrial membrane of rat skeletal muscle fibers. We propose that activation of mitochondrial K(+) transport by opening of the BK(Ca) channel may be important for myoprotection since the channel opener NS1619 protected the myoblast cell line C2C12 against oxidative injury.

  9. Association between physique characteristics and hand skeletal aging status. (United States)

    Kalichman, Leonid; Malkin, Ida; Kobyliansky, Eugene


    The aim of the present study was to evaluate the association between skeletal aging traits (obtained from evaluation of hand radiographs) and physique characteristics, including indices of obesity, skeletal size, muscular development, and the somatotypes of Heath and Carter (1967) and of Deriabin (1985). To achieve our aims, we used multiple regression analysis, and Pearson's and canonical correlation analyses. The studied population comprised 629 males and 561 females aged 18-90 years, all members of the Chuvasha (Russian Federation). The present study provides evidence for a connection between hand bone aging traits and physique characteristics. The cortical index showed a small but significant correlation with adiposity and the index of overall physique, but bone mineral density (BMD) traits were not correlated with the index of overall physique. Deriabin's set of somatotypes was significantly correlated with BMD, but could explain only 2% of its variation. Significant correlations of the hand osteoarthritis trait were observed with indices of adiposity. Also observed were statistically significant canonical correlations with both sets of somatotypes, which enabled us to predict 2-3% of hand osteoarthritis variation by a combination of somatotype components. Osseometric score evinced statistically significant correlations with most indices of physique as well as with a combination of somatotype components. These findings may prove helpful in epidemiological studies, because they show that body composition is the factor that is statistically significantly associated with skeletal aging.

  10. Thoracic skeletal defects and cardiac malformations: a common epigenetic link? (United States)

    Weston, Andrea D; Ozolins, Terence R S; Brown, Nigel A


    Congenital heart defects (CHDs) are the most common birth defects in humans. In addition, cardiac malformations represent the most frequently identified anomaly in teratogenicity experiments with laboratory animals. To explore the mechanisms of these drug-induced defects, we developed a model in which pregnant rats are treated with dimethadione, resulting in a high incidence of heart malformations. Interestingly, these heart defects were accompanied by thoracic skeletal malformations (cleft sternum, fused ribs, extra or missing ribs, and/or wavy ribs), which are characteristic of anterior-posterior (A/P) homeotic transformations and/or disruptions at one or more stages in somite development. A review of other teratogenicity studies suggests that the co-occurrence of these two disparate malformations is not unique to dimethadione, rather it may be a more general phenomenon caused by various structurally unrelated agents. The coexistence of cardiac and thoracic skeletal malformations has also presented clinically, suggesting a mechanistic link between cardiogenesis and skeletal development. Evidence from genetically modified mice reveals that several genes are common to heart development and to formation of the axial skeleton. Some of these genes are important in regulating chromatin architecture, while others are tightly controlled by chromatin-modifying proteins. This review focuses on the role of these epigenetic factors in development of the heart and axial skeleton, and examines the hypothesis that posttranslational modifications of core histones may be altered by some developmental toxicants.

  11. Increased skeletal muscle capillarization enhances insulin sensitivity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Åkerström, Thorbjörn; Laub, Lasse; Vedel, Kenneth;


    Increased skeletal muscle capillarization is associated with improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. However, a possible causal relationship has not previously been identified. We therefore investigated whether increased skeletal muscle capillarization increases insulin sensitivity....... Skeletal muscle specific angiogenesis was induced by adding the α1-adrenergic receptor antagonist Prazosin to the drinking water of Sprague Dawley rats (n=33) while 34 rats served as controls. Insulin sensitivity was measured ≥40 h after termination of the 3-week Prazosin treatment, which ensured......-body insulin sensitivity increased by ~24% and insulin-stimulated skeletal muscle 2-deoxy-[(3)H]-Glucose disposal increased by ~30% concomitant with a ~20% increase in skeletal muscle capillarization. Adipose tissue insulin sensitivity was not affected by the treatment. Insulin-stimulated muscle glucose uptake...

  12. Defective skeletal mineralization in pediatric CKD. (United States)

    Wesseling-Perry, Katherine


    Although traditional diagnosis and treatment of renal osteodystrophy focused on changes in bone turnover, current data demonstrate that abnormalities in skeletal mineralization are also prevalent in pediatric chronic kidney disease (CKD) and likely contribute to skeletal morbidities that continue to plague this population. It is now clear that alterations in osteocyte biology, manifested by changes in osteocytic protein expression, occur in early CKD before abnormalities in traditional measures of mineral metabolism are apparent and may contribute to defective skeletal mineralization. Current treatment paradigms advocate the use of 1,25(OH)2vitamin D for the control of secondary hyperparathyroidism; however, these agents fail to correct defective skeletal mineralization and may exacerbate already altered osteocyte biology. Further studies are critically needed to identify the initial trigger for abnormalities of skeletal mineralization as well as the potential effects that current therapeutic options may have on osteocyte biology and bone mineralization.

  13. Human skeletal muscle releases leptin in vivo

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wolsk, Emil; Grøndahl, Thomas Sahl; Pedersen, Bente Klarlund


    and adipose tissue leptin release in vivo. We recruited 16 healthy male human participants. Catheters were inserted into the femoral artery and vein draining skeletal muscle, as well as an epigastric vein draining the abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue. By combining the veno-arterial differences in plasma......Leptin is considered an adipokine, however, cultured myocytes have also been found to release leptin. Therefore, as proof-of-concept we investigated if human skeletal muscle synthesized leptin by measuring leptin in skeletal muscle biopsies. Following this, we quantified human skeletal muscle...... leptin with measurements of blood flow, leptin release from both tissues was quantified. To induce changes in leptin, the participants were infused with either saline or adrenaline in normo-physiological concentrations. The presence of leptin in skeletal muscle was confirmed by western blotting. Leptin...

  14. Understanding Planets in Ancient Mesopotamia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raul Veede


    Full Text Available On our planet time flows evenly everywhere but the history as weknow it has different length and depth in every place. Maybe thedeepest layer of history lies in the land between Tigris and Eufrat –Mesopotamia (Greek ‘the land between two rivers’. Itis hard to grasp how much our current culture has inherited fromthe people of that land – be it either the wheel, the art of writing,or the units for measuring time and angles. Science and knowledgeof stars has always – though with varying success – been importantin European culture. Much from the Babylonian beliefs about constellationsand planets have reached our days. Planets had an importantplace in Babylonian astral religion, they were observed asmuch for calendrical as astrological purposes, and the qualities ofthe planetary gods were carried on to Greek and Rome.The following started out as an attempt to compose a list of planetstogether with corresponding gods who lend their names and qualitiesto the planets. Though it was easy to find such a list aboutGreece and Rome, texts concerning Mesopotamia included miscellaneousfacts subdivided into general categories only (e.g. Pannekoek1961. The reasons of this vagueness later became evident with thecompiling of such a table starting to look like Sisyphean work.

  15. Effective fiber hypertrophy in satellite cell-depleted skeletal muscle. (United States)

    McCarthy, John J; Mula, Jyothi; Miyazaki, Mitsunori; Erfani, Rod; Garrison, Kelcye; Farooqui, Amreen B; Srikuea, Ratchakrit; Lawson, Benjamin A; Grimes, Barry; Keller, Charles; Van Zant, Gary; Campbell, Kenneth S; Esser, Karyn A; Dupont-Versteegden, Esther E; Peterson, Charlotte A


    An important unresolved question in skeletal muscle plasticity is whether satellite cells are necessary for muscle fiber hypertrophy. To address this issue, a novel mouse strain (Pax7-DTA) was created which enabled the conditional ablation of >90% of satellite cells in mature skeletal muscle following tamoxifen administration. To test the hypothesis that satellite cells are necessary for skeletal muscle hypertrophy, the plantaris muscle of adult Pax7-DTA mice was subjected to mechanical overload by surgical removal of the synergist muscle. Following two weeks of overload, satellite cell-depleted muscle showed the same increases in muscle mass (approximately twofold) and fiber cross-sectional area with hypertrophy as observed in the vehicle-treated group. The typical increase in myonuclei with hypertrophy was absent in satellite cell-depleted fibers, resulting in expansion of the myonuclear domain. Consistent with lack of nuclear addition to enlarged fibers, long-term BrdU labeling showed a significant reduction in the number of BrdU-positive myonuclei in satellite cell-depleted muscle compared with vehicle-treated muscle. Single fiber functional analyses showed no difference in specific force, Ca(2+) sensitivity, rate of cross-bridge cycling and cooperativity between hypertrophied fibers from vehicle and tamoxifen-treated groups. Although a small component of the hypertrophic response, both fiber hyperplasia and regeneration were significantly blunted following satellite cell depletion, indicating a distinct requirement for satellite cells during these processes. These results provide convincing evidence that skeletal muscle fibers are capable of mounting a robust hypertrophic response to mechanical overload that is not dependent on satellite cells.

  16. Skeletal muscle disorders of glycogenolysis and glycolysis. (United States)

    Godfrey, Richard; Quinlivan, Ros


    Skeletal muscle disorders of glycogenolysis and glycolysis account for most of the conditions collectively termed glycogen storage diseases (GSDs). These disorders are rare (incidence 1 in 20,000-43,000 live births), and are caused by autosomal or X-linked recessive mutations that result in a specific enzyme deficiency, leading to the inability to utilize muscle glycogen as an energy substrate. McArdle disease (GSD V) is the most common of these disorders, and is caused by mutations in the gene encoding muscle glycogen phosphorylase. Symptoms of McArdle disease and most other related GSDs include exercise intolerance, muscle contracture, acute rhabdomyolysis, and risk of acute renal failure. Older patients may exhibit muscle wasting and weakness involving the paraspinal muscles and shoulder girdle. For patients with these conditions, engaging with exercise is likely to be beneficial. Diagnosis is frequently delayed owing to the rarity of the conditions and lack of access to appropriate investigations. A few randomized clinical trials have been conducted, some focusing on dietary modification, although the quality of the evidence is low and no specific recommendations can yet be made. The development of EUROMAC, an international registry for these disorders, should improve our knowledge of their natural histories and provide a platform for future clinical trials.

  17. Historical Perspectives: plasticity of mammalian skeletal muscle. (United States)

    Pette, D


    More than 40 years ago, the nerve cross-union experiment of Buller, Eccles, and Eccles provided compelling evidence for the essential role of innervation in determining the properties of mammalian skeletal muscle fibers. Moreover, this experiment revealed that terminally differentiated muscle fibers are not inalterable but are highly versatile entities capable of changing their phenotype from fast to slow or slow to fast. With the use of various experimental models, numerous studies have since confirmed and extended the notion of muscle plasticity. Together, these studies demonstrated that motoneuron-specific impulse patterns, neuromuscular activity, and mechanical loading play important roles in both the maintenance and transition of muscle fiber phenotypes. Depending on the type, intensity, and duration of changes in any of these factors, muscle fibers adjust their phenotype to meet the altered functional demands. Fiber-type transitions resulting from multiple qualitative and quantitative changes in gene expression occur sequentially in a regular order within a spectrum of pure and hybrid fiber types.

  18. unveiling skeletal fragility in patients diagnosed with MGUS: no longer a condition of undetermined significance? (United States)

    Drake, Matthew T


    Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) is a common finding in clinical practice, affecting greater than 3% of adults aged 50 years and older. As originally described, the term MGUS reflected the inherent clinical uncertainty of distinguishing patients with a benign stable monoclonal plasma cell disorder from subjects destined to progress to malignancy. There is now clear epidemiologic evidence, however, that patients with MGUS suffer from a significantly increased fracture risk and that the prevalence of MGUS is increased in patients with osteoporosis. Despite this relationship, no clinical care guidelines exist for the routine evaluation or treatment of the skeletal health of patients with MGUS. Recent work has demonstrated that circulating levels of at least two cytokines (CCL3/MIP-1α and DKK1) with well-recognized roles in bone disease in the related monoclonal gammopathy multiple myeloma are also increased in patients with MGUS. Further, recent imaging studies using high-resolution peripheral quantitative CT have documented that patients with MGUS have substantial skeletal microarchitectural deterioration and deficits in biomechanical bone strength that likely underlie the increased skeletal fragility in these patients. Accordingly, this Perspective provides evidence that the "undetermined significance" portion of the MGUS acronym may be best replaced in favor of the term "monoclonal gammopathy of skeletal significance" (MGSS) in order to more accurately reflect the enhanced skeletal risks inherent in this condition.

  19. Skeletal Muscle Function Deficits in the Elderly: Current Perspectives on Resistance Training (United States)

    Papa, Evan V.; Dong, Xiaoyang; Hassan, Mahdi


    A variety of changes in skeletal muscle occur with aging. Sarcopenia is the age-associated loss of muscle mass and is one of the main contributors to musculoskeletal impairments in the elderly. Traditional definitions of sarcopenia focused on the size of human skeletal muscle. However, increasing evidence in older adults suggests that low muscle mass is associated with weakness, and weakness is strongly associated with function and disability. In recent years a global trend has shifted toward more encompassing definitions for the loss of muscle mass which include decreases in physical function. This review focuses on skeletal muscle function deficits in the elderly and how these age-associated deficits can be ameliorated by resistance training. We set forth evidence that skeletal muscle deficits arise from changes within the muscle, including reduced fiber size, decreased satellite cell and fiber numbers, and decreased expression of myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoform IIa. Finally, we provide recommendations for clinical geriatric practice regarding how resistance training can attenuate the increase in age-associated skeletal muscle function deficits. Practitioners should consider encouraging patients who are reluctant to exercise to move along a continuum of activity between “no acticity” on one end and “recommended daily amounts” on the other. PMID:28191501

  20. News from the west: ancient DNA from a French megalithic burial chamber. (United States)

    Deguilloux, Marie-France; Soler, Ludovic; Pemonge, Marie-Hélène; Scarre, Chris; Joussaume, Roger; Laporte, Luc


    Recent paleogenetic studies have confirmed that the spread of the Neolithic across Europe was neither genetically nor geographically uniform. To extend existing knowledge of the mitochondrial European Neolithic gene pool, we examined six samples of human skeletal material from a French megalithic long mound (c.4200 cal BC). We retrieved HVR-I sequences from three individuals and demonstrated that in the Neolithic period the mtDNA haplogroup N1a, previously only known in central Europe, was as widely distributed as western France. Alternative scenarios are discussed in seeking to explain this result, including Mesolithic ancestry, Neolithic demic diffusion, and long-distance matrimonial exchanges. In light of the limited Neolithic ancient DNA (aDNA) data currently available, we observe that all three scenarios appear equally consistent with paleogenetic and archaeological data. In consequence, we advocate caution in interpreting aDNA in the context of the Neolithic transition in Europe. Nevertheless, our results strengthen conclusions demonstrating genetic discontinuity between modern and ancient Europeans whether through migration, demographic or selection processes, or social practices.

  1. Paleoparasitological report on Ascaris aDNA from an ancient East Asian sample

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chang Seok Oh


    Full Text Available In this study, Ascaris DNA was extracted and sequenced from a medieval archaeological sample in Korea. While Ascaris eggs were confirmed to be of human origin by archaeological evidence, it was not possible to pinpoint the exact species due to close genetic relationships among them. Despite this shortcoming, this is the first Ascaris ancient DNA (aDNA report from a medieval Asian country and thus will expand the scope of Ascaris aDNA research.

  2. A possible role of sunrise/sunset azimuth in the planning of ancient Chinese towns

    CERN Document Server

    Sparavigna, Amelia Carolina


    In the planning of some Chinese towns we can see an evident orientation with the cardinal north-south direction. However, other features reveal a possible orientation with the sunrise/sunset azimuth on solstices too, as in the case of Shangdu (Xanadu), the summer capital of Kublai Khan. Here we discuss some other examples of a possible solar orientation in the planning of ancient towns. We will analyze the plans of Xi'an, Khanbalik and Dali.

  3. Sunrise and Sunset Azimuths in the Planning of Ancient Chinese Towns


    Sparavigna, Amelia Carolina


    Abstract: In the planning of some Chinese towns we can see an evident orientation with the cardinal direction north-south. However, other features reveal a possible orientation with the directions of sunrise and sunset on solstices too, as in the case of Shangdu (Xanadu), the summer capital of Kublai Khan. Here we discuss some other examples of a possible solar orientation in the planning of ancient towns. We will analyse the plans of Xi'an, Khanbalik and Dali

  4. AMS radiocarbon dating of ancient Japanese sutras

    CERN Document Server

    Oda, H; Nakamura, T; Fujita, K


    Radiocarbon ages of ancient Japanese sutras whose historical ages were known paleographically were measured by means of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). Calibrated radiocarbon ages of five samples were consistent with the corresponding historical ages; the 'old wood effect' is negligible for ancient Japanese sutras. Japanese paper has been made from fresh branches grown within a few years and the interval from trimming off the branches to writing sutra on the paper is within one year. The good agreement between the calibrated radiocarbon ages and the historical ages is supported by such characteristics of Japanese paper. It is indicated in this study that Japanese sutra is a suitable sample for radiocarbon dating in the historic period because of little gap by 'old wood effect'.

  5. Paleo-Environmental Reconstruction Using Ancient DNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Mikkel Winther

    The aim of this thesis has been to investigate and expand the methodology and applicability for using ancient DNA deposited in lake sediments to detect and determine its genetic sources for paleo-environmental reconstruction. The aim was furthermore to put this tool into an applicable context...... solving other scientifically interesting questions. Still in its childhood, ancient environmental DNA research has a large potential for still developing, improving and discovering its possibilities and limitations in different environments and for identifying various organisms, both in terms...... of the sampling methods and strategies (taphonomic processes), the more fundamental molecular methodologies (e.g. extraction and sequencing) and eventually the bioinformatic processing. In the enclosed studies we have tried to take some principal steps towards improving this, firstly by reviewing previous...

  6. Human evolution: a tale from ancient genomes. (United States)

    Llamas, Bastien; Willerslev, Eske; Orlando, Ludovic


    The field of human ancient DNA (aDNA) has moved from mitochondrial sequencing that suffered from contamination and provided limited biological insights, to become a fully genomic discipline that is changing our conception of human history. Recent successes include the sequencing of extinct hominins, and true population genomic studies of Bronze Age populations. Among the emerging areas of aDNA research, the analysis of past epigenomes is set to provide more new insights into human adaptation and disease susceptibility through time. Starting as a mere curiosity, ancient human genetics has become a major player in the understanding of our evolutionary history.This article is part of the themed issue 'Evo-devo in the genomics era, and the origins of morphological diversity'.

  7. Lipids of aquatic sediments, recent and ancient (United States)

    Eglinton, G.; Hajibrahim, S. K.; Maxwell, J. R.; Quirke, J. M. E.; Shaw, G. J.; Volkman, J. K.; Wardroper, A. M. K.


    Computerized gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) is now an essential tool in the analysis of the complex mixtures of lipids (geolipids) encountered in aquatic sediments, both 'recent' (less than 1 million years old) and ancient. The application of MS, and particularly GC-MS, has been instrumental in the rapid development of organic geochemistry and environmental organic chemistry in recent years. The techniques used have resulted in the identification of numerous compounds of a variety of types in sediments. Most attention has been concentrated on molecules of limited size, mainly below 500 molecular mass, and of limited functionality, for examples, hydrocarbons, fatty acids and alcohols. Examples from recent studies (at Bristol) of contemporary, 'recent' and ancient sediments are presented and discussed.

  8. Putative ancient microorganisms from amber nuggets. (United States)

    Veiga-Crespo, Patricia; Blasco, Lucía; Poza, Margarita; Villa, Tomás G


    Evolutionary microbiology studies based on the isolation of ancient DNA and/or microbial samples are scarce due to the difficulty of finding well preserved biological specimens. However, amber is a fossil resin with natural preserving properties for microbial cells and DNA. The visualization by transmission electron microscopy of different microorganism-like specimens found in amber nuggets from both the Miocene and the Cretaceous periods was accompanied by studies of ancient DNA obtained from the nuggets. After the design of specific primers based on the present sequences of both genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the ancestral AGP2 sequence from the Miocene, as well as the 18S rRNA from the Cretaceous, were amplified.

  9. Rangifer and man: An ancient relationship

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bryan Gordon


    Full Text Available A long-term relationship between Rangifer and humans is documented in three case studies: the Canadian Barrenlands (8000 years ago to Historic period, Ice-Age France (11 000-19 000 years ago and Mesolithic Russia (7000¬10 000 years ago. Ancient human and herd migration occurred in all areas, based upon Rangifer remains and seasonal variations in tools along reconstructed migration routes, with few if any hunting camps outside the routes. An April peak of ancient human births is inferred from the historic record where we see births occurring nine months after peak nutritional states in herds and people. The origin of reindeer domestication and breeding in Eurasia is discussed.

  10. Segmentation of Ancient Telugu Text Documents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Srinivasa Rao A.V


    Full Text Available OCR of ancient document images remains a challenging task till date. Scanning process itself introduces deformation of document images. Cleaning process of these document images will result in information loss. Segmentation contributes an invariance process in OCR. Complex scripts, like derivatives of Brahmi, encounter many problems in the segmentation process. Segmentation of meaningful units, (instead of isolated patterns, revealed interesting trends. A segmentation technique for the ancient Telugu document image into meaningful units is proposed. The topological features of the meaningful units within the script line are adopted as a basis, while segmenting the text line. Horizontal profile pattern is convolved with Gaussian kernel. The statistical properties of meaningful units are explored by extensively analyzing the geometrical patterns of the meaningful unit. The efficiency of the proposed algorithm involving segmentation process is found to be 73.5% for the case of uncleaned document images.

  11. Epinephrine mediates facultative carbohydrate-induced thermogenesis in human skeletal muscle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Astrup, A; Simonsen, L; Bülow, J


    postprandially and coinciding with the peak in arterial epinephrine. The present study provides evidence of a facultative thermogenic component in skeletal muscle, mediated by epinephrine via beta 2-adrenoreceptors. However, it also points to a nonmuscle component mediated through beta 1-adrenoceptors...

  12. Re-evaluating lipotoxic triggers in skeletal muscle: relating intramyocellular lipid metabolism to insulin sensitivity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bosma, M.; Kersten, A.H.; Hesselink, M.K.C.; Schrauwen, P.


    Ectopic fat accumulation has been linked to lipotoxic events, including the development of insulin resistance in skeletal muscle. Indeed, intramyocellular lipid storage is strongly associated with the development of type 2 diabetes. Research during the last two decades has provided evidence for a ro

  13. The ancient Greeks present: Rational Trigonometry

    CERN Document Server

    Wildberger, N J


    Pythagoras' theorem, the area of a triangle as one half the base times the height, and Heron's formula are amongst the most important and useful results of ancient Greek geometry. Here we look at all three in a new and improved light, using quadrance not distance. This leads to a simpler and more elegant trigonometry, in which angle is replaced by spread, and which extends to arbitrary fields and more general quadratic forms.

  14. Computed tomography of ancient Egyptian mummies. (United States)

    Harwood-Nash, D C


    This first report of the application of computed tomography (CT) to the study of ancient mummies, the desiccated brain of a boy and the body of a young woman within her cartonnage, shows that CT is uniquely suitable for the study of such antiquities, a study that does not necessitate destruction of the mummy or its cartonnage. Exquisite images result that are of great paleoanatomical, paleopathological, and archeological significance.

  15. Volatile and Isotopic Imprints of Ancient Mars (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul R.; Conrad, Pamela G.


    The science investigations enabled by Curiosity rover's instruments focus on identifying and exploring the habitability of the Martian environment. Measurements of noble gases, organic and inorganic compounds, and the isotopes of light elements permit the study of the physical and chemical processes that have transformed Mars throughout its history. Samples of the atmosphere, volatiles released from soils, and rocks from the floor of Gale Crater have provided a wealth of new data and a window into conditions on ancient Mars.

  16. Chemistry Progress and Civilization in Ancient China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    JIANG Yu-Qian; RUAN Shu-Xiang; TANG Shan; SHUAI Zhi-Gang


    @@ During the 6,000 years of Chinese civilization, chemistry has played an essential role.The bronzed chime bells of the Warring States Period (475-221 BC) unearthed in Hubei Province shows not only the excellence in musical instruments in ancient China, but also the technological advances in metallurgy.Chinese alchemy was not originated from the quest to turn common metals to gold, instead, it was for searching medicines for longevity of human beings, mostly practised by Taoists.

  17. Ancient News: HMGBs are Universal Sentinels

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Marco E. Bianchi; Barbara Celona


    @@ Yanai et al. (2009, Nature 462, 99-103) have shown that high mobility group boxs (HMGBs) are universal sensors of viral nucleic acids, and thus of cell infection. This appears to be an evolutionary ancient mechanism of virus detection, and possibly might be a facet of a more general propensity of HMGBs to act as integrators of signals that pertain to peace and stress, life and death.

  18. The potential for biologically catalyzed anaerobic methane oxidation on ancient Mars. (United States)

    Marlow, Jeffrey J; Larowe, Douglas E; Ehlmann, Bethany L; Amend, Jan P; Orphan, Victoria J


    This study examines the potential for the biologically mediated anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) coupled to sulfate reduction on ancient Mars. Seven distinct fluids representative of putative martian groundwater were used to calculate Gibbs energy values in the presence of dissolved methane under a range of atmospheric CO2 partial pressures. In all scenarios, AOM is exergonic, ranging from -31 to -135 kJ/mol CH4. A reaction transport model was constructed to examine how environmentally relevant parameters such as advection velocity, reactant concentrations, and biomass production rate affect the spatial and temporal dependences of AOM reaction rates. Two geologically supported models for ancient martian AOM are presented: a sulfate-rich groundwater with methane produced from serpentinization by-products, and acid-sulfate fluids with methane from basalt alteration. The simulations presented in this study indicate that AOM could have been a feasible metabolism on ancient Mars, and fossil or isotopic evidence of this metabolic pathway may persist beneath the surface and in surface exposures of eroded ancient terrains.

  19. PDH regulation in skeletal muscle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kiilerich, Kristian

    is determined by the overall content / activity of the regulatory proteins PDH kinase (PDK), of which there are 4 isoforms, and PDH phosphatase (PDP), of which there are 2 isoforms. The overall aim of the PhD project was to elucidate 4 issues. 1: Role of muscle type in resting and exercise-induced PDH...... in arm than leg muscles during exercise in humans may be the result of lower PDH-E1? content and not a muscle type dependent difference in PDH regulation. Both low muscle glycogen and increased plasma FFA are associated with upregulation of PDK4 protein and less exercise-induced increase in PDHa activity...... in human skeletal muscle. It may be noted that the increased PDK4 protein associated with elevated plasma FFA occurs already 2 hours after different dietary intake. A week of physical inactivity (bed rest), leading to whole body glucose intolerance, does not affect muscle PDH-E1? content, or the exercise...

  20. Was Pythagoras Chinese? An Examination of Right Triangle Theory in Ancient China. The Pennsylvania State University Studies No. 40. (United States)

    Swetz, Frank J.; Kao, T. I.

    This book is primarily a scholarly monograph on ancient Chinese theory and application concerning the right triangle, based on evidence contained in classical mathematics texts and scrolls. It is also the first complete English translation of the ninth chapter of the Chiu chang suan chu, the richest source of problems from antiquity dealing with…

  1. [Medical myths and notions in Ancient Greece]. (United States)

    Boulogne, J


    The article deals with the views on health and disease prevalent in Ancient Greece, the cradle of modern European medicine, focusing on the ever-present myths functioning in that realm despite attempts to rationally explain medical phenomena. On the basis of the works of Hippocrates and Galen, the author has distinguished five different epistemological attitudes towards those phenomena: the holistic, macrocosmological, monistic, anti-hypothetical and eclectic. The first was based on the idea of mechanical and logical causes. In medicine it is marked by determinism connected with climatic conditions. Hippocrates believed that health depended on the weather, in particular on the effects of winds, types of water and properties of soil. Myth emerged in this conception in the way matter - earth, water, air and fire - was conceived, particular in the properties ascribed to them: cold, humidity, aridity and warmth. The author charges that this conception was permeated with ethnocentrism and cites examples invoked by Hippocrates on the basis of his observations on the Scythians. The macrocosmological attitude involves subordinating medicine to cosmology. Man's body is a microcosm. The author cites the treatise 'On Diets', in which the greatest importance both in the universe and in processes taking place in the human body as ascribed to two factors - fire and water. Their combination was said to have played a crucial role in the typology of corporal and mental constitutions. Those features, together with the seasons of the year, mode of behaviour and food, constitute the four forces guiding vital processes. The author then presents the embryogenic conception contained in the cosmological treatise. It was based on such things as numerological speculations, hence - despite its rationalistic assumptions, consigns it to the mythic. The third attitude, the monistic approach, presents a treatise ascribed to Hippocrates 'On the Sacred Disease' and dealing with epilepsy. The

  2. How stable are the 'stable ancient shields'? (United States)

    Viola, Giulio; Mattila, Jussi


    "Archean cratons are relatively flat, stable regions of the crust that have remained undeformed since the Precambrian, forming the ancient cores of the continents" (King, EPSL, 2005). While this type of statement is supported by a wealth of constraints in the case of episodes of thoroughgoing ductile deformation affecting shield regions of Archean and also Peleoproterozoic age, a growing amount of research indicates that shields are not nearly as structurally stable within the broad field of environmental conditions leading to brittle deformation. In fact, old crystalline basements usually present compelling evidence of long brittle deformation histories, often very complex and challenging to unfold. Recent structural and geochronological studies point to a significant mechanical instability of the shield areas, wherein large volumes of 'stable' rocks actually can become saturated with fractures and brittle faults soon after regional cooling exhumes them to below c. 300-350° C. How cold, rigid and therefore strong shields respond to applied stresses remains, however, still poorly investigated and understood. This in turn precludes a better definition of the shallow rheological properties of large, old crystalline blocks. In particular, we do not yet have good constraints on the mechanisms of mechanical reactivation that control the partial (if not total) accommodation of new deformational episodes by preexisting structures, which remains a key to untangle brittle histories lasting several hundred Myr. In our analysis, we use the Svecofennian Shield (SS) as an example of a supposedly 'stable' region with Archean nucleii and Paleoproterozoic cratonic areas to show how it is possible to unravel the details of brittle histories spanning more than 1.5 Gyr. New structural and geochronological results from Finland are integrated with a review of existing data from Sweden to explore how the effects of far-field stresses are partitioned within a shield, which was growing

  3. The Effect of Time on Bone Fluorescence: Implications for Using Alternate Light Sources to Search for Skeletal Remains. (United States)

    Swaraldahab, Mohamed A H; Christensen, Angi M


    Bones fluoresce when exposed to certain wavelengths of shortwave light, and this property can be useful in locating and sorting skeletal remains in forensic contexts. The proteins in bone collagen are largely responsible for its fluorescent properties, but these proteins degrade and denature over time. This study examined the fluorescence of bones from four temporal groups (recent, semi-recent, ancient, and historic) ranging from 0 to 1064 years before present. Specimens were photographed under 490 nm wavelength light, and fluorescence was quantified by converting intensity to a gray scale value based on the RGB color model using ImageJ(®) software. Significant (p fluorescence between all four temporal groups, and a 0.324 coefficient of correlation indicates a significant (inverse) relationship between fluorescence and time. Bone fluorescence decreases with time, but some fluorescence is retained even in older samples. Fluorescence can therefore be reliably used in many modern skeletal remains searches.

  4. Detection of the A189G mtDNA heteroplasmic mutation in relation to age in modern and ancient bones. (United States)

    Lacan, Marie; Thèves, Catherine; Amory, Sylvain; Keyser, Christine; Crubézy, Eric; Salles, Jean-Pierre; Ludes, Bertrand; Telmon, Norbert


    The aim of this study was to demonstrate the presence of the A189G age-related point mutation on DNA extracted from bone. For this, a peptide nucleic acid (PNA)/DNA sequencing method which can determine an age threshold for the appearance of the mutation was used. Initially, work was done in muscle tissue in order to evaluate the sensitivity of the technique and afterwards in bone samples from the same individuals. This method was also applied to ancient bones from six well-preserved skeletal remains. The mutation was invariably found in muscle, and at a rate of up to 20% in individuals over 60 years old. In modern bones, the mutation was detected in individuals aged 38 years old or more, at a rate of up to 1%, but its occurrence was not systematic (only four out of ten of the individuals over 50 years old carried the heteroplasmy). For ancient bones, the mutation was also found in the oldest individuals according to osteologic markers. The study of this type of age-related mutation and a more complete understanding of its manifestation has potentially useful applications. Combined with traditional age markers, it could improve identification accuracy in forensic cases or in anthropological studies of ancient populations.

  5. Skeletal abnormalities of acrogeria, a progeroid syndrome

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ho, A.; White, S.J.; Rasmussen, J.E.


    We report the skeletal abnormalities in a 4 1/2-year-old boy with acrogeria, a progeroid syndrome of premature aging of the skin without the involvement of internal organs seen in Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome. Acro-osteolysis of the distal phalanges, delayed cranial suture closure with wormian bones, linear lucent defects of the metaphyses, and antegonial notching of the mandible are the predominant skeletal features of the disorder. The skeletal features described in 21 other reported cases of acrogeria are summarized.

  6. 2000 Year-old ancient equids: an ancient-DNA lesson from pompeii remains. (United States)

    Di Bernardo, Giovanni; Del Gaudio, Stefania; Galderisi, Umberto; Cipollaro, Marilena


    Ancient DNA extracted from 2000 year-old equine bones was examined in order to amplify mitochondrial and nuclear DNA fragments. A specific equine satellite-type sequence representing 3.7%-11% of the entire equine genome, proved to be a suitable target to address the question of the presence of aDNA in ancient bones. The PCR strategy designed to investigate this specific target also allowed us to calculate the molecular weight of amplifiable DNA fragments. Sequencing of a 370 bp DNA fragment of mitochondrial control region allowed the comparison of ancient DNA sequences with those of modern horses to assess their genetic relationship. The 16S rRNA mitochondrial gene was also examined to unravel the post-mortem base modification feature and to test the status of Pompeian equids taxon on the basis of a Mae III restriction site polymorphism.

  7. Reconstructing Ancient History-- Historiographical Review of the Ancient History of Korea, 1950s-2000s

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stella Xu


    Full Text Available The ancient history of Korea has been one of the most controversial and difficult phases to incorporate into an East Asian history survey class, not only because there are indeed quite a number of contested issues, but also because very few updated materials are available in English. This essay aims to provide a comprehensive and critical overview of research on the topic of Korean ancient history in the past six decades (mainly in South Korea, so that the ancient history of Korea can be understood first within the broader frame of East Asian history, and then in relation to the intellectual and ideological evolution which has significantly impacted historical interpretations in South Korea.

  8. Gender differences in skeletal muscle substrate metabolism - molecular mechanisms and insulin sensitivity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lundsgaard, Anne-Marie; Kiens, Bente


    and fasted state, and during periods of physical activity and recovery. Together, handling of carbohydrate and lipids and regulation of their utilization in skeletal muscle have implications for whole-body glucose homeostasis in men and women. 17-β estradiol is the most important female sex hormone......It has become increasingly apparent that substrate metabolism is subject to gender-specific regulation, and the aim of this review is to outline the available evidence of molecular gender differences in glucose and lipid metabolism of skeletal muscle. Female sex has been suggested to have...

  9. Ancient hydrothermal ecosystems on earth: a new palaeobiological frontier. (United States)

    Walter, M R


    Thermal springs are common in the oceans and on land. Early in the history of the Earth they would have been even more abundant, because of a higher heat flow. A thermophilic lifestyle has been proposed for the common ancestor of extant life, and hydrothermal ecosystems can be expected to have existed on Earth since life arose. Though there has been a great deal of recent research on this topic by biologists, palaeobiologists have done little to explore ancient high temperature environments. Exploration geologists and miners have long known the importance of hydrothermal systems, as they are sources for much of our gold, silver, copper, lead and zinc. Such systems are particularly abundant in Archaean and Proterozoic successions. Despite the rarity of systematic searches of these by palaeobiologists, already 12 fossiliferous Phanerozoic deposits are known. Five are 'black smoker' type submarine deposits that formed in the deep ocean and preserve a vent fauna like that in the modern oceans; the oldest is Devonian. Three are from shallow marine deposits of Carboniferous age. As well as 'worm tubes', several of these contain morphological or isotopic evidence of microbial life. The oldest well established fossiliferous submarine thermal spring deposit is Cambro-Ordovician; microorganisms of at least three or four types are preserved in this. One example each of Carboniferous and Jurassic sub-lacustrine fossiliferous thermal springs are known. There are two convincing examples of fossiliferous subaerial hydrothermal deposits. Both are Devonian. Several known Proterozoic and Archaean deposits are likely to preserve a substantial palaeobiological record, and all the indications are that there must be numerous deposits suitable for study. Already it is demonstrable that in ancient thermal spring deposits there is a record of microbial communities preserved as stromatolites, microfossils, isotope distribution patterns and hydrocarbon biomarkers.

  10. Ancient human footprints in Ciur-Izbuc Cave, Romania. (United States)

    Webb, David; Robu, Marius; Moldovan, Oana; Constantin, Silviu; Tomus, Bogdan; Neag, Ionel


    In 1965, Ciur-Izbuc Cave in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania was discovered to contain about 400 ancient human footprints. At that time, researchers interpreted the footprints to be those of a man, woman and child who entered the cave by an opening which is now blocked but which was usable in antiquity. The age of the prints (≈10-15 ka BP) was based partly on their association with cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) footprints and bones, and the belief that cave bears became extinct near the end of the last ice age. Since their discovery, the human and bear evidence and the cave itself have attracted spelunkers and other tourists, with the result that the ancient footprints are in danger of destruction by modern humans. In an effort to conserve the footprints and information about them and to reanalyze them with modern techiques, Ciur-Izbuc Cave was restudied in summer of 2012. Modern results are based on fewer than 25% of the originally described human footprints, the rest having been destroyed. It is impossible to confirm some of the original conclusions. The footprints do not cluster about three different sizes, and the number of individuals is estimated to be six or seven. Two cases of bears apparently overprinting humans help establish antiquity, and C-14 dates suggest a much greater age than originally thought. Unfortunately, insufficient footprints remain to measure movement variables such as stride length. However, detailed three-dimensional mapping of the footprints does allow a more precise description of human movements within the cave.

  11. Comparative Study of Skeletal Stability between Postoperative Skeletal Intermaxillary Fixation and No Skeletal Fixation after Bilateral Sagittal Split Ramus Osteotomy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hartlev, Jens; Godtfredsen, Erik; Andersen, Niels Trolle;


    OBJECTIVES: The purpose of the present study was to evaluate skeletal stability after mandibular advancement with bilateral sagittal split osteotomy. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Twenty-six patients underwent single-jaw bilateral sagittal split osteotomy (BSSO) to correct skeletal Class II malocclusion....... One group (n = 13) were treated postoperatively with skeletal elastic intermaxillary fixation (IMF) while the other group (n = 13) where threated without skeletal elastic IMF. RESULTS: The mean advancement at B-point and Pog in the skeletal elastic IMF group was 6.44 mm and 7.22 mm, respectively....... Relapse at follow-up at B-point was -0.74 mm and -0.29 mm at Pog. The mean advancement at B-point and Pog in the no skeletal elastic IMF group was 6.30 mm and 6.45 mm, respectively. Relapse at follow-up at B-point was -0.97 mm and -0.86 mm at Pog. There was no statistical significant (P > 0.05) difference...

  12. Advances and challenges in skeletal muscle angiogenesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olfert, I Mark; Baum, Oliver; Hellsten, Ylva;


    during health, but poorly controlled in disease - resulting in either excessive capillary growth (pathological angiogenesis) or losses in capillarity (rarefaction). Given that skeletal muscle comprises nearly 40% of body mass in humans, skeletal muscle capillary density has a significant impact...... on metabolism, endocrine function, and locomotion, and is tightly regulated at many different levels. Skeletal muscle is also high adaptable, and thus one of the few organ systems which can be experimentally manipulated (e.g. by exercise) to study physiologic regulation of angiogenesis. This review will focus...... on 1) the methodological concerns that have arisen in determining skeletal muscle capillarity, and 2) highlight the concepts that are reshaping our understanding of the angio-adaptation process. We also summarize selected new findings (physical influences, molecular changes and ultrastructural...

  13. [Molecular mechanisms of skeletal muscle hypertrophy]. (United States)

    Astratenkova, I V; Rogozkin, V A


    Enzymes Akt, AMPK, mTOR, S6K and PGC-1a coactivator take part in skeletal muscles in the regulation of synthesis of proteins. The expression of these proteins is regulated by growth factors, hormones, nutrients, mechanical loading and leads to an increase in muscle mass and skeletal muscle hypertrophy. The review presents the results of studies published in the past four years, which expand knowledge on the effects of various factors on protein synthesis in skeletal muscle. The attention is focused on the achievements that reveal and clarify the signaling pathways involved in the regulation of protein synthesis in skeletal muscle. The central place is taken by mTOR enzyme which controls and regulates the main stages of the cascade of reactions of muscle proteins providing synthesis in the conditions of human life. coactivator PGC-1a.

  14. Inflammation induced loss of skeletal muscle. (United States)

    Londhe, Priya; Guttridge, Denis C


    Inflammation is an important contributor to the pathology of diseases implicated in skeletal muscle dysfunction. A number of diseases and disorders including inflammatory myopathies and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) are characterized by chronic inflammation or elevation of the inflammatory mediators. While these disease states exhibit different pathologies, all have in common the loss of skeletal muscle mass and a deregulated skeletal muscle physiology. Pro-inflammatory cytokines are key contributors to chronic inflammation found in many of these diseases. This section of the review focuses on some of the known inflammatory disorders like COPD, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and inflammatory myopathies that display skeletal muscle atrophy and also provides the reader an overview of the mediators of inflammation, their signaling pathways, and mechanisms of action. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Muscle Bone Interactions".

  15. Pathogenesis of Insulin Resistance in Skeletal Muscle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad A. Abdul-Ghani


    Full Text Available Insulin resistance in skeletal muscle is manifested by decreased insulin-stimulated glucose uptake and results from impaired insulin signaling and multiple post-receptor intracellular defects including impaired glucose transport, glucose phosphorylation, and reduced glucose oxidation and glycogen synthesis. Insulin resistance is a core defect in type 2 diabetes, it is also associated with obesity and the metabolic syndrome. Dysregulation of fatty acid metabolism plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance in skeletal muscle. Recent studies have reported a mitochondrial defect in oxidative phosphorylation in skeletal muscle in variety of insulin resistant states. In this review, we summarize the cellular and molecular defects that contribute to the development of insulin resistance in skeletal muscle.

  16. Lactate oxidation in human skeletal muscle mitochondria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobs, Robert A; Meinild, Anne-Kristine; Nordsborg, Nikolai B


    Lactate is an important intermediate metabolite in human bioenergetics and is oxidized in many different tissues including the heart, brain, kidney, adipose tissue, liver, and skeletal muscle. The mechanism(s) explaining the metabolism of lactate in these tissues, however, remains unclear. Here, we...... analyze the ability of skeletal muscle to respire lactate by using an in situ mitochondrial preparation that leaves the native tubular reticulum and subcellular interactions of the organelle unaltered. Skeletal muscle biopsies were obtained from vastus lateralis muscle in 16 human subjects. Samples were...... of exogenous LDH failed to increase lactate-stimulated respiration (P = 1.0). The results further demonstrate that human skeletal muscle mitochondria cannot directly oxidize lactate within the mitochondrial matrix. Alternately, these data support previous claims that lactate is converted to pyruvate within...

  17. Skeletal muscle glucose uptake during exercise

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rose, Adam John; Richter, Erik A.


    The increase in skeletal muscle glucose uptake during exercise results from a coordinated increase in rates of glucose delivery (higher capillary perfusion), surface membrane glucose transport, and intracellular substrate flux through glycolysis. The mechanism behind the movement of GLUT4...

  18. Cardiac, Skeletal, and smooth muscle mitochondrial respiration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Park, Song-Young; Gifford, Jayson R; Andtbacka, Robert H I


    Unlike cardiac and skeletal muscle, little is known about vascular smooth muscle mitochondrial function. Therefore, this study examined mitochondrial respiratory rates in the smooth muscle of healthy human feed arteries and compared with that of healthy cardiac and skeletal muscle. Cardiac......, skeletal, and smooth muscle was harvested from a total of 22 subjects (53±6 yrs) and mitochondrial respiration assessed in permeabilized fibers. Complex I+II, state 3 respiration, an index of oxidative phosphorylation capacity, fell progressively from cardiac, skeletal, to smooth muscle (54±1; 39±4; 15......±1 pmol•s(-1)•mg (-1), psmooth muscle (222±13; 115±2; 48±2 umol•g(-1)•min(-1), p

  19. Multiple maternal origins of native modern and ancient horse populations in China. (United States)

    Lei, C Z; Su, R; Bower, M A; Edwards, C J; Wang, X B; Weining, S; Liu, L; Xie, W M; Li, F; Liu, R Y; Zhang, Y S; Zhang, C M; Chen, H


    To obtain more knowledge of the origin and genetic diversity of domestic horses in China, this study provides a comprehensive analysis of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) D-loop sequence diversity from nine horse breeds in China in conjunction with ancient DNA data and evidence from archaeological and historical records. A 247-bp mitochondrial D-loop sequence from 182 modern samples revealed a total of 70 haplotypes with a high level of genetic diversity. Seven major mtDNA haplogroups (A-G) and 16 clusters were identified for the 182 Chinese modern horses. In the present study, nine 247-bp mitochondrial D-loop sequences of ancient remains of Bronze Age horse from the Chifeng region of Inner Mongolia in China (c. 4000-2000a bp) were used to explore the origin and diversity of Chinese modern horses and the phylogenetic relationship between ancient and modern horses. The nine ancient horses carried seven haplotypes with rich genetic diversity, which were clustered together with modern individuals among haplogroups A, E and F. Modern domestic horse and ancient horse data support the multiple origins of domestic horses in China. This study supports the argument that multiple successful events of horse domestication, including separate introductions of wild mares into the domestic herds, may have occurred in antiquity, and that China cannot be excluded from these events. Indeed, the association of Far Eastern mtDNA types to haplogroup F was highly significant using Fisher's exact test of independence (P = 0.00002), lending support for Chinese domestication of this haplogroup. High diversity and all seven mtDNA haplogroups (A-G) with 16 clusters also suggest that further work is necessary to shed more light on horse domestication in China.

  20. Satellite cells: the architects of skeletal muscle. (United States)

    Chang, Natasha C; Rudnicki, Michael A


    The outstanding regenerative capacity of skeletal muscle is attributed to the resident muscle stem cell termed satellite cell. Satellite cells are essential for skeletal muscle regeneration as they ultimately provide the myogenic precursors that rebuild damaged muscle tissue. Satellite cells characteristically are a heterogeneous population of stem cells and committed progenitor cells. Delineation of cellular hierarchy and understanding how lineage fate choices are determined within the satellite cell population will be invaluable for the advancement of muscle regenerative therapies.

  1. Exercise Promotes Healthy Aging of Skeletal Muscle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cartee, Gregory D; Hepple, Russell T; Bamman, Marcas M


    caused by diseases and lifestyle factors. Secondary aging can exacerbate deficits in mitochondrial function and muscle mass, concomitant with the development of skeletal muscle insulin resistance. Exercise opposes deleterious effects of secondary aging by preventing the decline in mitochondrial...... respiration, mitigating aging-related loss of muscle mass and enhancing insulin sensitivity. This review focuses on mechanisms by which exercise promotes "healthy aging" by inducing modifications in skeletal muscle....

  2. Skeletal Aging and Osteoporosis Biomechanics and Mechanobiology

    CERN Document Server


    The focus of this book is on mechanical aspects of skeletal fragility related to aging and osteoporosis. Topics include: Age-related changes in trabecular structure and strength; age-related changes in cortical material properties; age-related changes in whole-bone structure; predicting bone strength and fracture risk using image-based methods and finite element analysis; animal models of osteoporosis and aging; age-related changes in skeletal mechano responsiveness; exercise and physical interventions for osteoporosis.

  3. Cripto regulates skeletal muscle regeneration and modulates satellite cell determination by antagonizing myostatin. (United States)

    Guardiola, Ombretta; Lafuste, Peggy; Brunelli, Silvia; Iaconis, Salvatore; Touvier, Thierry; Mourikis, Philippos; De Bock, Katrien; Lonardo, Enza; Andolfi, Gennaro; Bouché, Ann; Liguori, Giovanna L; Shen, Michael M; Tajbakhsh, Shahragim; Cossu, Giulio; Carmeliet, Peter; Minchiotti, Gabriella


    Skeletal muscle regeneration mainly depends on satellite cells, a population of resident muscle stem cells. However, our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying satellite cell activation is still largely undefined. Here, we show that Cripto, a regulator of early embryogenesis, is a novel regulator of muscle regeneration and satellite cell progression toward the myogenic lineage. Conditional inactivation of cripto in adult satellite cells compromises skeletal muscle regeneration, whereas gain of function of Cripto accelerates regeneration, leading to muscle hypertrophy. Moreover, we provide evidence that Cripto modulates myogenic cell determination and promotes proliferation by antagonizing the TGF-β ligand myostatin. Our data provide unique insights into the molecular and cellular basis of Cripto activity in skeletal muscle regeneration and raise previously undescribed implications for stem cell biology and regenerative medicine.

  4. Insulin increases phosphorylation of mitochondrial proteins in human skeletal muscle in vivo

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhao, Xiaolu; Bak, Steffen; Pedersen, Andreas James Thestrup;


    There is increasing evidence that multiple proteins involved in key regulatory processes in mitochondria are phosphorylated in mammalian tissues. Insulin regulates glucose metabolism by phosphorylation-dependent signaling and has been shown to stimulate ATP synthesis in human skeletal muscle. Here...... the majority of novel sites. Phosphorylation sites detected more often or exclusively in insulin-stimulated samples include multiple sites in mitochondrial proteins involved in oxidative phosphorylation, tricarboxylic acid cycle, and fatty acid metabolism, as well as several components of the newly defined......, we investigated the effect of insulin on the phosphorylation of mitochondrial proteins in human skeletal muscle in vivo. Using a combination of TiO2 phosphopeptide-enrichment, HILIC fractionation, and LC−MS/MS, we compared the phosphoproteomes of isolated mitochondria from skeletal muscle samples...

  5. Developmental Patterning as a Quantitative Trait: Genetic Modulation of the Hoxb6 Mutant Skeletal Phenotype.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Kappen

    Full Text Available The process of patterning along the anterior-posterior axis in vertebrates is highly conserved. The function of Hox genes in the axis patterning process is particularly well documented for bone development in the vertebral column and the limbs. We here show that Hoxb6, in skeletal elements at the cervico-thoracic junction, controls multiple independent aspects of skeletal pattern, implicating discrete developmental pathways as substrates for this transcription factor. In addition, we demonstrate that Hoxb6 function is subject to modulation by genetic factors. These results establish Hox-controlled skeletal pattern as a quantitative trait modulated by gene-gene interactions, and provide evidence that distinct modifiers influence the function of conserved developmental genes in fundamental patterning processes.

  6. The Ancient City of Pinqyao:Where the Time Stops

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lily Wang


    @@ It is a common night in May, I found myself wandering in the Ancient City of Pingyao.If not those neon light, I would even doubt that I had gone back to the ancient times.Located on the eastern banks of the Fen River, and in the southwestern edge of the Taiyuan basin, Pingyao Ancient City is the outstanding example of Chinese Han nationality cities during Ming and Qing Dynasties.

  7. Advances in structural mechanics of Chinese ancient architectures

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Maohong YU; Yoshiya ODA; Dongping FANG; Junhai ZHAO


    Chinese ancient architectures are valuable heritage of ancient culture of China. Many historical building have been preserved up to now. The researches on the structural mechanics of ancient architectures show the different aspects of structure and mechanics. Systematical studies on the structural mechanics of ancient architectures have been carried out at Xi'an Jiaotong University since 1982. It is related with the need of repair of some national preservation relics in Xi'an. These studies include: 1) Ancient wooden structures including three national preservation relics Arrow Tower at North City Gate, City Tower at East City Gate, and Baogao Temple in Ningbao, Zhejiang province. 2) Ancient tall masonry building, the Big Goose Pagoda and Small Goose Pagoda in Xi'an. 3) Mechanical characteristics of ancient soil under foundation and city wall; the influence of caves in and under the ancient City Wall on the stability of the wall. 4) The typical Chinese ancient building at the center of city: the Bell Tower and Drum tower. 5) The behavior of Dou-Gong and Joggle joint of Chinese ancient wooden structure. 6) The mechanical behavior of ancient soils under complex stress state. A new systematical strength theory, the unified strength theory, is used to analyze the stability of ancient city wall in Xi'an and foundation of tall pagoda built in Tang dynasty. These researches also concern differential settlements of Arrow Tower and resistance to earthquake of these historical architecture heritages. Some other studies are also introduced. This paper gives a summary of these researches. Preservation and research are nowadays an essential requirement for the famous monuments, buildings, towers and others. Our society is more and more conscious of this necessity, which involves increasing activities of restoration, and then sometimes also of repair, mechanical strengthening and seismic retrofitting. Many historical buildings have in fact problems of structural strength and

  8. Molecular identification of bacteria by total sequence screening: determining the cause of death in ancient human subjects.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine Thèves

    Full Text Available Research of ancient pathogens in ancient human skeletons has been mainly carried out on the basis of one essential historical or archaeological observation, permitting specific pathogens to be targeted. Detection of ancient human pathogens without such evidence is more difficult, since the quantity and quality of ancient DNA, as well as the environmental bacteria potentially present in the sample, limit the analyses possible. Using human lung tissue and/or teeth samples from burials in eastern Siberia, dating from the end of 17(th to the 19(th century, we propose a methodology that includes the: 1 amplification of all 16S rDNA gene sequences present in each sample; 2 identification of all bacterial DNA sequences with a degree of identity ≥ 95%, according to quality criteria; 3 identification and confirmation of bacterial pathogens by the amplification of the rpoB gene; and 4 establishment of authenticity criteria for ancient DNA. This study demonstrates that from teeth samples originating from ancient human subjects, we can realise: 1 the correct identification of bacterial molecular sequence signatures by quality criteria; 2 the separation of environmental and pathogenic bacterial 16S rDNA sequences; 3 the distribution of bacterial species for each subject and for each burial; and 4 the characterisation of bacteria specific to the permafrost. Moreover, we identified three pathogens in different teeth samples by 16S rDNA sequence amplification: Bordetella sp., Streptococcus pneumoniae and Shigella dysenteriae. We tested for the presence of these pathogens by amplifying the rpoB gene. For the first time, we confirmed sequences from Bordetella pertussis in the lungs of an ancient male Siberian subject, whose grave dated from the end of the 17(th century to the early 18(th century.

  9. Mapping the Ancient Maya Landscape from Space (United States)

    Sever, Tom


    This project uses new satellite and airborne imagery in combination with remote sensing, GIS, and GPS technology to understand the dynamics of how the Maya successfully interacted with their karst topographic landscape for several centuries in the northern Peten region of Guatemala. The ancient Maya attained one of the greatest population densities in human history in the tropical forest of the Peten, Guatemala, and it was in this region that the Maya civilization began, flourished, and abruptly disappeared for unknown reasons around AD 800. How the Maya were able to successfully manage water and feed this dense population is not known at this time. However, a recent NASA-funded project was the first to investigate large seasonal swamps (bajos) that make up 40 percent of the landscape. Through the use of remote sensing, ancient Maya features such as cities, roadways, canals and water reservoirs have been detected and verified through ground reconnaissance. The results of this research cast new light on the adaptation of the ancient Maya to their environment. Micro-environmental variation within the wetlands was elucidated and the different vegetational associations identified in the satellite imagery. More than 70 new archeological sites within and at the edges of the bajo were mapped and tested. Modification of the landscape by the Maya in the form of dams and reservoirs in the Holmul River and its tributaries and possible drainage canals in bajos was demonstrated. The recent acquisition of one-meter IKONOS imagery and high resolution STAR-3i radar imagery (2.5m backscatter/ 10m DEM), opens new possibilities for understanding how a civilization was able to survive for centuries upon a karst topographic landscape and their human-induced effects upon the local climate. This understanding is critical for the current population that is presently experiencing rapid population growth and destroying the landscape through non-traditional farming and grazing techniques

  10. Dance Poem presents Ancient Northwestern Settings and Folle Customs

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    WEST of the Yang Pass, a dance poem created and performed by the Lanzhou Song and Dance Troupe, presents the audience with a picture of ancient times and folk customs on the Loess Plateau in Northwestern China. It depicts our ancestors’ staunch will to live, and their pioneering spirit, as well as the splendid traditional culture. The dance poem includes 11 sections: "Prelude," "Ancient Road," "Desert," "Camel Station," "Crescent Moon Spring," "Ancient Castle," "Temple Oil Lamps," "Mogao Grottoes," "Red Willows," "Market," "Ancient Battle Fields," and "Fields." West of the Yang Pass is a dance without particular characters or coherent plot. A group

  11. Satellite-like cells contribute to pax7-dependent skeletal muscle repair in adult zebrafish. (United States)

    Berberoglu, Michael A; Gallagher, Thomas L; Morrow, Zachary T; Talbot, Jared C; Hromowyk, Kimberly J; Tenente, Inês M; Langenau, David M; Amacher, Sharon L


    Satellite cells, also known as muscle stem cells, are responsible for skeletal muscle growth and repair in mammals. Pax7 and Pax3 transcription factors are established satellite cell markers required for muscle development and regeneration, and there is great interest in identifying additional factors that regulate satellite cell proliferation, differentiation, and/or skeletal muscle regeneration. Due to the powerful regenerative capacity of many zebrafish tissues, even in adults, we are exploring the regenerative potential of adult zebrafish skeletal muscle. Here, we show that adult zebrafish skeletal muscle contains cells similar to mammalian satellite cells. Adult zebrafish satellite-like cells have dense heterochromatin, express Pax7 and Pax3, proliferate in response to injury, and show peak myogenic responses 4-5 days post-injury (dpi). Furthermore, using a pax7a-driven GFP reporter, we present evidence implicating satellite-like cells as a possible source of new muscle. In lieu of central nucleation, which distinguishes regenerating myofibers in mammals, we describe several characteristics that robustly identify newly-forming myofibers from surrounding fibers in injured adult zebrafish muscle. These characteristics include partially overlapping expression in satellite-like cells and regenerating myofibers of two RNA-binding proteins Rbfox2 and Rbfoxl1, known to regulate embryonic muscle development and function. Finally, by analyzing pax7a; pax7b double mutant zebrafish, we show that Pax7 is required for adult skeletal muscle repair, as it is in the mouse.

  12. The Ancient Maya Landscape from Space (United States)

    Sever, T.; Arnold, James E. (Technical Monitor)


    The Peten, once inhabited by a population of several million before the collapse of the ancient Maya in the 10th and 11th centuries, is being repopulated toward its former demographic peak. Environmental dynamics, however, impose severe constraints to further development. Current practices in subsistence, commercial agriculture, and cattle raising are causing rapid deforestation resulting in the destruction of environmental and archeological resources. The use of remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology is a cost-effective methodology for addressing issues in Maya archeology as well as monitoring the environmental impacts being experienced by the current population.

  13. Conserved intron positions in ancient protein modules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de Roos Albert DG


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The timing of the origin of introns is of crucial importance for an understanding of early genome architecture. The Exon theory of genes proposed a role for introns in the formation of multi-exon proteins by exon shuffling and predicts the presence of conserved splice sites in ancient genes. In this study, large-scale analysis of potential conserved splice sites was performed using an intron-exon database (ExInt derived from GenBank. Results A set of conserved intron positions was found by matching identical splice sites sequences from distantly-related eukaryotic kingdoms. Most amino acid sequences with conserved introns were homologous to consensus sequences of functional domains from conserved proteins including kinases, phosphatases, small GTPases, transporters and matrix proteins. These included ancient proteins that originated before the eukaryote-prokaryote split, for instance the catalytic domain of protein phosphatase 2A where a total of eleven conserved introns were found. Using an experimental setup in which the relation between a splice site and the ancientness of its surrounding sequence could be studied, it was found that the presence of an intron was positively correlated to the ancientness of its surrounding sequence. Intron phase conservation was linked to the conservation of the gene sequence and not to the splice site sequence itself. However, no apparent differences in phase distribution were found between introns in conserved versus non-conserved sequences. Conclusion The data confirm an origin of introns deep in the eukaryotic branch and is in concordance with the presence of introns in the first functional protein modules in an 'Exon theory of genes' scenario. A model is proposed in which shuffling of primordial short exonic sequences led to the formation of the first functional protein modules, in line with hypotheses that see the formation of introns integral to the origins of genome evolution

  14. Archaeological sites as indicators of ancient shorelines

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Vora, K.H.; Gaur, A.S.; Sundaresh; Tripati, S.

    -Type text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1 Archaeological Sites as Indicators of Ancient Shorelines K H Vora, A. S. Gnur. Sundaresh and S. Tripati National Institute of Oceanogr-aplzy, Dona Paula, Goa Ernail: Abstract During the late... Coastal areas of the continents have been the focal points of the emergence of the civilization. For in- stance, the Indian Ocean witnessed the rise of 3 major the Bronze Age Civilizations around it during the mid- Holocene period. Ocean has played...

  15. The Charm of An Ancient Southern City

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    AN artistic narrow bridge winds into a place of pavilions, terraces and open halls, all under the pleasant shade of green trees. This is Mist-Water Pavilion Park in Gantang Lake in the city of Jiujiang, Jiangxi Province. When you stand here in the quiet and elegant historic garden and look out over the water on all four sides, you can’t help but think of the ancient war that took place on this very spot 1,700 years ago. During the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280), this was

  16. Surgical history of ancient China: part 1. (United States)

    Fu, Louis


    Although surgery was an accepted and quite proficient craft very early on in Chinese history, it has deteriorated through the ages. Despite the fact that anaesthetic agents in major surgery were employed during the third century, Chinese surgery is conspicuous by its stagnation. Reverence for the dead, filial piety, abhorrence of shedding blood and other conservative attitudes make it impossible for any accurate knowledge of the human anatomy and physiology, without which surgery cannot progress. This article surveys some highlights in the history of surgery in ancient China and examines the factors responsible for its decline. The second concluding part deals with orthopaedics.

  17. Human Nature Evil in Ancient Western Literature

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    Whether man is good or evil by nature is a constant topic tophilosophers and writers. Is a man born virtuous or evil? What onearth is human nature? Is the origin of human nature kind or wicked?People have been debating over this topic for centuries. Theseseemingly simple questions have perplexed those Great Minds forthousands of years in European countries and are the constant themesof literary works as well. The problem of human nature is the deepestof the issues regarding human beings which have long been underdiscussion since ancient time.

  18. PIXE analysis of ancient Chinese Changsha porcelain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lin, E.K.; Yu, Y.C.; Wang, C.W.; Liu, T.Y.; Wu, C.M.; Chen, K.M.; Lin, S.S


    In this work, proton induced X-ray emission (PIXE) method was applied for the analysis of ancient Chinese Changsha porcelain produced in the Tang dynasty (AD 618-907). A collection of glazed potsherds was obtained in the complex of the famous kiln site at Tongguan, Changsha city, Hunan province. Studies of elemental composition were carried out on ten selected Changsha potsherds. Minor and trace elements such as Ti, Mn, Fe, Co, Cu, Rb, Sr, and Zr in the material of the porcelain glaze were determined. Variation of these elements from sample to sample was investigated. Details of results are presented and discussed.

  19. Ancient wells and their geoarchaeological significance in detecting tectonics of the Israel Mediterranean coastline region (United States)

    Nir, Yaacov; Eldar, Iris


    Eight ancient water wells, representing the late Bronze Age to the Crusades period (ca. 3100 700 B.P.), have recently been excavated (six by the authors) and reopened at archaeological sites (tels) along the southern and central Mediterranean coast of Israel. Evidence of ancient freshwater levels directly reflects on possible neotectonics of the region and on eustatic changes of sea level. There is substantial disagreement about the tectonic stability of the Israel Mediterranean coastal region during the past 3500 yr, whether there was a large-magnitude tectonic event (one of the largest known for recent times) during the period in discussion or whether the region was tectonically quiet. We tested the instability hypothesis by using geoarchaeological data from the wells and found no evidence for significant tectonic deformation of the central and southern Israel coast in the past 3100 yr. The “ancient water-well” method can, with appropriate modifications, be used all around the Mediterranean and other coasts elsewhere in the world where ground-water-sea-level relations are alike. Now in the digging of wells we must not disdain reflection, but must devote much acuteness and skill to the consideration of the natural principles of things. Vitruvius Pollio, Architectura, Book VIII, Chapter VI (25 B.C.)

  20. Origin of Chinese ancient glasses——study on the earliest Chinese ancient glasses

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GAN Fuxi; CHENG Huansheng; LI Qinghui


    The earliest Chinese ancient glasses before the West Han Dynasty (200 BC) from different regions are studied. The glass samples were unearthed from Hunan, Hubei, Yunnan, Sichuan, Guizhou, Guangdong and Xinjiang of China. The chemical composition of these glasses samples is analyzed by proton induced X-ray emission (PIXE) technique, energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) method and inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES). It is shown that the glass chemical compositions belong to barium-lead silicate BaO-PbO-SiO2, potash soda lime silicate K2O (Na2O)-CaO-SiO2 (K2O/Na2O>1), soda potash lime silicate Na2O (K2O)-CaO-SiO2 (K2O/Na2O<1) and potash silicate K2O-SiO2 glass systems, respectively. The origins of the earliest Chinese ancient glasses are discussed from the archaeological and historical points of view. These four types of Chinese ancient glasses were all made in Chinese territory using local raw materials. The glass preparation technology was related to the Chinese ancient bronze metallurgy and proto-porcelain glaze technology. The glass technology relationship between the East and the West is analyzed at the same time.

  1. Aspects of skeletal muscle modelling. (United States)

    Epstein, Marcelo; Herzog, Walter


    The modelling of skeletal muscle raises a number of philosophical questions, particularly in the realm of the relationship between different possible levels of representation and explanation. After a brief incursion into this area, a list of desiderata is proposed as a guiding principle for the construction of a viable model, including: comprehensiveness, soundness, experimental consistency, predictive ability and refinability. Each of these principles is illustrated by means of simple examples. The presence of internal constraints, such as incompressibility, may lead to counterintuitive results. A one-panel example is exploited to advocate the use of the principle of virtual work as the ideal tool to deal with these situations. The question of stability in the descending limb of the force-length relation is addressed and a purely mechanical analogue is suggested. New experimental results confirm the assumption that fibre stiffness is positive even in the descending limb. The indeterminacy of the force-sharing problem is traditionally resolved by optimizing a, presumably, physically meaningful target function. After presenting some new results in this area, based on a separation theorem, it is suggested that a more fundamental approach to the problem is the abandoning of optimization criteria in favour of an explicit implementation of activation criteria.

  2. Skeletal development in Acropora cervicornis (United States)

    Gladfelter, Elizabeth H.


    Monthly linear extension and calcium carbonate accretion were measured over a year in the Caribbean staghorn coral, Acropora cervicornis. X-radiographs were made of cross sections of branches to analyze radial growth. Correlations were made between parameters of skeletal growth and four environmental parameters monitored over the same sampling periods: temperature, daylight hours, sun hours, plankton abundance. The results indicate that linear extension does not change during the year with the possible exception of April. It is suggested that temperatures outside an optimal range (ca. 26° 29°C for staghorn Acroporas) might cause a decrease in linear extension, however. Specific accretion (mg. mm-1) does show significant variations through the year. Calcium carbonate accretion (mean specific accretion times mean linear extension, mg. tip-1) is most strongly correlated with number of sun hours. A comparison is made between diel patterns of extension and accretion and longer term measurements. It is suggested that the accretion process is probably most influenced by some activity influenced by light. There are no annual growth bands in X-radiographs of cross-sections of the branches of A. cervicornis. This may result from secondary infilling in the skeleton.

  3. Emergence of ancient cities in relation to geopolitical circumstances and climate change during late Holocene in northeastern Tibetan Plateau, China (United States)

    Dong, Guanghui; Liu, Honggao; Yang, Yishi; Yang, Ying; Zhou, Aifeng; Wang, Zhongxin; Ren, Xiaoyan; Chen, Fahu


    The study of the history of human activities in ancient cities has provided valuable evidences for understanding the evolution of human-land relations during the late Holocene. Numerous ancient cities were discovered through archaeological surveys of the east Qinghai Province, located on the northeastern border of the Tibetan Plateau, China; however, the mystery of when or why these cities were built remains unsolved. As recorded in this paper, we sampled reliable dating materials from 47 ancient cities in the area, determined their ages by radiocarbon dating, and compared the dating results with historical documents and high resolution paleoclimate records to explore the influencing factors for the development of these ancient cities. The 54 radiocarbon dates indicated that most of these cities were built or repaired during the Han Dynasty (202 BC‒AD 220), Tang Dynasty (AD 618‒AD 907), the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period (AD 907‒AD 960), the Song dynasty (AD 960‒AD 1279), and the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368‒AD 1644). The radiocarbon dates correspond well with historical records of the area. Our work suggests the ancient cities in east Qinghai Province were likely built primarily for military defense, and may have also have been affected by climate change.

  4. Emergence of ancient cities in relation to geopolitical circumstances and climate change during late Holocene in northeastern Tibetan Plateau, China (United States)

    Dong, Guanghui; Liu, Honggao; Yang, Yishi; Yang, Ying; Zhou, Aifeng; Wang, Zhongxin; Ren, Xiaoyan; Chen, Fahu


    The study of the history of human activities in ancient cities has provided valuable evidences for understanding the evolution of human-land relations during the late Holocene. Numerous ancient cities were discovered through archaeological surveys of the east Qinghai Province, located on the northeastern border of the Tibetan Plateau, China; however, the mystery of when or why these cities were built remains unsolved. As recorded in this paper, we sampled reliable dating materials from 47 ancient cities in the area, determined their ages by radiocarbon dating, and compared the dating results with historical documents and high resolution paleoclimate records to explore the influencing factors for the development of these ancient cities. The 54 radiocarbon dates indicated that most of these cities were built or repaired during the Han Dynasty (202 BC‒AD 220), Tang Dynasty (AD 618‒AD 907), the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period (AD 907‒AD 960), the Song dynasty (AD 960‒AD 1279), and the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368‒AD 1644). The radiocarbon dates correspond well with historical records of the area. Our work suggests the ancient cities in east Qinghai Province were likely built primarily for military defense, and may have also have been affected by climate change.

  5. Drought stress variability in ancient Near Eastern agricultural systems evidenced by δ13C in barley grain. (United States)

    Riehl, Simone; Pustovoytov, Konstantin E; Weippert, Heike; Klett, Stefan; Hole, Frank


    The collapse and resilience of political systems in the ancient Near East and their relationship with agricultural development have been of wide interest in archaeology and anthropology. Despite attempts to link the archaeological evidence to local paleoclimate data, the precise role of environmental conditions in ancient agricultural production remains poorly understood. Recently, stable isotope analysis has been used for reconstructing site-specific ancient growing conditions for crop species in semiarid and arid landscapes. To open the discussion of the role of regional diversity in past agricultural production as a factor in societal development, we present 1.037 new stable carbon isotope measurements from 33 archaeological sites and modern fields in the geographic area of the Fertile Crescent, spanning the Aceramic Neolithic [10,000 calibrated years (cal) B.C.] to the later Iron Age (500 cal B.C.), alongside modern data from 13 locations. Our data show that drought stress was an issue in many agricultural settlements in the ancient Near East, particularly in correlation with the major Holocene climatic fluctuations, but its regional impact was diverse and influenced by geographic factors. Although cereals growing in the coastal areas of the northern Levant were relatively unaffected by Holocene climatic fluctuations, farmers of regions further inland had to apply irrigation to cope with increased water stress. However, inland agricultural strategies showed a high degree of variability. Our findings suggest that regional differences in climatic effects led to diversified strategies in ancient subsistence and economy even within spatially limited cultural units.

  6. Surgeons and surgery from ancient Persia (5,000 years of surgical history). (United States)

    Zargaran, Arman; Fazelzadeh, Afsoon; Mohagheghzadeh, Abdolali


    The development of surgery is indebted to scientists and surgeons from various civilizations throughout history. The present study considers surgery in the ancient Persian civilization. It highlights aspects of the subject, such as findings of the first trephinated skulls in Iran; surgeons' social class (kareto baēšaza in the Avestan language-dating back 3,000 years); surgical operations such as cesarean section and procedures to treat breast cancer; and the use of anesthetic compounds and surgical practice in the military. It is hoped that this catalogue of historical evidence of surgical practice in ancient Persian civilization will contribute to the history of surgery, as an important field in medical science.

  7. Antikythera Mechanism and the Ancient World

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. N. Safronov


    Full Text Available In this historical review, the opinions of Ancient Greece philosophers, astronomers, and poets such as Thales Milesian, Pythagoras, Plato, Eudoxus, Aristotle, Archimedes, Cicero, Diogenes Laertius, Iamblichus, Plutarch, Homer, and Aratus about the planet position calculations and about the possibility of predictions of natural phenomena are analyzed. The planet positions were predicted before Eudoxus (probably before Philolaus by a spindle of Ananke and after Eudoxus by Antikythera mechanism. Following Pythagoras and Plato, it is established that the regular seismoacoustic observations were performed. In the Ancient World in the Mediterranean area, there was an extensive network of acoustic stations (~10 pcs, which were located in close proximity to the geologic faults. Also, it is shown that the ship that was carrying Antikythera mechanism (A-Ship was built in 244 BC in Syracuse with direct participation of Archimedes and Archias from Corinthian. Later, the A-Ship was a part of the Roman Republic safety system. The grain volumes, which were delivered to Rome city by large grain vessels, and the population of Rome city in the period 74–71 BC were estimated. Planetary calculator might be used for the chronology of the historical events as a backward prediction in addition to present Radiocarbon dating and Dendrochronology methods.

  8. Acoustical measurements in ancient Roman theatres (United States)

    Farnetani, Andrea; Fausti, Patrizio; Pompoli, Roberto; Prodi, Nicola


    The Greek and Roman theatres are among the most precious and spectacular items of cultural heritage in the Mediterranean countries. The theatres are famous not only for their impressive architecture, but also for the acoustic qualities. For this reason it is important to consider these theatres as an acoustical heritage and to study their sound field. Within the activities of the ERATO (identification Evaluation and Revival of the Acoustical heritage of ancient Theatres and Odea) project, acoustical measurements were taken in well-preserved ancient Roman theatres at Aspendos (Turkey) and Jerash (Jordan). Roman theatres have an impressive stage building that forms a back wall in the orchestra area, and it was found that, from the analysis of the acoustical parameters, the reverberation time (e.g., 1.7 s at middle frequencies in the theatre of Aspendos) is quite long compared not only with other open-space theatres but also with closed spaces. Contrary to modern halls the clarity is high and this fact, together with a low sound level in most of the seats, gives the sound field a unique character.

  9. Ancient and Medieval Earth in Armenia (United States)

    Farmanyan, S. V.


    Humankind has always sought to recognize the nature of various sky related phenomena and tried to give them explanations. The purpose of this study is to identify ancient Armenians' pantheistic and cosmological perceptions, world view, notions and beliefs related to the Earth. The paper focuses on the structure of the Earth and many other phenomena of nature that have always been on a major influence on ancient Armenians thinking. In this paper we have compared the term Earth in 31 languages. By discussing and comparing Universe structure in various regional traditions, myths, folk songs and phraseological units we very often came across to "Seven Heavens" (Seven heavens is a part of religious cosmology found in many major religions such as Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Christianity (namely Catholicism) and "Seven Earths". Armenians in their turn divided Earth and Heavens into seven layers. And in science too, both the Earth and the Heavens have 7 layers. The Seven Heavens refer to the layers of our atmosphere. The Seven Earths refer to the layers of the Earth (from core to crust), as well as seven continents. We conclude that the perception of celestial objects varies from culture to culture and preastronomy had a significant impact on humankind, particularly on cultural diversities.

  10. Contrasting environmental memories by ancient soils on different parent rocks in the South-western Italian Alps (United States)

    D'Amico, Michele; Catoni, Marcella; Bonifacio, Eleonora; Zanini, Ermanno


    Ancient soils (pre-Holocenic paleosols and vetusols) are uncommon on the Alps, because of the extensive Pleistocenic glaciations which erased most of the previously existing soils, the slope steepness and climatic conditions favoring soil erosion. However, in few sites, particularly in the outermost sections of the Alpine range, Pleistocene glaciers covered only small and scattered surfaces because of the low altitude reached in the basins, and ancient soils could be preserved for long periods of time on particularly stable surfaces. We described and sampled soils on 11 stable surfaces in the Upper Tanaro valley, Ligurian Alps (Southwestern Piemonte, Italy). The sampling sites were characterized by low steepness and elevation between 600 to 1600 m, under present day lower montane Castanea sativa/Ostrya carpinifolia forests, montane Fagus sylvatica and Pinus uncinata forests or montane heath/grazed grassland, on different substrata. In particular, we sampled soils developed on dolomite, limestone, quartzite, gneiss and shales. The soils were always well representative of the pedogenic trends active on the respective parent materials, i.e. the skeletal fraction in each soil was always composed of just one rock type, despite the proximity of lithological boundaries and the small dimensions of the different outcrops, often coexisting on the same stable surface. All the considered profiles showed signs of extremely long pedogenesis and/or different phases of intense pedogenesis interrupted by the deposition of periglacial cover beds in the steepest sites. Up to four phases of intense pedogenesis were recognized where cover beds were developed, presumably during cold Pleistocene phases, as present-day climate is not cold enough to create such periglacial morphologies. In such cases, each cover bed underwent similar pedogenesis, strongly dependent on the parent material: on quartzite, podzols with thick E horizons and well developed placic ones were formed in all phases

  11. Offset ancient city wall yields plausible slip rate for the Sagaing fault, Burma (Myanmar) (United States)

    Wang, Y.; Aung, T.; Min, S.; Lin, K.; Tun, S.; Sieh, K.; Myint, U.


    The Sagaing fault offers great potential for paleoseismology study, because it traverses a region with a long history and high rates of sedimentation. Buddhist documents from ancient Pegu (Bago), in southern Myanmar, record 34 strong earthquakes in the past 2.3 millennia. The latest of these is the 1930 Pegu earthquake (M 7.3), which had high intensities along a 90 km stretch from Pegu to the southern coastline of the country. We have found evidences for surface rupture in 1930 in the stories of village elders and in offset paddy fields. These reports and offsets suggest that coseismic displacement decreased from several meters in Pegu to liquefaction without faulting near Payagyi Township, 15 km farther north. West of Payagyi, the fault trace cuts through and offsets an ancient city wall. The age of the ancient city is uncertain, but descriptions from Burmese history indicate it was built in the late 16th century, probably about 440 yrs ago. Determination of the offset of the 440-year-old city wall is possible, but not simple, in part because vertical displacements across the fault have resulted in differential sedimentation on the flanks of the wall. After accounting geomorphologically for the differential sedimentation, the offset of both the outer and inner edges of the city wall appear to have sustained a right-lateral offset of about 6 meters. This yields an approximate slip rate of 14 mm/yr, which is slightly lower than the slip rate determined by others from GPS geodesy. The number of earthquakes involved in creating the 6-meter offset is currently unknown, but paleoseismic excavations within the ancient city may well yield evidence of discrete offsets that we will be able to ascribe to specific large earthquakes in the historical record. Candidates include historical earthquakes 1582, 1644, 1768, 1830, 1888, 1913 and 1917 C.E.

  12. The molecular signatures of Taxodiaceae / Cupressaceae / Taxaceae (TCT) leaf waxes in modern and ancient samples (United States)

    Ho, M.; Zinniker, D.; Green Nylen, N.; Moldowan, J. M.; Denisevich, P.


    Members of the Taxodiaceae/Cupressaceae/Taxaceae (TCT) complex of conifers originated sometime before the late Jurassic. Since that time the group has diverged to fill diverse ecological niches in desert, marsh, tundra, alpine, and coastal habitats and a variety of forest types. 175 species from 35 genera are now found across 6 continents. The aims of this research project are 1) to analyze and describe cuticular isoprenoid and acetogenic lipids from a diverse group of living members of the TCT complex and 2) to begin a search for these compounds and their diagenetic products in geological samples with known contributions from ancient TCT members. Hexane extracts of several hundred modern conifer specimens from more than 25 genera were studied in an attempt to find phylogenetic trends in the distribution and abundance of wax components. Diverse skeletal types of bicyclic, tricyclic, and tetracyclic diterpenes were found throughout the TCT complex. These compounds were found to have the highest absolute and relative abundance in several temperate rainforest and marsh endemics and the lowest relative abundance in desert adapted species. Large scale phylogenetic patterns in the distribution of individual diterpenes were not evident. Some species showed little intraspecific variation in diterpenes, while others showed considerable variability in diterpene products from one tree to another. The waxes of many members of the TCT complex are dominated by uniquely long-chain normal alkanes, with peak abundance at 33 and/or 35 carbons. This character is found within a phylogenetically distinct group of TCT -- including the genera Austrocedrus, Callitris, Calocedrus, Chamaecyparis, Cryptomeria, Cupressus, Diselma, Fitzroya, Juniperus, Libocedrus, Platycladus, Taxodium, Tetraclinis, Thuja, and Thujopsis -- and is seen in plants from extremely different habitats. We postulate that this group within the TCT complex shares a conserved very long chain fatty acid (VLCFA) elongase

  13. A high resolution δ13C record in a modern Porites lobata coral: Insights into controls on skeletal δ13C (United States)

    Allison, Nicola; Finch, Adrian A.; EIMF


    δ13C was determined at a high spatial resolution by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) across a 1 year section of a modern Porites lobata coral skeleton from Hawaii. Skeletal δ13C is dominated by large oscillations of 5-7‰ that typically cover skeletal distances equivalent to periods of ˜14-40 days. These variations do not reflect seawater temperature and it is unlikely that they reflect variations in the δ13C of local seawater. We observe no correlation between skeletal δ13C and the pH of the calcification fluid (estimated from previous measurements of skeletal δ11B). We conclude that either the proportion of skeletal carbon derived from metabolic CO2 is not reflected by estimated ECF pH (as the [CO2] in the overlying coral tissue varies) and/or the δ13C composition of the metabolic CO2 is highly variable. We also observe no correlation between skeletal δ13C and previous δ18O SIMS measurements. Variations in skeletal δ13C and δ18O do not have a common timing, providing no evidence that skeletal δ13C and δ18O vary in response to a single factor. This suggests that skeletal δ13C is principally driven by variations in the δ13C composition of metabolic CO2 rather than by the abundance of metabolic CO2, which would also affect skeletal δ18O. The δ13C composition of metabolic CO2 reflects the processes of photosynthesis, heterotrophic feeding and respiration in the overlying coral tissue. Corals catabolise stored lipid reserves to meet energetic demands when photosynthesis conditions are sub-optimal. Variations in the amounts and types of reserves utilised could induce changes in the δ13C composition of metabolic CO2 and the resultant skeleton which are temporally offset from skeletal δ18O records.

  14. Study on the structures and illumination characteristics of Chinese ancient oil lamps (United States)

    Zhu, Zhiqiang; Zhan, Qingxuan


    Chinese ancient firelight lighting had a long history in which developed technologies were applied. The paper concerns itself with a study of Chinese ancient firelight lighting lamps, including the structures and illuminating characteristics of ancient oil lamps.

  15. The Role of Histidine-Proline-Rich Glycoprotein as Zinc Chaperone for Skeletal Muscle AMP Deaminase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Ranieri-Raggi


    Full Text Available Metallochaperones function as intracellular shuttles for metal ions. At present, no evidence for the existence of any eukaryotic zinc-chaperone has been provided although metallochaperones could be critical for the physiological functions of Zn2+ metalloenzymes. We propose that the complex formed in skeletal muscle by the Zn2+ metalloenzyme AMP deaminase (AMPD and the metal binding protein histidine-proline-rich glycoprotein (HPRG acts in this manner. HPRG is a major plasma protein. Recent investigations have reported that skeletal muscle cells do not synthesize HPRG but instead actively internalize plasma HPRG. X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS performed on fresh preparations of rabbit skeletal muscle AMPD provided evidence for a dinuclear zinc site in the enzyme compatible with a (μ-aqua(μ-carboxylatodizinc(II core with two histidine residues at each metal site. XAS on HPRG isolated from the AMPD complex showed that zinc is bound to the protein in a dinuclear cluster where each Zn2+ ion is coordinated by three histidine and one heavier ligand, likely sulfur from cysteine. We describe the existence in mammalian HPRG of a specific zinc binding site distinct from the His-Pro-rich region. The participation of HPRG in the assembly and maintenance of skeletal muscle AMPD by acting as a zinc chaperone is also demonstrated.

  16. Jin Quan Museum Gives New Life to Ancient Coins

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    The saying goes that ""ancient coins are living history"". The rusty ancient coins that appeared in China's 5,000 years of history, such as seashells, Bu Bi (spade-shaped money), Dao Bi (knife-shaped money), Banliang coins from Qin Dynasty and Wuzhu coins from Han Dynasty, are all the reflections of the China's splendid traditions in politics,

  17. An Ancient Inca Tax and Metallurgy in Peru (United States)

    Journal of Chemical Education, 2007


    The discovery of ancient Inca tax rulers and other metallurgical objects in Peru show that the ancient civilizations of the country smelted metals. The analysis shows that the smelters in Peru switched from the production of copper to silver after a tax was imposed on them by the Inca rulers.

  18. Deep sequencing of RNA from ancient maize kernels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fordyce, Sarah Louise; Avila Arcos, Maria del Carmen; Rasmussen, Morten


    The characterization of biomolecules from ancient samples can shed otherwise unobtainable insights into the past. Despite the fundamental role of transcriptomal change in evolution, the potential of ancient RNA remains unexploited - perhaps due to dogma associated with the fragility of RNA. We hy...

  19. Lip prints: The barcode of skeletal malocclusion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pradeep Raghav


    Full Text Available Introduction: In orthodontics, apart from essential diagnostic aids, there are so many soft tissue analyses in which lips are major part of concern. However, lip prints have never been used in orthodontics as diagnostic aid or forensic tool. Therefore, this study was designed to explore the possible association of lip prints with skeletal malocclusion. Materials and Methods: A sample of 114 subjects in the age group of 18-30 years, from North Indian adult population were selected on the basis of skeletal class I, class II and class III malocclusion, each comprising of 38 subjects with equal number of males and females. Lip prints of all the individuals were recorded and digital soft copies of lateral cephalograms were taken. Lip prints were compared between different skeletal malocclusions. Results: It was found that branched lip pattern was most common in North Indian adult population with no sexual dimorphism. The Z-test for proportion showed that the prevalence of vertical lip pattern was significantly higher in subjects having skeletal class III malocclusion. Conclusion: A definite co-relation of vertical lip patterns with skeletal class III malocclusion was revealed.

  20. Exploring Ancient Skies An Encyclopedic Survey of Archaeoastronomy

    CERN Document Server

    Kelley, David H


    Exploring Ancient Skies brings together the methods of archaeology and the insights of modern astronomy to explore the science of astronomy as it was practiced in various cultures prior to the invention of the telescope. The book reviews an enormous and growing body of literature on the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean, the Far East, and the New World (particularly Mesoamerica), putting the ancient astronomical materials into their archaeological and cultural contexts. The authors begin with an overview of the field and proceed to essential aspects of naked-eye astronomy, followed by an examination of specific cultures. The book concludes by taking into account the purposes of ancient astronomy: astrology, navigation, calendar regulation, and (not least) the understanding of our place and role in the universe. Skies are recreated to display critical events as they would have appeared to ancient observers - events such as the supernova of 1054, the 'lion horoscope' or the 'Star of Bethlehem.' Exploring An...

  1. Mitochondrial DNA analysis of ancient Sampula population in Xinjiang

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    The archaeological site of Sampula cemetery was located about 14 km to the southwest of the Luo County in Xinjiang Khotan, China, belonging to the ancient Yutian kingdom. 14C analysis showed that this cemetery was used from 217 B.C. to 283 A.D.Ancient DNA was analyzed by 364 bp of the mitochondrial DNA hypervariable region Ⅰ (mtDNA HVR-Ⅰ), and by six restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) sites of mtDNA coding region. We successfully extracted and sequenced intact stretches of maternally inherited mtDNA from 13 out of 16 ancient Sampula samples. The analysis of mtDNA haplogroup distribution showed that the ancient Sampula was a complex population with both European and Asian characteristics. Median joining network of U3 sub-haplogroup and multi-dimensional scaling analysis all showed that the ancient Sampula had maternal relationship with Ossetian and Iranian.

  2. [Changes of marriage age in ancient China]. (United States)

    Zhang, D


    The changes in age of marriage in ancient China can be classified into 3 periods. Around 680 B.C., the government set the age of marriage at 20 for men and at 15 for women. Even though it was written in the works of the Confucian school that men should marry at 30 and women at 20, it was never really followed. The Wei and Jin dynasties provided the longest periods of war and social instability. Large numbers of population died because of war or famine. Because heavy taxes were collected on each member of family, many families did not report marriage or childbirth. In order to encourage childbirth, the government reduced the age of marriage to 15 for men and 13 for women. Administrative and legislative regulation were introduced to force people to marry early, especially women. Incentives were given to families with more women. These policies was enforced due to the imbalance of the sex ratio and reduction of population size. As female infanticides were prevalent because of differential values placed on male and female children, it was difficult for men to find partners to marry. Shortage of women was also the result of the polygamy of the rich and the aristocracy. The imbalance of the sex ratio forced women to marry early. Nevertheless, women getting married too early were not fertile. Infant or child mortality was high among children of young mothers. From the Song to the Ching dynasties, the age of marriage was set at 16 for men and 14 for women. In the ancient times, the population of China was around 60-70 million before the Ching dynasty. Generally speaking, the population size was small. Early marriage was necessary and feasible. Even though fertility in ancient times was high, mortality has high also. Life expectancy ranged form 22 to 35. People needed to marry early and have children early to replace themselves. On the other hand, large land areas and inefficient production tools required a larger labor force. Large population size also represented

  3. Cosmologies of the ancient Mediterranean world

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John T. Fitzgerald


    Full Text Available Cosmology is concerned with the order of the universe and seeks to provide an account, not only of that order, but also of the mind or reason behind it. In antiquity, the cosmos was usually understood religiously, such that the cosmologies of the ancient Mediterranean world were either religious in nature or constituted a reaction to a religiously conceived understanding of the structures of the universe. The oldest form in which ancient cosmologies occur is myth, which, owing to its elasticity as a form, enabled them to be appropriated, adapted and used by different groups. In addition, different cosmologies co-existed within the same ancient culture, each having an authoritative status. This article provides an introductory overview of these cosmological myths and argues that a comparative approach is the most fruitful way to study them. Emphasis is given to certain prominent cosmological topics, including theogony (the genesis of the divine or the relationship of the divine to the cosmos, cosmogony (the genesis of the cosmos, and anthropogony (the origin of humans within the cosmos. Although these myths vary greatly in terms of content and how they envision the origin of the cosmos, many of them depict death as part of the structure of the universe.Kosmologie het te doen met die orde van die heelal en wil rekenskap gee van hierdie orde en ook van die bewussyn daaragter. In die antieke tyd is die kosmos gewoonlik godsdienstig verstaan, met die gevolg dat die kosmologieë van die antieke Mediterreense wêreld óf ’n godsdienstige aard gehad het óf bestaan het uit ’n reaksie op ’n godsdienstig-geskepte begrip van die strukture van die heelal. Mites was die oudste vorm waarin antieke kosmologieë voorkom wat vanweë hulle plooibaarheid dit bewerk het dat hierdie kosmologieë deur verskillende groepe toegeëien, aangepas en gebruik kon word. Hierbenewens het verskillende kosmologieë in die antieke kultuur langs mekaar bestaan – elkeen

  4. How Do Theories of Cognition and Consciousness in Ancient Indian Thought Systems Relate to Current Western Theorizing and Research?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter eSedlmeier


    Full Text Available Unknown to most Western psychologists, ancient Indian scriptures contain very rich, empirically derived psychological theories that are, however, intertwined with religious and philosophical content. This article represents our attempt to extract the psychological theory of cognition and consciousness from a prominent ancient Indian thought system: Samkhya-Yoga. We derive rather broad hypotheses from this approach that may complement and extend Western mainstream theorizing. These hypotheses address an ancient personality theory, the effects of practicing the applied part of Samkhya-Yoga on normal and extraordinary cognition, as well as different ways of perceiving reality. We summarize empirical evidence collected (mostly without reference to the Indian thought system in diverse fields of research that allows for making judgments about the hypotheses, and suggest more specific hypotheses to be examined in future research. We conclude that the existing evidence for the (broad hypotheses is substantial but that there are still considerable gaps in theory and research to be filled. Theories of cognition contained in the ancient Indian systems have the potential to modify and complement existing Western mainstream accounts of cognition. In particular, they might serve as a basis for arriving at more comprehensive theories for several research areas that, so far, lack strong theoretical grounding, such as meditation research or research on aspects of consciousness.

  5. Legacy of the Ancient World: An Educational Guide. Understanding Ancient Culture through Art at the Tampa Museum of Art. (United States)

    Whitelaw, R. Lynn

    Among the many contributions made by Ancient Greeks and Romans to contemporary life, are those which influence art, architecture, literature, philosophy, mathematics and science, theater, athletics, religion, and the founding of democracy. The Tampa Museum of Art's classical collection offers a unique opportunity to learn about Ancient Greeks and…

  6. Ancient Forests and the Tree-Ring Reconstruction of Past Climate (Ancient Forests and Dendroclimatology)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stahle, David (Tree-Ring Laboratory, University of Arkansas)


    The original presettlement forests of North America have been dramatically altered, but thousands of unmolested ancient forests survive on remote or noncommercial terrain, including dry-site eastern hardwoods such as chestnut oak and post oak, the pinyon-juniper woodlands of the semiarid West, oak woodlands of California and in northeast Mexico, and the boreal forests of Canada and Alaska. Long tree-ring chronologies derived from these ancient forest remnants provide irreplaceable archives of environmental variability which are crucial for evaluating present and future change. Temperature sensitive tree -ring chronologies from cold treeline environments place 20th century warming into long historical perspective, and moisture sensitive tree-ring chronologies provide analogs to the decadal moisture regimes of the 20th century. These tree-ring data suggests that the 16th century megadrought was the most severe-sustained drought to impact North America in 1500 years, and had huge environmental and social impacts at the dawn of European settlement.

  7. Ancient engineers' inventions precursors of the present

    CERN Document Server

    Rossi, Cesare


    This book describes the inventions and designs of ancient engineers who are the precursors of the present. The period ranges mainly from 300 B.C. to 1600 A.D. with several exceptions. Many of the oldest inventions are documented by archaeological finds, often very little known, mainly from Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae and reveal a surprising modernity in their conception. Most of the inventions presented in the first four parts of the book were conceived up to the late Roman Empire and may be considered as milestones, each in their respective field. The fifth part concentrates on more recent centuries. The sixth part deals with some building construction techniques. Generally, for each of the presented inventions, three elements of research and reference are provided: written documents (the classics), iconic references (coins, bas-reliefs, etc.) and archaeological findings. The authors did not write this book for engineers only; hence they describe all the devices without assuming wide technical knowledge...

  8. Damage and repair of ancient DNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mitchell, David; Willerslev, Eske; Hansen, Anders


    , and extensive degradation. In the course of this review, we will discuss the current aDNA literature describing the importance of aDNA studies as they relate to important biological questions and the difficulties associated with extracting useful information from highly degraded and damaged substrates derived......Under certain conditions small amounts of DNA can survive for long periods of time and can be used as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) substrates for the study of phylogenetic relationships and population genetics of extinct plants and animals, including hominids. Because of extensive DNA...... degradation, these studies are limited to species that lived within the past 10(4)-10(5) years (Late Pleistocene), although DNA sequences from 10(6) years have been reported. Ancient DNA (aDNA) has been used to study phylogenetic relationships of protists, fungi, algae, plants, and higher eukaryotes...

  9. Confocal Terahertz Imaging of Ancient Manuscripts (United States)

    Flammini, Mariano; Bonsi, Claudia; Ciano, Chiara; Giliberti, Valeria; Pontecorvo, Emanuele; Italia, Paola; DelRe, Eugenio; Ortolani, Michele


    Terahertz imaging has the potential to identify and decipher portions of ancient manuscripts, which may be unreadable at infrared and visible wavelengths. We use a scanning confocal terahertz microscope to scan a medieval parchment with music notes and pentagrams written with different inks. The microscope is based on a continuous-wave solid-state source at 0.3 THz, emitting in the free space with a horn antenna, and a high numerical-aperture ellipsoidal reflector. We present terahertz images with diffraction-limited lateral resolution of approximately 0.5 mm, where the different inks all give similar high contrast. Symbols written on the "verso" side of the parchment, barely glimpsed in the near-infrared photograph, leave a clear imprint in the terahertz images. Artifacts due to imperfect flatness of the parchment are also briefly discussed.

  10. The Ancient Evolutionary History of Polyomaviruses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher B Buck


    Full Text Available Polyomaviruses are a family of DNA tumor viruses that are known to infect mammals and birds. To investigate the deeper evolutionary history of the family, we used a combination of viral metagenomics, bioinformatics, and structural modeling approaches to identify and characterize polyomavirus sequences associated with fish and arthropods. Analyses drawing upon the divergent new sequences indicate that polyomaviruses have been gradually co-evolving with their animal hosts for at least half a billion years. Phylogenetic analyses of individual polyomavirus genes suggest that some modern polyomavirus species arose after ancient recombination events involving distantly related polyomavirus lineages. The improved evolutionary model provides a useful platform for developing a more accurate taxonomic classification system for the viral family Polyomaviridae.

  11. Optical spectroscopy of ancient paper and textiles (United States)

    Missori, M.


    Ancient paper and textiles represent a striking example of optically inhomogenous materials whose optical responses are strongly governed by scattering effects. In order to recover the absorption coefficient from non-invasive and non-destructive reflectance measurements a specific approach based on Kubelka-Munk two-flux theory must be applied. In this way quantitative chemical information, such as chromophores concentration, can be obtained, as well as quantitative spectra of additional substances such as pigments or dyes. Results on a folio of the Codex on the Flight of Birds by Leonardo da Vinci and a linen cloth dated back to 1653 and called the Shroud of Arquata, a copy of the Shroud of Turin, will be presented.

  12. Ancient Maya astronomical tables from Xultun, Guatemala. (United States)

    Saturno, William A; Stuart, David; Aveni, Anthony F; Rossi, Franco


    Maya astronomical tables are recognized in bark-paper books from the Late Postclassic period (1300 to 1521 C.E.), but Classic period (200 to 900 C.E.) precursors have not been found. In 2011, a small painted room was excavated at the extensive ancient Maya ruins of Xultun, Guatemala, dating to the early 9th century C.E. The walls and ceiling of the room are painted with several human figures. Two walls also display a large number of delicate black, red, and incised hieroglyphs. Many of these hieroglyphs are calendrical in nature and relate astronomical computations, including at least two tables concerning the movement of the Moon, and perhaps Mars and Venus. These apparently represent early astronomical tables and may shed light on the later books.

  13. Coal and cremation in ancient Peru (United States)

    Brooks, William E.


    After my visit to the adobe-walled archaeological site of Chan Chan, near Trujillo in northern Peru in the summer of 2000 (Geotimes, August 2003), my guide asked if I would like to see the metallurgical furnaces used by the Chimú, ancient residents and master metalsmiths of the region. Chan Chan was the capital of the Chimú Empire (A.D. 1100-1400) and the largest pre-Columbian city in the Americas. These furnaces, my guide explained, were where Andean gold, silver and copper ores were smelted and fabricated into jewelry, masks and plates sought by the Spaniards. We left the main part of the complex, followed a dusty trail, and arrived at a site marked by fresh-looking, redbrown, clinker-like debris.

  14. Study of ancient pottery from Slovakia (United States)

    Lipka, J.; Rausz, J.; Gajdošová, M.; Fusek, G.; Sitek, J.; Hucl, M.


    Ancient pottery samples collected from south-west Slovakia were studied through subjective observation and by Mössbauer spectroscopy. This method is convenient for determining the provenance and the manufacture of pottery. Transformations, induced by firing the clay and characterized by Mössbauer spectroscopy, give valuable information regarding the manufacture as, for instance, the final temperature of firing in it. The relative abundance of Fe2+ and Fe3+ determines the atmosphere used to fire a pottery. It has been found that the determination of the firing atmosphere obtained through the subjective observation is in good agreement with that obtained using Mössbauer spectroscopy. An unfired and fired clay was also investigated.

  15. Recognition of dementia in ancient China. (United States)

    Liu, Jia; Wang, Lu-Ning; Tian, Jin-Zhou


    A search of previous records in the literatures was done to summarize the opinions for dementia in ancient China. The earliest description of dementia was traced in the Yellow emperor's internal classic, a book written 2000 years ago. Hua Tuo (AD 140-208) in Han Dynasty first denominated "dementia" in the book, Hua Tuo Shen Yi Mi Zhuan. The pathogenesis of dementia could be generalized as the insufficiency of Qi, a flowing energy; the stagnation of phlegm, a harmful liquid substance in the body; and the blood stasis, which were also regarded as therapeutic targets. Therefore, we can conclude that dementia has been recognized and investigated in traditional Chinese medicine, which is definitely before the industrial civilization era.

  16. Homosexuality in ancient and modern Korea. (United States)

    Kim, Young-Gwan; Hahn, Sook-Ja


    This paper examines Korean views on the subject of male homosexuality. Using historical and contemporary sources, it seeks to explain elements of new cultural openness towards homosexuality in modern Korea. Korean people's understanding and knowledge of male homosexuality is ambiguous and limited. In the absence of knowledge and open communication, most Korean people imagine that male homosexuality is an abnormal and impure modern phenomenon. Prejudice and confusion lead most Korean male homosexuals to be estranged from their families, religious communities and non-homosexual peers. Moreover, they are often viewed as the 'carriers' of AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). The purpose of this paper is to examine current Korean perspectives on male homosexuality by exploring both the ancient history of the practice of male homosexuality and current thinking about homosexual life among Koreans, which has played an important part in the formation of contemporary attitudes toward homosexuality.

  17. Genetic engineering for skeletal regenerative medicine. (United States)

    Gersbach, Charles A; Phillips, Jennifer E; García, Andrés J


    The clinical challenges of skeletal regenerative medicine have motivated significant advances in cellular and tissue engineering in recent years. In particular, advances in molecular biology have provided the tools necessary for the design of gene-based strategies for skeletal tissue repair. Consequently, genetic engineering has emerged as a promising method to address the need for sustained and robust cellular differentiation and extracellular matrix production. As a result, gene therapy has been established as a conventional approach to enhance cellular activities for skeletal tissue repair. Recent literature clearly demonstrates that genetic engineering is a principal factor in constructing effective methods for tissue engineering approaches to bone, cartilage, and connective tissue regeneration. This review highlights this literature, including advances in the development of efficacious gene carriers, novel cell sources, successful delivery strategies, and optimal target genes. The current status of the field and the challenges impeding the clinical realization of these approaches are also discussed.

  18. Skeletal muscle as an immunogenic organ

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Søren; Pedersen, Bente Klarlund


    During the past few years, a possible link between skeletal muscle contractile activity and immune changes has been established. This concept is based on the finding that exercise provokes an increase in a number of cytokines. We have suggested that cytokines and other peptides that are produced......; expressed and released by muscle fibers and exert either paracrine or endocrine effects should be classified as 'myokines'. Human skeletal muscle has the capacity to express several myokines belonging to distinct different cytokine classes and contractile activity plays a role in regulating the expression...... of cytokines in skeletal muscle. In the present review, we focus on the myokines interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8 and IL-15 and their possible anti-inflammatory, immunoregulatory and metabolic roles....

  19. Intraurethral Injection of Autologous Minced Skeletal Muscle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gräs, Søren; Klarskov, Niels; Lose, Gunnar


    PURPOSE: Intraurethral injection of in vitro expanded autologous skeletal muscle derived cells is a new regenerative therapy for stress urinary incontinence. We examined the efficacy and safety of a simpler alternative strategy using freshly harvested, minced autologous skeletal muscle tissue...... with its inherent content of regenerative cells. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 20 and 15 women with uncomplicated and complicated stress urinary incontinence, respectively, received intraurethral injections of minced autologous skeletal muscle tissue and were followed for 1 year. Efficacy was assessed...... noted. CONCLUSIONS: Intraurethral injection of minced autologous muscle tissue is a simple surgical procedure that appears safe and moderately effective in women with uncomplicated stress urinary incontinence. It compares well to a more complicated regenerative strategy using in vitro expanded muscle...

  20. The benefits of coffee on skeletal muscle. (United States)

    Dirks-Naylor, Amie J


    Coffee is consumed worldwide with greater than a billion cups of coffee ingested every day. Epidemiological studies have revealed an association of coffee consumption with reduced incidence of a variety of chronic diseases as well as all-cause mortality. Current research has primarily focused on the effects of coffee or its components on various organ systems such as the cardiovascular system, with relatively little attention on skeletal muscle. Summary of current literature suggests that coffee has beneficial effects on skeletal muscle. Coffee has been shown to induce autophagy, improve insulin sensitivity, stimulate glucose uptake, slow the progression of sarcopenia, and promote the regeneration of injured muscle. Much more research is needed to reveal the full scope of benefits that coffee consumption may exert on skeletal muscle structure and function.

  1. Skeletal muscle regeneration in cancer cachexia. (United States)

    Bossola, Maurizio; Marzetti, Emanuele; Rosa, Fausto; Pacelli, Fabio


    Muscle wasting is the most important phenotypic and clinical feature of cancer cachexia, and the principal cause of impaired physical function, fatigue, and respiratory complications. Muscle loss has been attributed to a variable combination of reduced nutritional intake and an imbalance between anabolic and catabolic processes. It has been suggested that defective skeletal muscle regeneration may also contribute to muscle wasting in cancer patients. However, there is little in vitro or in vivo data available, in either animals or in humans, regarding skeletal muscle regeneration in cancer wasting. The aim of the present review is to define the role of skeletal muscle regeneration in the muscle wasting of cancer patients and to determine possible therapeutic implications.

  2. Effectiveness of interceptive treatment of class III malocclusions with skeletal anchorage: A systematic review and meta-analysis (United States)

    Rodríguez de Guzmán-Barrera, Jorge; Sáez Martínez, Carla; Boronat-Catalá, Montserrat; Montiel-Company, Jose María; Paredes-Gallardo, Vanessa; Gandía-Franco, José Luís; Almerich-Silla, José Manuel; Bellot-Arcís, Carlos


    Recently, new strategies for treating class III malocclusions have appeared. Skeletal anchorage appears to reduce the dentoalveolar effects while maximising the orthopaedic effect in growing patients. The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to examine the effectiveness of bone anchorage devices for interceptive treatment of skeletal class III malocclusions. Searches were made in the Pubmed, Embase, Scopus and Cochrane databases, as well as in a grey literature database, and were complemented by hand-searching. The criteria for eligibility were: patients who had undergone orthodontic treatment with skeletal anchorage (miniplates and miniscrews). Patients with syndromes or craniofacial deformities or who had undergone maxillofacial surgery were excluded. The following variables were recorded for each article: author, year of publication, type of study, sample size, dropouts, demographic variables, treatment carried out, radiographic study (2D or 3D), follow-up time, and quality of the articles on the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. The means and confidence intervals of the following variables were employed: Wits, overjet, ANB, SNA and SNB. Initially, 239 articles were identified. After removing the duplicates and applying the selection criteria, 9 were included in the qualitative synthesis and 7 in the quantitative synthesis (meta-analysis). It may be concluded that skeletal anchorage is an effective treatment for improving skeletal Class III malocclusion, but when compared with other traditional treatments such as disjunction and face mask, there is no clear evidence that skeletal anchorage improves the results. PMID:28328995

  3. [Medicine in ancient Mesopotamia - part 2]. (United States)

    Martins E Silva, J


    The second part embraces exclusively the main characteristics of the medicine in Ancient Mesopotamia, in its main facets: concept of disease, healers and practice. The disease was considered a divine punishment or resultant from a malign influence. Insofar, the medicine began by being preventive, by the use of appropriate amulets or by offerings or sacrifices intending to pacify those malign forces. The treatment of the generality of the diseases privileged the expulsion of those spirits and malign influences from the patient body, purifying it, which was done by the specific intervention of a approximately shipu (clergymanexorcist); not having results, the treatment was continued by the asû (practical healer) that appealed to a group of physical manipulations, limited surgical acts and the administration or application of prescriptions, resultants of the mixture of organic and inorganic substances. In case of failing, the patients (as well as common healthy individuals or rule leaders) could fall back upon a priest diviner (bârû) that, by examination of the organs of an animal especially sacrificed for, would give a final decision about the disease or the future. Besides this more occult facet, nourished in religious faiths and in the magic, the medicine of Ancient Mesopotamia included rational knowledge, certainly as the result of systematic patients observation and semiotic interpretation. From those observations and knowledge referred to the Sumerian period, carefully logged, refined and transmitted to the following generations, it was built a valuable group of texts with the description of symptoms, signs, diagnosis and prognostic of the most common diseases, still identifiable in the present.

  4. Influence of skeletal muscle satellite cells implanted into infarcted myocardium on remnant myocyte volumes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    钟竑; 朱洪生; 卫洪超; 张臻


    Objective To study the effects of skeletal muscle satellite cells implanted into infarcted myocardium on the volume of remnant myocytes.Methods Thirty-six adult mongrel canines were divided randomly into implantation group and control group. In the implantation group, skeletal muscle satellite cells taken from the gluteus maximus muscles of the dogs were cultured, proliferated and labeled with 4', 6-diamidino-2-phenylindone (DAPI) in vitro. In both groups, a model of acute myocardial infarction was established in every dog. In the implantation group, each dog was injected with M199 solution containing autologous skeletal muscle satellite cells. The dogs in the control group received M199 solution without skeletal muscle satellite cells. The dogs of both groups were killed 2, 4 and 8 weeks after implantation (six dogs in a separate group each time). Both infarcted myocardium and normal myocytes distal from the infracted regions isolated were observed under optical and fluorescent microscope. Their volumes were determined using a confocal microscopy image analysis system and analyzed using SAS. A P<0.05 was considered significant.Results A portion of the implanted cells differentiated into muscle fiber with striations and were connected with intercalated discs. Cross-sectional area and cell volume were increased in normal myocardium. Hypertrophy of remnant myocytes in the infarcted site after skeletal muscle cell implantation was much more evident than in the control group. Cross-sectional area, cell area and cell volume differed significantly from those of the control group (P< 0.05). Hypertrophy of the cells occurred predominantly in terms of width and thickness, whereas cell length remained unchanged. Conclusion Skeletal muscle satellite cells implanted into infarct myocardium, could induce the hypertrophy of remnant myocyte cells in the infarcted site and could also aid in the recovery of the contractile force of the infarcted myocardium.

  5. Climate change, social unrest and dynastic transition in ancient China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Dian; JIM Chiyung; LIN Chusheng; HE Yuanqing; LEE Fung


    The evident connection between human evolution and climatic changes has been concurred by scientists. Although many people are trying to forecast the impacts of climatic changes on our future society, there are not any studies to quantitatively scrutinize the interrelation between climatic changes and social developments by using historical data. In line with this knowledge gap, this study adopted a scientific approach to compare the paleoclimatic records with the historical data of wars, social unrests, and dynastic transitions in China spanned from the late Tang to Qing Dynasties. Results showed that war frequency in cold phases was much higher than that in mild phases. Besides, 70%-80% of war peaks and most of the dynastic transitions and nationwide social unrests in China took place in cold phases. This phenomenon could be attributed to the diminishing thermal energy input in cold phases resulting in the fall of land-productivity and hence, the deficiency of livelihood resources across society. Accompanied with certain social circumstances, this kind of ecological stress was transformed into wars and social unrests, followed by dynastic transitions in most of the cases. By closer examination, it was even found that war frequency was negatively correlated with temperature anomaly series. As land carrying capacities vary from one climatic zone to another, the magnitude of war- temperature association also differed among different geographic regions. It is suggested that climatic change was one of the most important factors in determining the dynastic cycle and alternation of war and peace in ancient China.

  6. Vasodilatory mechanisms in contracting skeletal muscle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clifford, Philip S.; Hellsten, Ylva


    Skeletal muscle blood flow is closely coupled to metabolic demand, and its regulation is believed to be mainly the result of the interplay of neural vasoconstrictor activity and locally derived vasoactive substances. Muscle blood flow is increased within the first second after a single contraction...... and stabilizes within 30 s during dynamic exercise under normal conditions. Vasodilator substances may be released from contracting skeletal muscle, vascular endothelium, or red blood cells. The importance of specific vasodilators is likely to vary over the time course of flow, from the initial rapid rise...

  7. Using ancient DNA to study the origins and dispersal of ancestral Polynesian chickens across the Pacific. (United States)

    Thomson, Vicki A; Lebrasseur, Ophélie; Austin, Jeremy J; Hunt, Terry L; Burney, David A; Denham, Tim; Rawlence, Nicolas J; Wood, Jamie R; Gongora, Jaime; Girdland Flink, Linus; Linderholm, Anna; Dobney, Keith; Larson, Greger; Cooper, Alan


    The human colonization of Remote Oceania remains one of the great feats of exploration in history, proceeding east from Asia across the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean. Human commensal and domesticated species were widely transported as part of this diaspora, possibly as far as South America. We sequenced mitochondrial control region DNA from 122 modern and 22 ancient chicken specimens from Polynesia and Island Southeast Asia and used these together with Bayesian modeling methods to examine the human dispersal of chickens across this area. We show that specific techniques are essential to remove contaminating modern DNA from experiments, which appear to have impacted previous studies of Pacific chickens. In contrast to previous reports, we find that all ancient specimens and a high proportion of the modern chickens possess a group of unique, closely related haplotypes found only in the Pacific. This group of haplotypes appears to represent the authentic founding mitochondrial DNA chicken lineages transported across the Pacific, and allows the early dispersal of chickens across Micronesia and Polynesia to be modeled. Importantly, chickens carrying this genetic signature persist on several Pacific islands at high frequencies, suggesting that the original Polynesian chicken lineages may still survive. No early South American chicken samples have been detected with the diagnostic Polynesian mtDNA haplotypes, arguing against reports that chickens provide evidence of Polynesian contact with pre-European South America. Two modern specimens from the Philippines carry haplotypes similar to the ancient Pacific samples, providing clues about a potential homeland for the Polynesian chicken.

  8. Malignant tumors in two ancient populations: An approach to historical tumor epidemiology. (United States)

    Nerlich, Andreas G; Rohrbach, Helmut; Bachmeier, Beatrice; Zink, Albert


    The actual increase in the rate of malignant tumors has been ascribed to a higher life expectancy and the influence of various environmental factors. Herein, we present data on the frequency of malignant tumors in paleopathologically well-defined historic populations. Thereby, we looked for malignant growth affecting the skeleton in three study populations of 905 individuals that have been excavated from the necropoles of Thebes-West and Abydos, Upper Egypt covering the time period between 3200 and 500 BC and 2547 individuals that have been buried in a Southern German ossuary dating from between AD 1400 and 1800. The tissue preservation of both the Egyptian and Southern German material was excellent. All available specimens were subjected to a very careful macroscopic examination; isolated findings were also radiologically investigated. In parallel, anthropological data, such as gender and age at death, were recorded. We identified 5 cases of malignant tumors affecting the skeleton in the Egyptian material and 13 cases affecting the skeletal material from Southern Germany. In most instances, multiple osteolytic lesions with slight osteoblastic reaction are strongly suggestive for metastatic carcinoma. Few cases with poorly reactive osteolyses were most compatible with plasmacytoma. Relative tumor frequencies on an age- and sex-adjusted population basis (using a mathematic model of skeletal involvement of malignant tumors in a well-defined English study population from AD 1901 to 1905) indicated that the tumor rates were not statistically different between ancient Egyptian, the historical Southern German and the recent English reference population. These observations indicate that malignant tumors were present in spatially and temporarily different populations over the last 4000 years with an age- and gender-adjusted frequency not different from Western industrial populations of c. 100 years ago. Therefore, we conclude that the current rise in tumor frequencies in

  9. Membrane Cholesterol in Skeletal Muscle: A Novel Player in Excitation-Contraction Coupling and Insulin Resistance (United States)

    Barrientos, G.; Sánchez-Aguilera, P.; Jaimovich, E.; Hidalgo, C.


    Membrane cholesterol is critical for signaling processes in a variety of tissues. We will address here current evidence supporting an emerging role of cholesterol on excitation-contraction coupling and glucose transport in skeletal muscle. We have centered our review on the transverse tubule system, a complex network of narrow plasma membrane invaginations that propagate membrane depolarization into the fiber interior and allow nutrient delivery into the fibers. We will discuss current evidence showing that transverse tubule membranes have remarkably high cholesterol levels and we will address how modifications of cholesterol content influence excitation-contraction coupling. In addition, we will discuss how membrane cholesterol levels affect glucose transport by modulating the insertion into the membrane of the main insulin-sensitive glucose transporter GLUT4. Finally, we will address how the increased membrane cholesterol levels displayed by obese animals, which also present insulin resistance, affect these two particular skeletal muscle functions. PMID:28367451

  10. Spatial distribution of an ancient agricultural oasis in Juyan, northwestern China (United States)

    Hu, Ningke; Li, Xin


    Activities related to agricultural cultivation are some of the major human drivers of landscape change on the Earth's surface. Archaeological remains can provide qualitative evidence for studies of past agricultural development and environmental conditions. The ancient Juyan Oasis, which once flourished along the historic Silk Road, was a typical oasis of downstream inland river basins in the arid zone of northwestern China. Historical records and archaeological discoveries have qualitatively shown that the oasis supported extensive agricultural activities in this historical period from the Han Dynasty to the early Ming Dynasty (B.C. 202-A.D. 1375), which can be traced back to 2,000 years ago. In this study, different types of archaeological remains (including archaeological sites, ground surface artifacts, ancient cultivation ruins, and agricultural irrigation canals) that were obtained and identified from previous archaeological reports, field inspections, and remote sensing imagery were used to determine the spatial extent of the agricultural oasis in the historical period of interest. Our approach used multiple data sources in order to increase the accuracy and reliability of the results compared to previous studies. Our results distinctly suggested that much of the oasis was cultivated during the historical periods considered. Additionally, the arable land area in the historical period considered was roughly estimated to be approximately (3.39-4.75) × 104 ha. These findings regarding the spatial distribution of this ancient agricultural oasis and its arable land were reasonably determined to represent the ancient agricultural development that occurred in the Juyan Oasis better than results obtained from single sources of data.

  11. The Ancient Habitability of Gale Crater, Mars, after Four Years of Exploration by Curiosity (United States)

    Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Gupta, Sanjeev; Mars Science Laboratory Science Team


    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover landed in August 2012 with the goal of assessing the habitability of environments dating from the Noachian-Hesperian boundary, a time when Mars was undergoing a major climatic change from wetter to drier conditions. The stratified and mineralogically diverse foothills of Gale crater's central mound, Aeolis Mons, retain a record of this key period. Prior to reaching Aeolis Mons, ancient habitable environments were found on the surrounding plains. At Yellowknife Bay, geological, geochemical, and mineralogical analyses of the lacustrine Sheepbed mudstone indicated a near-neutral pH and low salinity environment with the key chemical elements required by life and potential sources of energy to fuel microbial metabolism. As the rover traversed across the plains, evidence for ancient fluvial and deltaic systems pointed toward the hypothesis that lower Aeolis Mons was built up from sediments deposited within a series of lakes that once filled the central basin of the crater. Upon reaching the mountain in September 2014, Curiosity found an array of fluvial, lacustrine, and aeolian strata that also show a complex pattern of post-depositional alteration. The basal outcrops that form the lowest stratigraphic unit of Aeolis Mons, the Murray formation, are characterized predominantly by mudstones with minor intercalated sandstones. The mudstone facies show abundant fine-scale planar laminations throughout the Murray formation succession and are interpreted to record deposition in an ancient lacustrine system in Gale crater. Curiosity has explored 40 m of the ~ 200-m thick Murray formation. If the entire section is lacustrine, it would imply that lakes were stable in Gale crater over a period of at least millions of years, challenging present climate models that cannot account for the temperate and humid conditions needed to sustain long-lived open lakes on early Mars. This presentation will review how Curiosity's geological and

  12. The Collapse of Ancient Societies by Great Earthquakes (United States)

    Nur, A. M.


    Although earthquakes have often been associated with inexplicable past societal disasters their impact has thought to be only secondary for two reasons: Inconclusive archaeological interpretation of excavated destruction, and misconceptions about patterns of seismicity. However, new and revised archaeological evidence and a better understanding of the irregularities of the time-space patterns of large earthquakes together suggest that earthquakes (and associated tsunamis) have probably been responsible for some of the great and enigmatic catastrophes in ancient times. The most relevant aspect of seismicity is the episodic time-space clustering of earthquakes such as during the eastern Mediterranean seismic crisis in the second half of the 4th century AD and the seismicity of the north Anatolian fault during our century. During these earthquake clusters, plate boundary rupture by a series of large earthquakes that occur over a period of only 50 to 100 years or so, followed by hundreds or even thousands of years of relative inactivity. The extent of the destruction by such rare but powerful earthquake clusters must have been far greater than similar modern events due to poorer construction and the lack of any earthquake preparedness in ancient times. The destruction by very big earthquakes also made ancient societies so vulnerable because so much of the wealth and power was concentrated and protected by so few. Thus the breaching by an earthquake of the elite's fortified cities must have often led to attacks by (1) external enemies during ongoing wars (e.g., Joshua and Jericho, Arab attack on Herod's Jerusalem in 31 BCE); (2) neighbors during ongoing conflicts (e.g., Mycenea's fall in @1200 BCE, Saul's battle at Michmash @1020 BCE); and (3) uprisings of poor and often enslaved indigenous populations (e.g., Sparta and the Helots @465 BCE, Hattusas @1200 BCE?, Teotihuacan @ 700 AD). When the devastation was by a local earthquake, during a modest conflict, damage was


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Umile Giuseppe Longo


    advantages to provide slowly absorbed carbohydrates, to be provide high energy, and to be easily digestible. It provided good intestinal ballast, and was able to restore the energy reserves of the organism (Fornaris and Aubert, 1998; Lemon et al., 1992. The best fighters in the ancient world were essentially vegetarian.Protein requirements for strength-trained or training athletes are elevated above those of sedentary individuals (Lemon et al., 1992. However, the Institute of Medicine concluded that the evidence for increased requirements for physically active individuals was not compelling, and suggested that the recommended dietary allowance (RDA of 0.8 g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day was appropriate for healthy adults undertaking resistance or endurance exercise (Washington, 2002. The question of whether vegetarianism is associated with beneficial or detrimental effects on athletic performance has also been considered (Nieman, 1988, 1999. Observational studies of vegetarian and non-vegetarian athletes (Hanne et al., 1986 have found no differences in performance or fitness associated with the amount of animal protein consumed. Short-term interventional studies in which subjects consumed vegetarian or non-vegetarian diets for test periods (ranging from 2 to 6 wk also detected no difference in performance parameters based on the presence or absence of foods derived from animal tissues (Nieman, 1988. In line with these findings, previous reviews of the scientific literature have concluded that a well-planned and varied vegetarian diet can meet the needs of athletes, as it was for Roman gladiators or legionnaires

  14. Retroperitoneal ancient schwannoma: Review of clinico-radiological features

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Loke, T.K.L.; Lo, K.K.L.; Lo, J.; Chan, J.C.S. [United Christian Hospital, Kwun Tong, (Hong Kong). Department of Diagnostics Radiology; Yuen, N.W.F. [United Christian Hospital, Kwun Tong, (Hong Kong). Department of Histopathology


    A case is reported here of an ancient schwannoma in the retroperitoneum. The findings of abdominal ultrasound and CT in a patient with a retroperitoneal ancient schwannoma are presented, and the clinical and radiological features of this unusual tumour are reviewed. The presence of a large, well-delineated complex cystic mass in the deep soft tissues should raise the possibility of an ancient schwannoma. It is important to recognize these tumours as benign with excellent prognosis so as to avoid unnecessary radical surgery. Copyright (1998) Blackwell Science Pty Ltd 12 refs., 2 figs.

  15. Change of ancient hydrology net in Northeast China Plain

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hui QU; Yu CHU; Fenglong ZHANG; Fuli QI; Xiangkui YANG


    Comparing with lithofacies palaeogeography of several great plains, the authors analyzed four great plains in Quaternary diastrophism, the sedimentary facies, sedimentary environment and their evolution from the independent embryonic and river system of ancient Heilongjiang finally to the Halar highland, Songnen Plain, Sanjiang Plain, the Xingkai Lake Plain and various river systems, collected the unification outside the system of Heilongjiang River to release into the sea, south ancient Xialiao River finally piracy Dongliao River, Xialiao River had released into the sea the ancient water law vicissitude and the evolved rule.

  16. Exercise-induced stem cell activation and its implication for cardiovascular and skeletal muscle regeneration. (United States)

    Wahl, Patrick; Brixius, Klara; Bloch, Wilhelm


    A number of publications have provided evidence that exercise and physical activity are linked to the activation, mobilization, and differentiation of various types of stem cells. Exercise may improve organ regeneration and function. This review summarizes mechanisms by which exercise contributes to stem cell-induced regeneration in the cardiovascular and the skeletal muscle system. In addition, it discusses whether exercise may improve and support stem cell transplantation in situations of cardiovascular disease or muscular dystrophy.

  17. Taming the Past: Ancient DNA and the Study of Animal Domestication. (United States)

    MacHugh, David E; Larson, Greger; Orlando, Ludovic


    During the last decade, ancient DNA research has been revolutionized by the availability of increasingly powerful DNA sequencing and ancillary genomics technologies, giving rise to the new field of paleogenomics. In this review, we show how our understanding of the genetic basis of animal domestication and the origins and dispersal of livestock and companion animals during the Upper Paleolithic and Neolithic periods is being rapidly transformed through new scientific knowledge generated with paleogenomic methods. These techniques have been particularly informative in revealing high-resolution patterns of artificial and natural selection and evidence for significant admixture between early domestic animal populations and their wild congeners.

  18. Proteomic analysis of a pleistocene mammoth femur reveals more than one hundred ancient bone proteins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cappellini, E.; Jensen, L.J.; Szklarczyk, D.;


    We used high-sensitivity, high-resolution tandem mass spectrometry to shotgun sequence ancient protein remains extracted from a 43 000 year old woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) bone preserved in the Siberian permafrost. For the first time, 126 unique protein accessions, mostly low...... evidence was observed of amino acid modifications due to post-mortem hydrolytic and oxidative damage. A consistent subset of this permafrost bone proteome was also identified in more recent Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi) samples from temperate latitudes, extending the potential of the approach...

  19. Skeletal Stability after Large Mandibular Advancement (> 10 mm) with Bilateral Sagittal Split Osteotomy and Skeletal Elastic Intermaxillary Fixation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schwartz, Kristoffer; Rodrigo, Maria; Jensen, Thomas


    : A total of 33 consecutive patients underwent bimaxillary surgery to correct skeletal Class II malocclusion with a mandibular advancement (> 10 mm) measured at B-point and postoperative skeletal elastic intermaxillary fixation for 16 weeks. Skeletal stability was evaluated using lateral cephalometric...

  20. Skeletal maturation determined by cervical vertebrae development. (United States)

    San Román, Paloma; Palma, Juan Carlos; Oteo, M Dolores; Nevado, Esther


    The aim of this study was to determine the validity of cervical vertebrae radiographic assessment to predict skeletal maturation. Left hand-wrist and lateral cephalometric radiographs of 958 Spanish children from 5 to 18 years of age were measured. On the left hand-wrist radiographs the classification of Grave and Brown was used to assess skeletal maturation. Cervical vertebrae maturation was evaluated with lateral cephalometric radiographs using the stages described by Lamparski and by Hassel and Farman. A new method to evaluate the cervical maturation by studying the changes in the concavity of the lower border, height, and shape of the vertebral body was created. Correlation coefficients were calculated to establish the relationship between skeletal maturation values obtained by the three classifications of vertebral and skeletal maturation measured at the wrist. All correlation values obtained were statistically significant (P vertebral bodies to evaluate the maturation stage has been designed. In the population investigated, this method is as accurate as the Hassel and Farman classification and superior to the Lamparski classification. The morphological vertebral parameter best able to estimate the maturation is the concavity of the lower border of the body.

  1. Engineering skeletal muscle tissue in bioreactor systems

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    An Yang; Li Dong


    Objective To give a concise review of the current state of the art in tissue engineering (TE) related to skeletal muscle and kinds of bioreactor environment.Data sources The review was based on data obtained from the published articles and guidelines.Study selection A total of 106 articles were selected from several hundred original articles or reviews.The content of selected articles is in accordance with our purpose and the authors are authorized scientists in the study of engineered muscle tissue in bioreactor.Results Skeletal muscle TE is a promising interdisciplinary field which aims at the reconstruction of skeletal muscle loss.Although numerous studies have indicated that engineering skeletal muscle tissue may be of great importance in medicine in the near future,this technique still represents a limited degree of success.Since tissue-engineered muscle constructs require an adequate connection to the vascular system for efficient transport of oxygen,carbon dioxide,nutrients and waste products.Moreover,functional and clinically applicable muscle constructs depend on adequate neuromuscular junctions with neural calls.Third,in order to engineer muscle tissue successfully,it may be beneficial to mimic the in vivo environment of muscle through association with adequate stimuli from bioreactors.Conclusion Vascular system and bioreactors are necessary for development and maintenance of engineered muscle in order to provide circulation within the construct.

  2. miRNAs Related to Skeletal Diseases. (United States)

    Seeliger, Claudine; Balmayor, Elizabeth R; van Griensven, Martijn


    miRNAs as non-coding, short, double-stranded RNA segments are important for cellular biological functions, such as proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. miRNAs mainly contribute to the inhibition of important protein translations through their cleavage or direct repression of target messenger RNAs expressions. In the last decade, miRNAs got in the focus of interest with new publications on miRNAs in the context of different diseases. For many types of cancer or myocardial damage, typical signatures of local or systemically circulating miRNAs have already been described. However, little is known about miRNA expressions and their molecular effect in skeletal diseases. An overview of published studies reporting miRNAs detection linked with skeletal diseases was conducted. All regulated miRNAs were summarized and their molecular interactions were illustrated. This review summarizes the involvement and interaction of miRNAs in different skeletal diseases. Thereby, 59 miRNAs were described to be deregulated in tissue, cells, or in the circulation of osteoarthritis (OA), 23 miRNAs deregulated in osteoporosis, and 107 miRNAs deregulated in osteosarcoma (OS). The molecular influences of miRNAs regarding OA, osteoporosis, and OS were illustrated. Specific miRNA signatures for skeletal diseases are described in the literature. Some overlapped, but also unique ones for each disease exist. These miRNAs may present useful targets for the development of new therapeutic approaches and are candidates for diagnostic evaluations.

  3. Space travel directly induces skeletal muscle atrophy (United States)

    Vandenburgh, H.; Chromiak, J.; Shansky, J.; Del Tatto, M.; Lemaire, J.


    Space travel causes rapid and pronounced skeletal muscle wasting in humans that reduces their long-term flight capabilities. To develop effective countermeasures, the basis of this atrophy needs to be better understood. Space travel may cause muscle atrophy indirectly by altering circulating levels of factors such as growth hormone, glucocorticoids, and anabolic steroids and/or by a direct effect on the muscle fibers themselves. To determine whether skeletal muscle cells are directly affected by space travel, tissue-cultured avian skeletal muscle cells were tissue engineered into bioartificial muscles and flown in perfusion bioreactors for 9 to 10 days aboard the Space Transportation System (STS, i.e., Space Shuttle). Significant muscle fiber atrophy occurred due to a decrease in protein synthesis rates without alterations in protein degradation. Return of the muscle cells to Earth stimulated protein synthesis rates of both muscle-specific and extracellular matrix proteins relative to ground controls. These results show for the first time that skeletal muscle fibers are directly responsive to space travel and should be a target for countermeasure development.

  4. The Human Skeletal Muscle Proteome Project

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gonzalez-Freire, Marta; Semba, Richard D.; Ubaida-Mohien, Ceereena


    Skeletal muscle is a large organ that accounts for up to half the total mass of the human body. A progressive decline in muscle mass and strength occurs with ageing and in some individuals configures the syndrome of ‘sarcopenia’, a condition that impairs mobility, challenges autonomy, and is a ri...

  5. [Effects of lycopene on the skeletal system]. (United States)

    Sołtysiak, Patrycja; Folwarczna, Joanna


    Antioxidant substances of plant origin, such as lycopene, may favorably affect the skeletal system. Lycopene is a carotenoid pigment, responsible for characteristic red color of tomatoes. It is believed that lycopene may play a role in the prevention of various diseases; despite theoretical premises and results of experimental studies, the effectiveness of lycopene has not yet been clearly demonstrated in studies carried out in humans. The aim of the study was to present the current state of knowledge on the effects of lycopene on the osseous tissue in in vitro and in vivo experimental models and on the skeletal system in humans. Results of the studies indicate that lycopene may inhibit bone resorption. Favorable effects of high doses of lycopene on the rat skeletal system in experimental conditions, including the model of osteoporosis induced by estrogen deficiency, have been demonstrated. The few epidemiological and clinical studies, although not fully conclusive, suggest a possible beneficial effect of lycopene present in the diet on the skeletal system.

  6. Osteomyelitis in burn patients requiring skeletal fixation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Barret, JP; Desai, MH; Herndon, DN


    Deep and severe burns often present with the exposure of musculoskeletal structures and severe deformities. Skeletal fixation, suspension and/or traction are part of their comprehensive treatment. Several factors put burn patients at risk for osteomyelitis, osteosynthesis material being one of them.

  7. Training induced adaptation in horse skeletal muscle

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dam, K.G. van


    It appears that the physiological and biochemical adaptation of skeletal muscle to training in equine species shows a lot of similarities with human and rodent physiological adaptation. On the other hand it is becoming increasingly clear that intra-cellular mechanisms of adaptation (substrate transp

  8. Potential role of TBC1D4 in enhanced post-exercise insulin action in human skeletal muscle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Treebak, Jonas Thue; Frøsig, Christian; Pehmøller, Christian


    insulin stimulation. CONCLUSION/INTERPRETATION: We provide evidence for site-specific phosphorylation of TBC1D4 in human skeletal muscle in response to physiological hyperinsulinaemia. The data support the idea that TBC1D4 is a nexus for insulin- and exercise-responsive signals that may mediate increased...... insulin action after exercise....

  9. Patterns of East Asian pig domestication, migration, and turnover revealed by modern and ancient DNA. (United States)

    Larson, Greger; Liu, Ranran; Zhao, Xingbo; Yuan, Jing; Fuller, Dorian; Barton, Loukas; Dobney, Keith; Fan, Qipeng; Gu, Zhiliang; Liu, Xiao-Hui; Luo, Yunbing; Lv, Peng; Andersson, Leif; Li, Ning


    The establishment of agricultural economies based upon domestic animals began independently in many parts of the world and led to both increases in human population size and the migration of people carrying domestic plants and animals. The precise circumstances of the earliest phases of these events remain mysterious given their antiquity and the fact that subsequent waves of migrants have often replaced the first. Through the use of more than 1,500 modern (including 151 previously uncharacterized specimens) and 18 ancient (representing six East Asian archeological sites) pig (Sus scrofa) DNA sequences sampled across East Asia, we provide evidence for the long-term genetic continuity between modern and ancient Chinese domestic pigs. Although the Chinese case for independent pig domestication is supported by both genetic and archaeological evidence, we discuss five additional (and possibly) independent domestications of indigenous wild boar populations: one in India, three in peninsular Southeast Asia, and one off the coast of Taiwan. Collectively, we refer to these instances as "cryptic domestication," given the current lack of corroborating archaeological evidence. In addition, we demonstrate the existence of numerous populations of genetically distinct and widespread wild boar populations that have not contributed maternal genetic material to modern domestic stocks. The overall findings provide the most complete picture yet of pig evolution and domestication in East Asia, and generate testable hypotheses regarding the development and spread of early farmers in the Far East.

  10. [Medicine in ancient Mesopotamia--part 1]. (United States)

    Martins E Silva, J


    The present work summarizes the more elucidating aspects on the foundations and the practice of the medicine in Antique Mesopotamia, since the invention of the writing, more than 5000 thousand years ago, and the beginning of our era. The first part of the article includes a brief perspective about the political and social evolution that characterized those archaic civilizations, as well as the inventions and knowledge further used by the following Humanity's generations. Most of what is known on the subject, as well as the history and political-social events that occurred in the region during that remote epoch, resulted of the laborious decoding of about half a million small clay plates or fragments with text engravings in cuneiform characters that were discovered since the middle of the XIX century in the ruins of the main cities of the Babylonian and Assyrian empires. The second part embraces exclusively the main characteristics of the medicine in Ancient Mesopotamia, in its main facets: concept of disease, healers and practice. The disease was considered a divine punishment or resultant from a malign influence. In that base, the medicine began by being preventive, by the use of appropriate amulets, or by offerings or sacrifices intending to pacify those malign forces. The treatment of the generality of the diseases privileged the expulsion of those spirits and malign influences from the patient body, purifying it, which was done by the specific intervention of an ãshipu (clergyman-exorcist); not having results, the treatment was continued by the asû (practical healer) that appealed to a group of physical manipulations, limited surgical acts and the administration or application of prescriptions, resultants of the mixture of organic and inorganic substances. In case of failing, the patients (as well as individuals or rein leaders) could fall back upon a priest diviner (bârû) who, by examination of the organs of an animal especially sacrificed for the effect

  11. Magnetic resonance imaging of the skeletal musculature

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weber, Marc-Andre (ed.) [Univ. Hospital Heidelberg (Germany). Diagnostic and Intverventional Radiology


    Comprehensive overview of the value of cutting-edge MRI for the assessment of normal and diseased skeletal muscle. Presents research findings in respect of the role of modern morphological and functional MRI techniques. Provides examples of the added value provided by these techniques when evaluating muscular diseases. Although muscular diseases are a huge and heterogeneous group, in most cases of progressive disease the result is focal or general muscular weakness that presents as an unspecific symptom. Imaging techniques that offer differential diagnostic clues are therefore urgently needed. Despite this, MRI has to date often been assigned a subsidiary role in the diagnostic work-up of these diseases owing to the frequent inability of routine MRI protocols to detect pathognomonic findings. This situation is changing with the advent of modern MRI techniques that offer deeper insights into surrogate pathophysiologic parameters, such as muscular microcirculation, sodium homeostasis, energy and lipid metabolism, and muscle fiber architecture. Much higher levels of acceptance and demand by clinicians can be anticipated for these new techniques in the near future, and radiologists will have to face up to the increasing value of MRI of the skeletal musculature. In this book, recognized experts from around the world provide a comprehensive overview of the value of cutting-edge MRI for the assessment of normal and diseased skeletal muscle. A range of aspects are covered, from the general role of MRI in imaging the skeletal musculature, including in comparison with ultrasonography, through to the current value of MRI in the diagnostic work-up of different diseases. In addition, several chapters present research findings in respect of modern morphological and functional MRI techniques for assessment of the skeletal musculature and provide examples of the added value provided by these techniques when evaluating muscular diseases.

  12. Chronic hypobaric hypoxia mediated skeletal muscle atrophy: role of ubiquitin-proteasome pathway and calpains. (United States)

    Chaudhary, Pooja; Suryakumar, Geetha; Prasad, Rajendra; Singh, Som Nath; Ali, Shakir; Ilavazhagan, Govindsamy


    The most frequently reported symptom of exposure to high altitude is loss of body mass and decreased performance which has been attributed to altered protein metabolism affecting skeletal muscles mass. The present study explores the mechanism of chronic hypobaric hypoxia mediated skeletal muscle wasting by evaluating changes in protein turnover and various proteolytic pathways. Male Sprague-Dawley rats weighing about 200 g were exposed to hypobaric hypoxia (7,620 m) for different durations of exposure. Physical performance of rats was measured by treadmill running experiments. Protein synthesis, protein degradation rates were determined by (14)C-Leucine incorporation and tyrosine release, respectively. Chymotrypsin-like enzyme activity of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway and calpains were studied fluorimetrically as well as using western blots. Declined physical performance by more than 20%, in terms of time taken in exhaustion on treadmill, following chronic hypobaric hypoxia was observed. Compared to 1.5-fold increase in protein synthesis, the increase in protein degradation was much higher (five-folds), which consequently resulted in skeletal muscle mass loss. Myofibrillar protein level declined from 46.79 ± 1.49 mg/g tissue at sea level to 37.36 ± 1.153 (P calpains (three-fold) has been found to be important factors for the enhanced protein degradation rate. The study provided strong evidences suggesting that elevated protein turnover rate lead to skeletal muscle atrophy under chronic hypobaric hypoxia via ubiquitin-proteasome pathway and calpains.

  13. Natural History of Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis in Skeletally Mature Patients: A Critical Review. (United States)

    Agabegi, Steven S; Kazemi, Namdar; Sturm, Peter F; Mehlman, Charles T


    The surgical treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is dependent on several factors, including curve type and magnitude, degree of curve progression, skeletal maturity, and other considerations, such as pain and cosmesis. The most common indication for surgery is curve progression. Most authors agree that surgical treatment should be considered in skeletally mature patients with curves > 50° because of the risk of progression into adulthood. Furthermore, most authors would agree that curves measuring < 40° to 45° in skeletally mature patients should be observed. When a skeletally mature patient with a curve measuring between 45° to 55° is presenting to an orthopaedic surgeon, it is not uncommon that the patient has no pain, no progression, and no imbalance. The generally accepted belief has been that curves that reach 50° are likely to progress into adulthood, progressing at a rate of 1° per year, based largely on the Iowa studies. However, the level of evidence for this is relatively weak, and the existing literature is equivocal in supporting the practice of performing surgery on these patients.

  14. The genetic basis of facial skeletal characteristics and its relation with orthodontics (United States)

    Cakan, Derya Germec; Ulkur, Feyza; Taner, Tulin (Uğur)


    Successful treatment of any orthodontic problem depends on an appropriate diagnosis of its etiology. It is well known that the genetics, as well as environmental factors, play an important role on the etiology of skeletal anomalies. Recent studies and advances in genetic sciences allowed the orthodontists to better understand the effects of genetics on the etiology of dentofacial characteristics and pathologies which in turn supported the effects of the genes in the development of dentofacial complex. In orthodontic practice, the genetic basis of a skeletal anomaly should also be considered during the diagnosis. Therefore orthodontic treatment plan should be chosen accordingly. However, further genetic studies are required to clearly determine all the specific genes leading to a particular skeletal variability caused by the polygenic nature of craniofacial traits. This article includes the current information on the association between orthodontics and genetics, an outline of the evidence based impact of heredity on dentofacial development as a review of the etiological factors of skeletal anomalies from the genetic point of view. PMID:22904665

  15. Methotrexate Increases Skeletal Muscle GLUT4 Expression and Improves Metabolic Control in Experimental Diabetes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppina T. Russo


    Full Text Available Long-term administration of 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleoside (AICAR mimics the effects of endurance exercise by activating AMP kinase and by increasing skeletal muscle expression of GLUT4 glucose transporter. AICAR is an intermediate in the purine de novo synthesis, and its tissue concentrations can be increased, in vivo, by low doses of methotrexate (MTX through the inhibition of the enzyme AICAR transformylase. We report here the first evidence that, in experimental type 2 diabetes, chronic treatment with low doses of MTX increases skeletal muscle GLUT4 expression and improves metabolic control. MTX (0.5 mg/kg body weight or vehicle was administered intraperitoneally, once a week for 4 weeks, to genetically diabetic female C57BL/KsJ-m+/+Leptdb mice (db+/db+ and their normoglycemic littermates (db+/+m. In the db+/db+ mice, MTX treatment was associated with a ∼2-fold increase in skeletal muscle GLUT4 protein concentration and a >4-fold increase in GLUT4 mRNA expression (P<0.01, all, as compared to vehicle-treated mice; no significant differences were noted in controls. MTX treatment was also associated with a significant reduction of glucose and insulin serum concentrations in diabetic mice (P<0.001, and glucose levels only (P<0.05 in controls. These data indicate a different route to increase skeletal muscle GLUT4 expression, through the potential inhibition of the enzyme AICAR transformylase.

  16. Developmental Programming in Response to Intrauterine Growth Restriction Impairs Myoblast Function and Skeletal Muscle Metabolism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. T. Yates


    Full Text Available Fetal adaptations to placental insufficiency alter postnatal metabolic homeostasis in skeletal muscle by reducing glucose oxidation rates, impairing insulin action, and lowering the proportion of oxidative fibers. In animal models of intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR, skeletal muscle fibers have less myonuclei at birth. This means that myoblasts, the sole source for myonuclei accumulation in fibers, are compromised. Fetal hypoglycemia and hypoxemia are complications that result from placental insufficiency. Hypoxemia elevates circulating catecholamines, and chronic hypercatecholaminemia has been shown to reduce fetal muscle development and growth. We have found evidence for adaptations in adrenergic receptor expression profiles in myoblasts and skeletal muscle of IUGR sheep fetuses with placental insufficiency. The relationship of β-adrenergic receptors shifts in IUGR fetuses because Adrβ2 expression levels decline and Adrβ1 expression levels are unaffected in myofibers and increased in myoblasts. This adaptive response would suppress insulin signaling, myoblast incorporation, fiber hypertrophy, and glucose oxidation. Furthermore, this β-adrenergic receptor expression profile persists for at least the first month in IUGR lambs and lowers their fatty acid mobilization. Developmental programming of skeletal muscle adrenergic receptors partially explains metabolic and endocrine differences in IUGR offspring, and the impact on metabolism may result in differential nutrient utilization.

  17. The therapeutic potential of skeletal muscle plasticity in Duchenne muscular dystrophy: phenotypic modifiers as pharmacologic targets. (United States)

    Ljubicic, Vladimir; Burt, Matthew; Jasmin, Bernard J


    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a life-limiting, neuromuscular disorder that causes progressive, severe muscle wasting in boys and young men. Although there is no cure, scientists and clinicians can leverage the fact that slower, more oxidative skeletal muscle fibers possess an enhanced degree of resistance to the dystrophic pathology relative to their faster, more glycolytic counterparts, and can thus use this knowledge when investigating novel therapeutic avenues. Several factors have been identified as powerful regulators of muscle plasticity. Some proteins, such as calcineurin, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) γ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α), PPARβ/δ, and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), when chronically stimulated in animal models, remodel skeletal muscle toward the slow, oxidative myogenic program, whereas others, such as receptor-interacting protein 140 (RIP140) and E2F transcription factor 1 (E2F1), repress this phenotype. Recent studies demonstrating that pharmacologic and physiological activation of targets that shift dystrophic muscle toward the slow, oxidative myogenic program provide appreciable molecular and functional benefits. This review surveys the rationale behind, and evidence for, the study of skeletal muscle plasticity in preclinical models of DMD and highlights the potential therapeutic opportunities in advancing a strategy focused on remodeling skeletal muscle in patients with DMD toward the slow, oxidative phenotype.

  18. Developmental programming in response to intrauterine growth restriction impairs myoblast function and skeletal muscle metabolism. (United States)

    Yates, D T; Macko, A R; Nearing, M; Chen, X; Rhoads, R P; Limesand, S W


    Fetal adaptations to placental insufficiency alter postnatal metabolic homeostasis in skeletal muscle by reducing glucose oxidation rates, impairing insulin action, and lowering the proportion of oxidative fibers. In animal models of intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), skeletal muscle fibers have less myonuclei at birth. This means that myoblasts, the sole source for myonuclei accumulation in fibers, are compromised. Fetal hypoglycemia and hypoxemia are complications that result from placental insufficiency. Hypoxemia elevates circulating catecholamines, and chronic hypercatecholaminemia has been shown to reduce fetal muscle development and growth. We have found evidence for adaptations in adrenergic receptor expression profiles in myoblasts and skeletal muscle of IUGR sheep fetuses with placental insufficiency. The relationship of β-adrenergic receptors shifts in IUGR fetuses because Adrβ2 expression levels decline and Adrβ1 expression levels are unaffected in myofibers and increased in myoblasts. This adaptive response would suppress insulin signaling, myoblast incorporation, fiber hypertrophy, and glucose oxidation. Furthermore, this β-adrenergic receptor expression profile persists for at least the first month in IUGR lambs and lowers their fatty acid mobilization. Developmental programming of skeletal muscle adrenergic receptors partially explains metabolic and endocrine differences in IUGR offspring, and the impact on metabolism may result in differential nutrient utilization.

  19. Arterio-venous balance studies of skeletal muscle fatty acid metabolism: what can we believe? (United States)

    Guo, ZengKui


    The arterio-venous balance (A-V balance/difference) technique has been used by a number of groups, including ours, to study skeletal muscle fatty acid metabolism. Several lines of evidence indicate that, like glycogen, intramyocellular triglycerides (imcTG) are an energy source for local use. As such, the report that increased release of free fatty acids (FFA) via lipolysis from skeletal muscle, but not from adipose tissue, is responsible for the increased systemic lipolysis during IL-6 infusion in healthy humans is somewhat unexpected (26). It appears that given the complex anatomy of human limbs, as to be discussed in this review, it is virtually impossible to determine whether any fatty acids being released into the venous circulation of an arm or leg derive from the lipolysis of intermuscular fat residing between muscle groups, intramuscular fat residing within muscle groups (between epimysium and perimysium, or bundles), or the intramyocellular triglyceride droplets (imcTG). In many cases, it may even be difficult to be confident that there is no contribution of FFA from subcutaneous adipose tissue. This question is fundamentally important as one attempts to interpret the results of skeletal muscle fatty acid metabolism studies using the A-V balance technique. In this Perspectives article, we examine the reported results of fatty acid kinetics obtained using the techniques to evaluate the degree of and how to minimize contamination when attempting to sample skeletal muscle-specific fatty acids. PMID:23941872

  20. Cruzipain induces autoimmune response against skeletal muscle and tissue damage in mice. (United States)

    Giordanengo, L; Fretes, R; Díaz, H; Cano, R; Bacile, A; Vottero-Cima, E; Gea, S


    The goal of the current study was to investigate whether cruzipain, a major Trypanosoma cruzi antigen, is able to induce in mice an autoimmune response and skeletal muscle damage. We demonstrate that immunization with cruzipain triggers immunoglobulin G antibody binding to a 210-kDa antigen from a syngeneic skeletal muscle extract. The absorption of immune sera with purified myosin completely eliminated this reactivity, confirming that the protein identified is really myosin. We also found that spleen cells from immunized mice proliferated in response to a skeletal muscle extract rich in myosin and to purified myosin. Cells from control mice did not proliferate against any of the antigens tested. In addition, we observed an increase in plasma creatine kinase activity, a biochemical marker of muscle damage. Histological studies showed inflammatory infiltrates and myopathic changes in skeletal muscle of immunized animals. Electromyographic studies of these mice revealed changes such as are found in inflammatory or necrotic myopathy. Altogether, our results suggest that this experimental model provides strong evidence for a pathogenic role of anticruzipain immune response in the development of muscle tissue damage.

  1. Autocrine and Paracrine Actions of IGF-I Signaling in Skeletal Development

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yongmei Wang; Daniel D. Bikle; Wenhan Chang


    Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) regulates cell growth, survival, and differentiation by acting on the IGF-I receptor, (IGF-IR)-a tyrosine kinase receptor, which elicits diverse intracellular signaling responses. All skeletal cells express IGF-I and IGF-IR. Recent studies using tissue/cell-specific gene knockout mouse models and cell culture techniques have clearly demonstrated that locally produced IGF-I is more critical than the systemic IGF-I in supporting embryonic and postnatal skeletal development and bone remodeling. Local IGF-I/IGF-IR signaling promotes the growth, survival and differentiation of chondrocytes and osteo-blasts, directly and indirectly, by altering other autocrine/paracrine signaling pathways in cartilage and bone, and by enhancing interactions among these skeletal cells through hormonal and physical means. Moreover, local IGF-I/IGF-IR signaling is critical for the anabolic bone actions of growth hormone and parathyroid hormone. Herein, we review evidence supporting the actions of local IGF-I/IGF-IR in the above aspects of skeletal development and remodeling.

  2. Non-destructive sampling of ancient insect DNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Philip Francis; Elias, Scott; Gilbert, Tom


    BACKGROUND: A major challenge for ancient DNA (aDNA) studies on insect remains is that sampling procedures involve at least partial destruction of the specimens. A recent extraction protocol reveals the possibility of obtaining DNA from past insect remains without causing visual morphological...... of 77-204 base pairs (-bp) in size using species-specific and general insect primers. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: The applied non-destructive DNA extraction method shows promising potential on insect museum specimens of historical age as far back as AD 1820, but less so on the ancient permafrost...... damage. We test the applicability of this protocol on historic museum beetle specimens dating back to AD 1820 and on ancient beetle chitin remains from permafrost (permanently frozen soil) dating back more than 47,000 years. Finally, we test the possibility of obtaining ancient insect DNA directly from...

  3. Ancient and modern women in the "Woman's World". (United States)

    Hurst, Isobel


    Under the editorship of Oscar Wilde, the "Woman's World" exemplified the popular dissemination of Hellenism through periodical culture. Addressing topics such as marriage, politics, and education in relation to the lives of women in the ancient world, the magazine offered an unfamiliar version of the reception of ancient Greece and Rome in late-Victorian aestheticism, one that was accessible to a wide readership because it was often based on images rather than texts. The classical scholar Jane Ellen Harrison addressed herself to this audience of women readers, discussing the similarities between modern collegiate life and the "woman's world" that enabled Sappho to flourish in ancient Greece. The "Woman's World" thus questions gender stereotypes by juxtaposing ancient and modern women, implicitly endorsing varied models of womanhood.

  4. Non-destructive sampling of ancient insect DNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Philip Francis; Elias, Scott; Gilbert, Tom;


    BACKGROUND: A major challenge for ancient DNA (aDNA) studies on insect remains is that sampling procedures involve at least partial destruction of the specimens. A recent extraction protocol reveals the possibility of obtaining DNA from past insect remains without causing visual morphological...... damage. We test the applicability of this protocol on historic museum beetle specimens dating back to AD 1820 and on ancient beetle chitin remains from permafrost (permanently frozen soil) dating back more than 47,000 years. Finally, we test the possibility of obtaining ancient insect DNA directly from...... of 77-204 base pairs (-bp) in size using species-specific and general insect primers. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: The applied non-destructive DNA extraction method shows promising potential on insect museum specimens of historical age as far back as AD 1820, but less so on the ancient permafrost...

  5. Next Generation Sequencing of Ancient DNA: Requirements, Strategies and Perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Knapp


    Full Text Available The invention of next-generation-sequencing has revolutionized almost all fields of genetics, but few have profited from it as much as the field of ancient DNA research. From its beginnings as an interesting but rather marginal discipline, ancient DNA research is now on its way into the centre of evolutionary biology. In less than a year from its invention next-generation-sequencing had increased the amount of DNA sequence data available from extinct organisms by several orders of magnitude. Ancient DNA  research is now not only adding a temporal aspect to evolutionary studies and allowing for the observation of evolution in real time, it also provides important data to help understand the origins of our own species. Here we review progress that has been made in next-generation-sequencing of ancient DNA over the past five years and evaluate sequencing strategies and future directions.

  6. Deep sequencing of RNA from ancient maize kernels.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah L Fordyce

    Full Text Available The characterization of biomolecules from ancient samples can shed otherwise unobtainable insights into the past. Despite the fundamental role of transcriptomal change in evolution, the potential of ancient RNA remains unexploited - perhaps due to dogma associated with the fragility of RNA. We hypothesize that seeds offer a plausible refuge for long-term RNA survival, due to the fundamental role of RNA during seed germination. Using RNA-Seq on cDNA synthesized from nucleic acid extracts, we validate this hypothesis through demonstration of partial transcriptomal recovery from two sources of ancient maize kernels. The results suggest that ancient seed transcriptomics may offer a powerful new tool with which to study plant domestication.

  7. Ancestry of modern Europeans: contributions of ancient DNA. (United States)

    Lacan, Marie; Keyser, Christine; Crubézy, Eric; Ludes, Bertrand


    Understanding the peopling history of Europe is crucial to comprehend the origins of modern populations. Of course, the analysis of current genetic data offers several explanations about human migration patterns which occurred on this continent, but it fails to explain precisely the impact of each demographic event. In this context, direct access to the DNA of ancient specimens allows the overcoming of recent demographic phenomena, which probably highly modified the constitution of the current European gene pool. In recent years, several DNA studies have been successfully conducted from ancient human remains thanks to the improvement of molecular techniques. They have brought new fundamental information on the peopling of Europe and allowed us to refine our understanding of European prehistory. In this review, we will detail all the ancient DNA studies performed to date on ancient European DNA from the Middle Paleolithic to the beginning of the protohistoric period.

  8. Deep Sequencing of RNA from Ancient Maize Kernels (United States)

    Rasmussen, Morten; Cappellini, Enrico; Romero-Navarro, J. Alberto; Wales, Nathan; Alquezar-Planas, David E.; Penfield, Steven; Brown, Terence A.; Vielle-Calzada, Jean-Philippe; Montiel, Rafael; Jørgensen, Tina; Odegaard, Nancy; Jacobs, Michael; Arriaza, Bernardo; Higham, Thomas F. G.; Ramsey, Christopher Bronk; Willerslev, Eske; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.


    The characterization of biomolecules from ancient samples can shed otherwise unobtainable insights into the past. Despite the fundamental role of transcriptomal change in evolution, the potential of ancient RNA remains unexploited – perhaps due to dogma associated with the fragility of RNA. We hypothesize that seeds offer a plausible refuge for long-term RNA survival, due to the fundamental role of RNA during seed germination. Using RNA-Seq on cDNA synthesized from nucleic acid extracts, we validate this hypothesis through demonstration of partial transcriptomal recovery from two sources of ancient maize kernels. The results suggest that ancient seed transcriptomics may offer a powerful new tool with which to study plant domestication. PMID:23326310

  9. Mycorrhizal symbiosis: ancient signalling mechanisms co-opted

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geurts, R.; Vleeshouwers, V.G.A.A.


    Mycorrhizal root endosymbiosis is an ancient property of land plants. Two parallel studies now provide novel insight into the mechanism driving this interaction and how it is used by other filamentous microbes like pathogenic oomycetes.

  10. Cases of Trephination in Ancient Greek Skulls

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasiliki Ζafiri


    Full Text Available Background: Trephination, or trepanning, is considered to be one of the most ancient surgical operations with an especially extensive geographical incidence, both in the New World and in the Old. In Europe, more than 200 finds of trephination have been found, from Scandinavia to the Balkans. The technique of trephination or trepanning covers overall the last 10,000 years and exhibits great versatility and adjustability in the knowledge, technical means, therapeutic needs, prejudices and social standards of each period and of each population group. Hippocrates was the one to classify for the first time the kinds of cranial fractures and define the conditions and circumstances for carrying out a trepanning.Aim: The present research aims to investigate the Greek cranial trephinations on sculls from the collection of the Anthropological Museum of the Medical School of Athens that come from archaeological excavations.Method: Skulls were examined by macroscopic observation with reflective light. Furthermore, radiographic representation of the skulls was used.Results: The anthropological researches and the studies of anthropological skeleton remains that came out during archaeological excavations from different eras and areas have given information about the medical practices in the very important geographic area of Greece and in particular, we referred to cases of Greek trephinations.

  11. Studing cranial vault modifications in ancient Mesoamerica. (United States)

    Tiesler, Vera


    The artificial modification of infant cranial vaults through massages or by means of constriction and compression devices constitutes a readily visible, permanent body modification that has been employed cross-culturally to express identity, ethnicity, beauty, status and gender. For those ancient societies that staged head shaping, these cultural correlates may be ascertained by examining cranial shapes together with other data sets from the archaeological record. Studies of skulls modified for cultural reasons also provide important clues for understanding principles in neural growth and physiopathological variation in cranial expansion. This paper focuses on head shaping techniques in Mesoamerica, where the practice was deeply rooted and widespread before the European conquest. It provides a comprehensive review of the Mesoamericanistic research on shaping techniques, implements and taxonomies. An up-dated, interdisciplinary examination of the physiological implications and the cultural meanings of artificially produced head shapes in different times and culture areas within Mesoamerica leads to a discussion of the scope, caveats, and future directions involved in this kind of research in the region and beyond.

  12. Clinical anatomy as practiced by ancient Egyptians. (United States)

    Loukas, Marios; Hanna, Michael; Alsaiegh, Nada; Shoja, Mohammadali M; Tubbs, R Shane


    Egypt is famously known for its Nile and pyramids, yet not many people know that Egypt made possible the origin of the anatomical sciences. Several ancient papyri guide us through the Egyptians' exploration of the human body and how they applied anatomical knowledge to clinical medicine to the best of their knowledge. It is through records, such as the Edwin Smith, Ebers, and Kahun papyri and other literature detailing the work of the Egyptian embalmers, physicians, and Greek anatomists, that we are able to take a glimpse into the evolution of the anatomical sciences from 3000 B.C. to 250 B.C. It is through the Egyptian embalmer that we were able to learn of some of the first interactions with human organs and their detailed observation. The Egyptian physician's knowledge, being transcribed into the Ebers and Edwin Smith papyri, enabled future physicians to seek reference to common ailments for diagnosing and treating a variety of conditions ranging from head injuries to procedures, such as trans-sphenoidal surgery. In Alexandria, Herophilus, and Erasistratus made substantial contributions to the anatomical sciences by beginning the practice of human dissection. For instance, Herophilus described the anatomy of the heart valves along with Erasistratus who demonstrated how blood was prevented from flowing retrograde under normal conditions. Hence, from various records, we are able to unravel how Egypt paved the road for study of the anatomical sciences.

  13. complex multiplication, ancient Indian mathematics ” Vedas”

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    Rajashri K. Bhongade


    Full Text Available For designing of comple x nu mber multiplier basic idea is adopted from designing of multiplier. An ancient Indian mathematics “Vedas” is used for designing the multiplier unit. The reare 16 sutra in Vedas, from that the Urdhva Tiryak b-hyam sutra (method was selected for implimentation complex multiplication and basically Urdhva Tiryakbhyam sutra appli-cable to all cases of multip licat ion. Any multi-bit mu ltip licat ion can be reduced down to single bit mult iplication and addition by using Urdhva Tiryakbhyam sutra is performed by vertically and crosswise. The partial products and sums are generated in single step which reduces the carry propagation fro m LSB to MSB by using these formulas. In th is paper simu lation result for4bit complex no. multiplication using Booth‟s algorithm and using Vedic sutra are illustrated. The imp le mentation of the Vedic mathe matics and their application to the comple x mu lt iplier was checked parameter like propagation delay.

  14. Ancient solar wind in lunar microbreccias (United States)

    Thiemens, M. H.; Clayton, R. N.


    Possible components of the ancient solar wind, particularly the N-15/N-14 ratio, are investigated on the basis of lunar microbreccia studies. Nitrogen contents and isotope ratios were determined for Apollo 11 and 15 microbreccia samples by means of vacuum pyrolysis techniques. The Apollo 11 soil breccias, which had been closed to the addition of recent solar wind due to their compaction, are found to contain the lowest N-15/N-14 ratios yet reported for the solar wind, extending the range of variation of the ratio to between a delta N-15 of -190% in the past to +120% at present. Nitrogen isotope analysis of the Apollo 15 drill core, which had undergone two episodes of solar wind exposure, also support the secular variation in the N-15 content of the solar wind, which is attributed to spallation reactions in the sun. The formation of the breccias at the Apollo 11 and 15 sites is discussed on the basis of the observed nitrogen systematics, and differences between N-15 and Ne-21 cosmic ray exposure ages implied are attributed to the diffusive loss of neon from lunar soils.

  15. Ancient DNA reveals prehistoric gene-flow from siberia in the complex human population history of North East Europe. (United States)

    Der Sarkissian, Clio; Balanovsky, Oleg; Brandt, Guido; Khartanovich, Valery; Buzhilova, Alexandra; Koshel, Sergey; Zaporozhchenko, Valery; Gronenborn, Detlef; Moiseyev, Vyacheslav; Kolpakov, Eugen; Shumkin, Vladimir; Alt, Kurt W; Balanovska, Elena; Cooper, Alan; Haak, Wolfgang


    North East Europe harbors a high diversity of cultures and languages, suggesting a complex genetic history. Archaeological, anthropological, and genetic research has revealed a series of influences from Western and Eastern Eurasia in the past. While genetic data from modern-day populations is commonly used to make inferences about their origins and past migrations, ancient DNA provides a powerful test of such hypotheses by giving a snapshot of the past genetic diversity. In order to better understand the dynamics that have shaped the gene pool of North East Europeans, we generated and analyzed 34 mitochondrial genotypes from the skeletal remains of three archaeological sites in northwest Russia. These sites were dated to the Mesolithic and the Early Metal Age (7,500 and 3,500 uncalibrated years Before Present). We applied a suite of population genetic analyses (principal component analysis, genetic distance mapping, haplotype sharing analyses) and compared past demographic models through coalescent simulations using Bayesian Serial SimCoal and Approximate Bayesian Computation. Comparisons of genetic data from ancient and modern-day populations revealed significant changes in the mitochondrial makeup of North East Europeans through time. Mesolithic foragers showed high frequencies and diversity of haplogroups U (U2e, U4, U5a), a pattern observed previously in European hunter-gatherers from Iberia to Scandinavia. In contrast, the presence of mitochondrial DNA haplogroups C, D, and Z in Early Metal Age individuals suggested discontinuity with Mesolithic hunter-gatherers and genetic influx from central/eastern Siberia. We identified remarkable genetic dissimilarities between prehistoric and modern-day North East Europeans/Saami, which suggests an important role of post-Mesolithic migrations from Western Europe and subsequent population replacement/extinctions. This work demonstrates how ancient DNA can improve our understanding of human population movements across

  16. Ancient DNA reveals prehistoric gene-flow from siberia in the complex human population history of North East Europe.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clio Der Sarkissian

    Full Text Available North East Europe harbors a high diversity of cultures and languages, suggesting a complex genetic history. Archaeological, anthropological, and genetic research has revealed a series of influences from Western and Eastern Eurasia in the past. While genetic data from modern-day populations is commonly used to make inferences about their origins and past migrations, ancient DNA provides a powerful test of such hypotheses by giving a snapshot of the past genetic diversity. In order to better understand the dynamics that have shaped the gene pool of North East Europeans, we generated and analyzed 34 mitochondrial genotypes from the skeletal remains of three archaeological sites in northwest Russia. These sites were dated to the Mesolithic and the Early Metal Age (7,500 and 3,500 uncalibrated years Before Present. We applied a suite of population genetic analyses (principal component analysis, genetic distance mapping, haplotype sharing analyses and compared past demographic models through coalescent simulations using Bayesian Serial SimCoal and Approximate Bayesian Computation. Comparisons of genetic data from ancient and modern-day populations revealed significant changes in the mitochondrial makeup of North East Europeans through time. Mesolithic foragers showed high frequencies and diversity of haplogroups U (U2e, U4, U5a, a pattern observed previously in European hunter-gatherers from Iberia to Scandinavia. In contrast, the presence of mitochondrial DNA haplogroups C, D, and Z in Early Metal Age individuals suggested discontinuity with Mesolithic hunter-gatherers and genetic influx from central/eastern Siberia. We identified remarkable genetic dissimilarities between prehistoric and modern-day North East Europeans/Saami, which suggests an important role of post-Mesolithic migrations from Western Europe and subsequent population replacement/extinctions. This work demonstrates how ancient DNA can improve our understanding of human population

  17. Ancient Archways and Ancestral Halls in Shexian County

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    SHEXIAN, located in the southern foothills of Huangshan Mountain in Anhui Province, is an ancient county which was once the seat of Huizhou Prefecture. The area is also known as the birthplace of Anhui merchants. With a long history, favorable geographic position and a unique culture created mainly by those rich Anhui merchants, Shexian has retained a large number of cultural relics, especially ancient archways,

  18. Design of a High Speed Multiplier (Ancient Vedic Mathematics Approach

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    R. Sridevi, Anirudh Palakurthi, Akhila Sadhula, Hafsa Mahreen


    Full Text Available In this paper, an area efficient multiplier architecture is presented. The architecture is based on Ancient algorithms of the Vedas, propounded in the Vedic Mathematics scripture of Sri Bharati Krishna Tirthaji Maharaja. The multiplication algorithm used here is called Nikhilam Navatascaramam Dasatah. The multiplier based on the ancient technique is compared with the modern multiplier to highlight the speed and power superiority of the Vedic Multipliers.

  19. A brief history of corneal transplantation: From ancient to modern


    Alexandra X Crawford; Patel, Dipika V.; Charles NJ McGhee


    This review highlights many of the fundamental concepts and events in the development of corneal transplantation - from ancient times to modern. Tales of eye, limb, and even heart transplantation appear in ancient and medieval texts; however, in the scientific sense, the original concepts of corneal surgery date back to the Greek physician Galen (130-200 AD). Although proposals to provide improved corneal clarity by surgical interventions, including keratoprostheses, were better developed by ...

  20. Design of a High Speed Multiplier (Ancient Vedic Mathematics Approach)



    In this paper, an area efficient multiplier architecture is presented. The architecture is based on Ancient algorithms of the Vedas, propounded in the Vedic Mathematics scripture of Sri Bharati Krishna Tirthaji Maharaja. The multiplication algorithm used here is called Nikhilam Navatascaramam Dasatah. The multiplier based on the ancient technique is compared with the modern multiplier to highlight the speed and power superiority of the Vedic Multipliers.

  1. Ancient schwannoma of the tongue: a case report. (United States)

    Bilici, Suat; Akpınar, Meltem; Yiğit, Ozgür; Günver, Feray


    A 45-year-old male patient had left sided submucosal swelling extending backwards from the tip of the tongue disturbing articulation and swallowing. Submucosally located lesion was 3 x 2 x 1.5 cm in size and totally excised under local anesthesia. In this article, we present a case of ancient schwannoma of tongue. Although a very rare entity, ancient schwannoma should be considered in differential diagnosis of tongue lesions.

  2. Vitamin D and skeletal health in infancy and childhood. (United States)

    Moon, R J; Harvey, N C; Davies, J H; Cooper, C


    During growth, severe vitamin D deficiency in childhood can result in symptomatic hypocalcaemia and rickets. Despite the suggestion from some studies of a secular increase in the incidence of rickets, this observation may be driven more by changes in population demographics than a true alteration to age, sex and ethnicity-specific incidence rates; indeed, rickets remains uncommon overall and is rarely seen in fair-skinned children. Additionally, the impact of less severe vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency has received much interest in recent years, and in this review, we consider the evidence relating vitamin D status to fracture risk and bone mineral density (BMD) in childhood and adolescence. We conclude that there is insufficient evidence to support the suggestion that low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] increases childhood fracture risk. Overall, the relationship between 25(OH)D and BMD is inconsistent across studies and across skeletal sites within the same study; however, there is evidence to suggest that vitamin D supplementation in children with the lowest levels of 25(OH)D might improve BMD. High-quality randomised trials are now required to confirm this benefit.

  3. A Systematic Review on the Effects of Botanicals on Skeletal Muscle Health in Order to Prevent Sarcopenia

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    M. Rondanelli


    Full Text Available We performed a systematic review to evaluate the evidence-based medicine regarding the main botanical extracts and their nutraceutical compounds correlated to skeletal muscle health in order to identify novel strategies that effectively attenuate skeletal muscle loss and enhance muscle function and to improve the quality of life of older subjects. This review contains all eligible studies from 2010 to 2015 and included 57 publications. We focused our attention on effects of botanical extracts on growth and health of muscle and divided these effects into five categories: anti-inflammation, muscle damage prevention, antifatigue, muscle atrophy prevention, and muscle regeneration and differentiation.

  4. The identification of malaria in paleopathology-An in-depth assessment of the strategies to detect malaria in ancient remains. (United States)

    Bianucci, Raffaella; Araujo, Adauto; Pusch, Carsten M; Nerlich, Andreas G


    The comprehensive analyses of human remains from various places and time periods, either by immunological or molecular approaches, provide circumstantial evidence that malaria tropica haunted humankind at least since dynastic ancient Egypt. Here we summarize the "actual state-of-the-art" of these bio-molecular investigations and offer a solid basis for the discussion of the paleopathology of malaria in human history.

  5. Ancient DNA analysis - An established technique in charting the evolution of tuberculosis and leprosy. (United States)

    Donoghue, Helen D; Spigelman, Mark; O'Grady, Justin; Szikossy, Ildikó; Pap, Ildikó; Lee, Oona Y-C; Wu, Houdini H T; Besra, Gurdyal S; Minnikin, David E


    Many tuberculosis and leprosy infections are latent or paucibacillary, suggesting a long time-scale for host and pathogen co-existence. Palaeopathology enables recognition of archaeological cases and PCR detects pathogen ancient DNA (aDNA). Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium leprae cell wall lipids are more stable than aDNA and restrict permeability, thereby possibly aiding long-term persistence of pathogen aDNA. Amplification of aDNA, using specific PCR primers designed for short fragments and linked to fluorescent probes, gives good results, especially when designed to target multi-copy loci. Such studies have confirmed tuberculosis and leprosy, including co-infections. Many tuberculosis cases have non-specific or no visible skeletal pathology, consistent with the natural history of this disease. M. tuberculosis and M. leprae are obligate parasites, closely associated with their human host following recent clonal distribution. Therefore genotyping based on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) can indicate their origins, spread and phylogeny. Knowledge of extant genetic lineages at particular times in past human populations can be obtained from well-preserved specimens where molecular typing is possible, using deletion analysis, microsatellite analysis and whole genome sequencing. Such studies have identified non-bovine tuberculosis from a Pleistocene bison from 17,500 years BP, human tuberculosis from 9000 years ago and leprosy from over 2000 years ago.

  6. Ancient clam gardens, traditional management portfolios, and the resilience of coupled human-ocean systems

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    Julia Jackley


    Full Text Available Indigenous communities have actively managed their environments for millennia using a diversity of resource use and conservation strategies. Clam gardens, ancient rock-walled intertidal beach terraces, represent one example of an early mariculture technology that may have been used to improve food security and confer resilience to coupled human-ocean systems. We surveyed a coastal landscape for evidence of past resource use and management to gain insight into ancient resource stewardship practices on the central coast of British Columbia, Canada. We found that clam gardens are embedded within a diverse portfolio of resource use and management strategies and were likely one component of a larger, complex resource management system. We compared clam diversity, density, recruitment, and biomass in three clam gardens and three unmodified nonwalled beaches. Evidence suggests that butter clams (Saxidomus gigantea had 1.96 times the biomass and 2.44 times the density in clam gardens relative to unmodified beaches. This was due to a reduction in beach slope and thus an increase in the optimal tidal range where clams grow and survive best. The most pronounced differences in butter clam density between nonwalled beaches and clam gardens were found at high tidal elevations at the top of the beach. Finally, clam recruits (0.5-2 mm in length tended to be greater in clam gardens compared to nonwalled beaches and may be attributed to the addition of shell hash by ancient people, which remains on the landscape today. As part of a broader social-ecological system, clam garden sites were among several modifications made by humans that collectively may have conferred resilience to past communities by providing reliable and diverse access to food resources.

  7. Population Structure of UK Biobank and Ancient Eurasians Reveals Adaptation at Genes Influencing Blood Pressure. (United States)

    Galinsky, Kevin J; Loh, Po-Ru; Mallick, Swapan; Patterson, Nick J; Price, Alkes L


    Analyzing genetic differences between closely related populations can be a powerful way to detect recent adaptation. The very large sample size of the UK Biobank is ideal for using population differentiation to detect selection and enables an analysis of the UK population structure at fine resolution. In this study, analyses of 113,851 UK Biobank samples showed that population structure in the UK is dominated by five principal components (PCs) spanning six clusters: Northern Ireland, Scotland, northern England, southern England, and two Welsh clusters. Analyses of ancient Eurasians revealed that populations in the northern UK have higher levels of Steppe ancestry and that UK population structure cannot be explained as a simple mixture of Celts and Saxons. A scan for unusual population differentiation along the top PCs identified a genome-wide-significant signal of selection at the coding variant rs601338 in FUT2 (p = 9.16 × 10(-9)). In addition, by combining evidence of unusual differentiation within the UK with evidence from ancient Eurasians, we identified genome-wide-significant (p = 5 × 10(-8)) signals of recent selection at two additional loci: CYP1A2-CSK and F12. We detected strong associations between diastolic blood pressure in the UK Biobank and both the variants with selection signals at CYP1A2-CSK (p = 1.10 × 10(-19)) and the variants with ancient Eurasian selection signals at the ATXN2-SH2B3 locus (p = 8.00 × 10(-33)), implicating recent adaptation related to blood pressure.

  8. Ancient Maya impacts on the Earth's surface: An Early Anthropocene analog? (United States)

    Beach, Tim; Luzzadder-Beach, Sheryl; Cook, Duncan; Dunning, Nicholas; Kennett, Douglas J.; Krause, Samantha; Terry, Richard; Trein, Debora; Valdez, Fred


    The measure of the "Mayacene," a microcosm of the Early Anthropocene that occurred from c. 3000 to 1000 BP, comes from multiple Late Quaternary paleoenvironmental records. We synthesized the evidence for Maya impacts on climate, vegetation, hydrology and the lithosphere, from studies of soils, lakes, floodplains, wetlands and other ecosystems. Maya civilization had likely altered local to regional ecosystems and hydrology by the Preclassic Period (3000-1700 BP), but these impacts waned by 1000 BP. They altered ecosystems with vast urban and rural infrastructure that included thousands of reservoirs, wetland fields and canals, terraces, field ridges, and temples. Although there is abundant evidence that indicates the Maya altered their forests, even at the large urban complex of Tikal as much as 40% of the forest remained intact through the Classic period. Existing forests are still influenced by ancient Maya forest gardening, particularly by the large expanses of ancient stone structures, terraces, and wetland fields that form their substrates. A few studies suggest deforestation and other land uses probably also warmed and dried regional climate by the Classic Period (1700-1100 BP). A much larger body of research documents the Maya impacts on hydrology, in the form of dams, reservoirs, canals, eroded soils and urban design for runoff. Another metric of the "Mayacene" are paleosols, which contain chemical evidence for human occupation, revealed by high phosphorus concentrations and carbon isotope ratios of C4 species like maize in the C3-dominated tropical forest ecosystem. Paleosol sequences exhibit "Maya Clays," a facies that reflects a glut of rapidly eroded sediments that overlie pre-Maya paleosols. This stratigraphy is conspicuous in many dated soil profiles and marks the large-scale Maya transformation of the landscape in the Preclassic and Classic periods. Some of these also have increased phosphorous and carbon isotope evidence of C4 species. We synthesize

  9. Do antioxidant supplements interfere with skeletal muscle adaptation to exercise training? (United States)

    Merry, Troy L; Ristow, Michael


    A popular belief is that reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) produced during exercise by the mitochondria and other subcellular compartments ubiquitously cause skeletal muscle damage, fatigue and impair recovery. However, the importance of ROS and RNS as signals in the cellular adaptation process to stress is now evident. In an effort to combat the perceived deleterious effects of ROS and RNS it has become common practice for active individuals to ingest supplements with antioxidant properties, but interfering with ROS/RNS signalling in skeletal muscle during acute exercise may blunt favourable adaptation. There is building evidence that antioxidant supplementation can attenuate endurance training-induced and ROS/RNS-mediated enhancements in antioxidant capacity, mitochondrial biogenesis, cellular defence mechanisms and insulin sensitivity. However, this is not a universal finding, potentially indicating that there is redundancy in the mechanisms controlling skeletal muscle adaptation to exercise, meaning that in some circumstances the negative impact of antioxidants on acute exercise response can be overcome by training. Antioxidant supplementation has been more consistently reported to have deleterious effects on the response to overload stress and high-intensity training, suggesting that remodelling of skeletal muscle following resistance and high-intensity exercise is more dependent on ROS/RNS signalling. Importantly there is no convincing evidence to suggest that antioxidant supplementation enhances exercise-training adaptions. Overall, ROS/RNS are likely to exhibit a non-linear (hormetic) pattern on exercise adaptations, where physiological doses are beneficial and high exposure (which would seldom be achieved during normal exercise training) may be detrimental.

  10. Validation of a Non-Targeted LC-MS Approach for Identifying Ancient Proteins: Method Development on Bone to Improve Artifact Residue Analysis

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    Andrew Barker


    Full Text Available Identification of protein residues from prehistoric cooking pottery using mass spectrometry is challenging because proteins are removed from original tissues, are degraded from cooking, may be poorly preserved due to diagenesis, and occur in a palimpsest of exogenous soil proteins. In contrast, bone proteins are abundant and well preserved. This research is part of a larger method-development project for innovation and improvement of liquid chromatography – mass spectrometry analysis of protein residues from cooking pottery; here we validate the potential of our extraction and characterization approach via application to ancient bone proteins. Because of its preservation potential for proteins and given that our approach is destructive, ancient bone identified via skeletal morphology represents an appropriate verification target. Proteins were identified from zooarchaeological turkey (Meleagris gallopavo Linnaeus Phasianidae, rabbit (Lagomorpha, and squirrel (Sciuridae remains excavated from ancient pueblo archaeological sites in southwestern Colorado using a non-targeted LC-MS/MS approach. The data have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange Consortium with the dataset identifier PXD002440. Improvement of highly sensitive targeted LC-MS/MS approaches is an avenue for future method development related to the study of protein residues from artifacts such as stone tools and pottery.

  11. Targeted enrichment of ancient pathogens yielding the pPCP1 plasmid of Yersinia pestis from victims of the Black Death. (United States)

    Schuenemann, Verena J; Bos, Kirsten; DeWitte, Sharon; Schmedes, Sarah; Jamieson, Joslyn; Mittnik, Alissa; Forrest, Stephen; Coombes, Brian K; Wood, James W; Earn, David J D; White, William; Krause, Johannes; Poinar, Hendrik N


    Although investigations of medieval plague victims have identified Yersinia pestis as the putative etiologic agent of the pandemic, methodological limitations have prevented large-scale genomic investigations to evaluate changes in the pathogen's virulence over time. We screened over 100 skeletal remains from Black Death victims of the East Smithfield mass burial site (1348-1350, London, England). Recent methods of DNA enrichment coupled with high-throughput DNA sequencing subsequently permitted reconstruction of ten full human mitochondrial genomes (16 kb each) and the full pPCP1 (9.6 kb) virulence-associated plasmid at high coverage. Comparisons of molecular damage profiles between endogenous human and Y. pestis DNA confirmed its authenticity as an ancient pathogen, thus representing the longest contiguous genomic sequence for an ancient pathogen to date. Comparison of our reconstructed plasmid against modern Y. pestis shows identity with several isolates matching the Medievalis biovar; however, our chromosomal sequences indicate the victims were infected with a Y. pestis variant that has not been previously reported. Our data reveal that the Black Death in medieval Europe was caused by a variant of Y. pestis that may no longer exist, and genetic data carried on its pPCP1 plasmid were not responsible for the purported epidemiological differences between ancient and modern forms of Y. pestis infections.

  12. Early population differentiation in extinct aborigines from Tierra del Fuego-Patagonia: ancient mtDNA sequences and Y-chromosome STR characterization. (United States)

    García-Bour, Jaume; Pérez-Pérez, Alejandro; Alvarez, Sara; Fernández, Eva; López-Parra, Ana María; Arroyo-Pardo, Eduardo; Turbón, Daniel


    Ancient mtDNA was successfully recovered from 24 skeletal samples of a total of 60 ancient individuals from Patagonia-Tierra del Fuego, dated to 100-400 years BP, for which consistent amplifications and two-strand sequences were obtained. Y-chromosome STRs (DYS434, DYS437, DYS439, DYS393, DYS391, DYS390, DYS19, DYS389I, DYS389II, and DYS388) and the biallelic system DYS199 were also amplified, Y-STR alleles could be characterized in nine cases, with an average of 4.1 loci per sample correctly typed. In two samples of the same ethnic group (Aonikenk), an identical and complete eight-loci haplotype was recovered. The DYS199 biallelic system was used as a control of contamination by modern DNA and, along with DYS19, as a marker of American origin. The analysis of both mtDNA and Y-STRs revealed DNA from Amerindian ancestry. The observed polymorphisms are consistent with the hypothesis that the ancient Fuegians are close to populations from south-central Chile and Argentina, but their high nucleotide diversity and the frequency of single lineages strongly support early genetic differentiation of the Fuegians through combined processes of population bottleneck, isolation, and/or migration, followed by strong genetic drift. This suggests an early genetic diversification of the Fuegians right after their arrival at the southernmost extreme of South America.

  13. Supplementation with a proprietary blend of ancient peat and apple extract may improve body composition without affecting hematology in resistance-trained men. (United States)

    Joy, Jordan M; Falcone, Paul H; Vogel, Roxanne M; Mosman, Matt M; Kim, Michael P; Moon, Jordan R


    Adenosine-5'-triphosphate (ATP) is primarily known as a cellular source of energy. Increased ATP levels may have the potential to enhance body composition. A novel, proprietary blend of ancient peat and apple extracts has been reported to increase ATP levels, potentially by enhancing mitochondrial ATP production. Therefore, the purpose of this investigation was to determine the supplement's effects on body composition when consumed during 12 weeks of resistance training. Twenty-five healthy, resistance-trained, male subjects (age, 27.7 ± 4.8 years; height, 176.0 ± 6.5 cm; body mass, 83.2 ± 12.1 kg) completed this study. Subjects supplemented once daily with either 1 serving (150 mg) of a proprietary blend of ancient peat and apple extracts (TRT) or placebo (PLA). Supervised resistance training consisted of 8 weeks of daily undulating periodized training followed by a 2-week overreach and a 2-week taper phase. Body composition was assessed using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and ultrasound at weeks 0, 4, 8, 10, and 12. Vital signs and blood markers were assessed at weeks 0, 8, and 12. Significant group × time (p ancient peat and apple extracts may enhance resistance training-induced skeletal muscle hypertrophy without affecting fat mass or blood chemistry in healthy males.

  14. Acupuncture: From Ancient Practice to Modern Science (United States)

    ... wide range of conditions, from arthritis and low back pain to infertility. Scientific evidence suggests it may be helpful for some conditions, but not for others. Research on Acupuncture Over the past 10 years, NCCAM has supported ...

  15. Human evolution in Siberia: from frozen bodies to ancient DNA

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    Bouakaze Caroline


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Yakuts contrast strikingly with other populations from Siberia due to their cattle- and horse-breeding economy as well as their Turkic language. On the basis of ethnological and linguistic criteria as well as population genetic studies, it has been assumed that they originated from South Siberian populations. However, many questions regarding the origins of this intriguing population still need to be clarified (e.g. the precise origin of paternal lineages and the admixture rate with indigenous populations. This study attempts to better understand the origins of the Yakuts by performing genetic analyses on 58 mummified frozen bodies dated from the 15th to the 19th century, excavated from Yakutia (Eastern Siberia. Results High quality data were obtained for the autosomal STRs, Y-chromosomal STRs and SNPs and mtDNA due to exceptional sample preservation. A comparison with the same markers on seven museum specimens excavated 3 to 15 years ago showed significant differences in DNA quantity and quality. Direct access to ancient genetic data from these molecular markers combined with the archaeological evidence, demographical studies and comparisons with 166 contemporary individuals from the same location as the frozen bodies helped us to clarify the microevolution of this intriguing population. Conclusion We were able to trace the origins of the male lineages to a small group of horse-riders from the Cis-Baïkal area. Furthermore, mtDNA data showed that intermarriages between the first settlers with Evenks women led to the establishment of genetic characteristics during the 15th century that are still observed today.

  16. Comparative Study of Skeletal Stability between Postoperative Skeletal Intermaxillary Fixation and No Skeletal Fixation after Bilateral Sagittal Split Ramus Osteotomy: an 18 Months Retrospective Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jens Hartlev


    Full Text Available Objectives: The purpose of the present study was to evaluate skeletal stability after mandibular advancement with bilateral sagittal split osteotomy. Material and Methods: Twenty-six patients underwent single-jaw bilateral sagittal split osteotomy (BSSO to correct skeletal Class II malocclusion. One group (n = 13 were treated postoperatively with skeletal elastic intermaxillary fixation (IMF while the other group (n = 13 where threated without skeletal elastic IMF. Results: The mean advancement at B-point and Pog in the skeletal elastic IMF group was 6.44 mm and 7.22 mm, respectively. Relapse at follow-up at B-point was -0.74 mm and -0.29 mm at Pog. The mean advancement at B-point and Pog in the no skeletal elastic IMF group was 6.30 mm and 6.45 mm, respectively. Relapse at follow-up at B-point was -0.97 mm and -0.86 mm at Pog. There was no statistical significant (P > 0.05 difference between the skeletal IMF group and the no skeletal group regarding advancement nor relapse at B-point or Pog. Conclusions: Bilateral sagittal split osteotomy is characterized as a stable treatment to correct Class II malocclusion. This study demonstrated no difference of relapse between the skeletal intermaxillary fixation group and the no skeletal intermaxillary fixation group. Because of selection-bias and the reduced number of patients it still remains inconclusive whether to recommend skeletal intermaxillary fixation or not in the prevention of relapse after mandibular advancement.

  17. Evolutionary anthropology and genes: investigating the genetics of human evolution from excavated skeletal remains. (United States)

    Anastasiou, Evilena; Mitchell, Piers D


    The development of molecular tools for the extraction, analysis and interpretation of DNA from the remains of ancient organisms (paleogenetics) has revolutionised a range of disciplines as diverse as the fields of human evolution, bioarchaeology, epidemiology, microbiology, taxonomy and population genetics. The paper draws attention to some of the challenges associated with the extraction and interpretation of ancient DNA from archaeological material, and then reviews the influence of paleogenetics on the field of human evolution. It discusses the main contributions of molecular studies to reconstructing the evolutionary and phylogenetic relationships between extinct hominins (human ancestors) and anatomically modern humans. It also explores the evidence for evolutionary changes in the genetic structure of anatomically modern humans in recent millennia. This breadth of research has led to discoveries that would never have been possible using traditional approaches to human evolution.

  18. The Impact of Endurance Training on Human Skeletal Muscle Memory, Global Isoform Expression and Novel Transcripts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maléne E Lindholm


    Full Text Available Regularly performed endurance training has many beneficial effects on health and skeletal muscle function, and can be used to prevent and treat common diseases e.g. cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes and obesity. The molecular adaptation mechanisms regulating these effects are incompletely understood. To date, global transcriptome changes in skeletal muscles have been studied at the gene level only. Therefore, global isoform expression changes following exercise training in humans are unknown. Also, the effects of repeated interventions on transcriptional memory or training response have not been studied before. In this study, 23 individuals trained one leg for three months. Nine months later, 12 of the same subjects trained both legs in a second training period. Skeletal muscle biopsies were obtained from both legs before and after both training periods. RNA sequencing analysis of all 119 skeletal muscle biopsies showed that training altered the expression of 3,404 gene isoforms, mainly associated with oxidative ATP production. Fifty-four genes had isoforms that changed in opposite directions. Training altered expression of 34 novel transcripts, all with protein-coding potential. After nine months of detraining, no training-induced transcriptome differences were detected between the previously trained and untrained legs. Although there were several differences in the physiological and transcriptional responses to repeated training, no coherent evidence of an endurance training induced transcriptional skeletal muscle memory was found. This human lifestyle intervention induced differential expression of thousands of isoforms and several transcripts from unannotated regions of the genome. It is likely that the observed isoform expression changes reflect adaptational mechanisms and processes that provide the functional and health benefits of regular physical activity.

  19. Inhibition of ER stress and unfolding protein response pathways causes skeletal muscle wasting during cancer cachexia. (United States)

    Bohnert, Kyle R; Gallot, Yann S; Sato, Shuichi; Xiong, Guangyan; Hindi, Sajedah M; Kumar, Ashok


    Cachexia is a devastating syndrome that causes morbidity and mortality in a large number of patients with cancer. However, the mechanisms of cancer cachexia remain poorly understood. Accumulation of misfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) causes stress. The ER responds to this stress through activating certain pathways commonly known as the unfolding protein response (UPR). The main function of UPR is to restore homeostasis, but excessive or prolonged activation of UPR can lead to pathologic conditions. In this study, we examined the role of ER stress and UPR in regulation of skeletal muscle mass in naïve conditions and during cancer cachexia. Our results demonstrate that multiple markers of ER stress are highly activated in skeletal muscle of Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) and Apc(Min/+) mouse models of cancer cachexia. Treatment of mice with 4-phenylbutyrate (4-PBA), a chemical chaperon and a potent inhibitor of ER stress, significantly reduced skeletal muscle strength and mass in both control and LLC-bearing mice. Blocking the UPR also increased the proportion of fast-type fibers in soleus muscle of both control and LLC-bearing mice. Inhibition of UPR reduced the activity of Akt/mTOR pathway and increased the expression of the components of the ubiquitin-proteasome system and autophagy in LLC-bearing mice. Moreover, we found that the inhibition of UPR causes severe atrophy in cultured myotubes. Our study provides initial evidence that ER stress and UPR pathways are essential for maintaining skeletal muscle mass and strength and for protection against cancer cachexia.-Bohnert, K. R., Gallot, Y. S., Sato, S., Xiong, G., Hindi, S. M., Kumar, A. Inhibition of ER stress and unfolding protein response pathways causes skeletal muscle wasting during cancer cachexia.

  20. Exercise and the Skeletal Muscle Epigenome. (United States)

    McGee, Sean L; Walder, Ken R


    An acute bout of exercise is sufficient to induce changes in skeletal muscle gene expression that are ultimately responsible for the adaptive responses to exercise. Although much research has described the intracellular signaling responses to exercise that are linked to transcriptional regulation, the epigenetic mechanisms involved are only just emerging. This review will provide an overview of epigenetic mechanisms and what is known in the context of exercise. Additionally, we will explore potential interactions between metabolism during exercise and epigenetic regulation, which serves as a framework for potential areas for future research. Finally, we will consider emerging opportunities to pharmacologically manipulate epigenetic regulators and mechanisms to induce aspects of the skeletal muscle exercise adaptive response for therapeutic intervention in various disease states.