1 / 59 »
scinerds:

Tomb of Ancient Egyptian Physician Discovered


  A team of Czech archaeologists excavating at the site of Abusir, 17 miles (27 kilometers) south of Cairo, has discovered the large limestone tomb of a top royal physician from about 2400 B.C.
  
  The physician’s name was Shepseskaf-Ankh, which means “Shepseskaf is living”—a tribute to the last king of the fourth dynasty during the period known as the Old Kingdom.
  
  As the Head of the Physicians of Upper and Lower Egypt, Shepseskaf-Ankh served the royal household during the fifth dynasty. He is especially associated with a king named Niuserre, who ruled Egypt for at least a decade.
  
  Miroslav Bárta, director of the archaeological team from the Czech Institute of Egyptology, is particularly pleased with the historical details contained in the tomb as well as its architectural preservation. "This microcosmos illustrates general trends that ruled the society of the day," he says.
  
  Niuserre "followed the policy of marrying some of his daughters to his top officials to keep their ambitions at bay," says Bárta. "This is exactly the moment when the empire starts to break down due to rising expenses and increasing independence of powerful families."
  
  It was also a time when Egypt’s kings had run out of room at the royal funerary complex on the Giza plateau, the site of the grand pyramids of the fourth dynasty. They were now building smaller, rougher pyramids farther south.

scinerds:

Tomb of Ancient Egyptian Physician Discovered

A team of Czech archaeologists excavating at the site of Abusir, 17 miles (27 kilometers) south of Cairo, has discovered the large limestone tomb of a top royal physician from about 2400 B.C.

The physician’s name was Shepseskaf-Ankh, which means “Shepseskaf is living”—a tribute to the last king of the fourth dynasty during the period known as the Old Kingdom.

As the Head of the Physicians of Upper and Lower Egypt, Shepseskaf-Ankh served the royal household during the fifth dynasty. He is especially associated with a king named Niuserre, who ruled Egypt for at least a decade.

Miroslav Bárta, director of the archaeological team from the Czech Institute of Egyptology, is particularly pleased with the historical details contained in the tomb as well as its architectural preservation. "This microcosmos illustrates general trends that ruled the society of the day," he says.

Niuserre "followed the policy of marrying some of his daughters to his top officials to keep their ambitions at bay," says Bárta. "This is exactly the moment when the empire starts to break down due to rising expenses and increasing independence of powerful families."

It was also a time when Egypt’s kings had run out of room at the royal funerary complex on the Giza plateau, the site of the grand pyramids of the fourth dynasty. They were now building smaller, rougher pyramids farther south.

scienceyoucanlove:


You Hiccup Because of EvolutionWhy do we hiccup? Evolution. Our amphibian ancestors needed to be able to switch back and forth between breathing air with lungs and pushing water over their gills. The nerve signals that regulates this process of snapping the epiglottis shut and sucking in water is identical to a hiccup. We still have the ability but no longer have the gills to make it worth anything.Via our partner page EvolutionEvidence.org.Bonus fact: Charles Osborne holds the Guinness World Record for the longest continuous hiccup at 68 years. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Osborne_(hiccups)Read more on our evolutionary vestiges: http://mukto-mona.net/Special_Event_/Darwin_day/2009/english/SA_old_bodyShubin.pdf
source 

scienceyoucanlove:

You Hiccup Because of Evolution

Why do we hiccup? Evolution. Our amphibian ancestors needed to be able to switch back and forth between breathing air with lungs and pushing water over their gills. The nerve signals that regulates this process of snapping the epiglottis shut and sucking in water is identical to a hiccup. We still have the ability but no longer have the gills to make it worth anything.

Via our partner page EvolutionEvidence.org.

Bonus fact: Charles Osborne holds the Guinness World Record for the longest continuous hiccup at 68 years. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Osborne_(hiccups)

Read more on our evolutionary vestiges: 
http://mukto-mona.net/Special_Event_/Darwin_day/2009/english/SA_old_bodyShubin.pdf

source 

neurosciencestuff:

New study shows promise for first effective medicine to treat cocaine dependence
New research published in JAMA Psychiatry reveals that topiramate, a drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat epilepsy and migraine headaches, also could be the first reliable medication to help treat cocaine dependence.
The study, led by Bankole A. Johnson, DSc. MD., MB.ChB., MPhil., chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and head of the School’s new Brain Science Research Consortium Unit, with support from the National Institutes of Health and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, is one of the first to establish a pharmacological treatment for cocaine addiction, for which there are currently no FDA-approved medications.
Addiction affects 13.2 to 19.7 million cocaine users worldwide. Cocaine is responsible for more U.S. emergency room visits than any other illegal drug. Cocaine harms the brain, heart, blood vessels, and lungs — and can even cause sudden death.
Professor Johnson, one of the nation’s leading neuroscientists and psychopharmacologists, had previously found that topiramate was a safe and effective treatment for alcohol dependence compared with placebo.
In releasing the new study, Professor Johnson, who conducted the research when he was with Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia, provided full disclosures, which follow the text of this news announcement.* 
The study enrolled 142 participants, aged 18 years or older, seeking treatment for cocaine dependence. Following enrollment, participants were randomly assigned into a topiramate group or placebo group. Neither the participants nor the healthcare professionals administering the treatment knew who was in which group (double-blinded study).
Using an intent-to-treat analysis, the researchers found that topiramate was more efficacious than placebo at increasing the participants’ weekly proportion of cocaine nonuse days and in increasing the likelihood that participants would have cocaine-free weeks. Furthermore, compared with placebo, topiramate also was significantly associated with a decrease in craving for cocaine and an improvement in participants’ global functioning.
The study investigators also observed few side effects due to drug treatment. In general, participants in the topiramate group experienced mild side-effects, including abnormal tingling skin sensations, taste distortions, anorexia, and difficulty concentrating.
"Our findings reveal that topiramate is a safe and robustly efficacious medicine for the treatment of cocaine dependence, and has the potential to make a major contribution to the global health crisis of addiction," Professor Johnson said. "However, topiramate treatment also is associated with glaucoma, and higher doses of the drug can increase the risk of side effects; therefore, caution must be exercised when prescribing the drug, especially when given in high doses."
These results build upon earlier work from Professor. Johnson’s group which indicated that individuals dependent on cocaine, but not seeking treatment, who took topiramate were more likely to experience reduced cravings and preference for cocaine, compared with placebo. The findings of the current study indicate that topiramate may be even more effective in treating people with addiction who actively want to quit using cocaine.
"Because topiramate is the first medication to demonstrate a robust therapeutic effect for the treatment of cocaine or alcohol dependence, its fundamental neurochemical effects provide important clues as to common links in the neurobiological basis of the addictive process in general," remarked Professor Johnson. "These findings also add to our understanding of how addiction affects the brain because it demonstrates the unique concept that dual neurotransmitter modulation, by simultaneously augmenting the inhibitory action of gamma amino butyric acid and inhibiting the excitatory effects of glutamate, can result in therapeutic effects that reduce the propensity to use cocaine."
*Editor’s Notes:  
A. Statement of Disclosure 
Professor Johnson reported serving as a consultant for Johnson & Johnson (Ortho-McNeil Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC) the manufacturer of topiramate, from 2003-2008 and currently has no affiliation with that Company, Transcept Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from 2006-2008, Eli Lilly and Company from 2009-2010, and Organon from 2007-2010. He currently consults for D&A Pharma, ADial Pharmaceuticals, LLC, (with which he also serves as chairman), and Psychological Education Publishing Company (PEPCo), LLC. Topiramate is currently available as a generic medicine in the USA, and Professor Johnson has no commercial affiliation with any generic manufacturer of topiramate. Dr. Liu reported serving as a consultant for Celladon Corporation. No other disclosures were reported. 
B. Funding/ Support 
This study was supported by NIH grants 501 DAO17296-04 and 5 RC1AA019274-02, and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality grant 7 RO1 HS020263092.

neurosciencestuff:

New study shows promise for first effective medicine to treat cocaine dependence

New research published in JAMA Psychiatry reveals that topiramate, a drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat epilepsy and migraine headaches, also could be the first reliable medication to help treat cocaine dependence.

The study, led by Bankole A. Johnson, DSc. MD., MB.ChB., MPhil., chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and head of the School’s new Brain Science Research Consortium Unit, with support from the National Institutes of Health and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, is one of the first to establish a pharmacological treatment for cocaine addiction, for which there are currently no FDA-approved medications.

Addiction affects 13.2 to 19.7 million cocaine users worldwide. Cocaine is responsible for more U.S. emergency room visits than any other illegal drug. Cocaine harms the brain, heart, blood vessels, and lungs — and can even cause sudden death.

Professor Johnson, one of the nation’s leading neuroscientists and psychopharmacologists, had previously found that topiramate was a safe and effective treatment for alcohol dependence compared with placebo.

In releasing the new study, Professor Johnson, who conducted the research when he was with Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia, provided full disclosures, which follow the text of this news announcement.*

The study enrolled 142 participants, aged 18 years or older, seeking treatment for cocaine dependence. Following enrollment, participants were randomly assigned into a topiramate group or placebo group. Neither the participants nor the healthcare professionals administering the treatment knew who was in which group (double-blinded study).

Using an intent-to-treat analysis, the researchers found that topiramate was more efficacious than placebo at increasing the participants’ weekly proportion of cocaine nonuse days and in increasing the likelihood that participants would have cocaine-free weeks. Furthermore, compared with placebo, topiramate also was significantly associated with a decrease in craving for cocaine and an improvement in participants’ global functioning.

The study investigators also observed few side effects due to drug treatment. In general, participants in the topiramate group experienced mild side-effects, including abnormal tingling skin sensations, taste distortions, anorexia, and difficulty concentrating.

"Our findings reveal that topiramate is a safe and robustly efficacious medicine for the treatment of cocaine dependence, and has the potential to make a major contribution to the global health crisis of addiction," Professor Johnson said. "However, topiramate treatment also is associated with glaucoma, and higher doses of the drug can increase the risk of side effects; therefore, caution must be exercised when prescribing the drug, especially when given in high doses."

These results build upon earlier work from Professor. Johnson’s group which indicated that individuals dependent on cocaine, but not seeking treatment, who took topiramate were more likely to experience reduced cravings and preference for cocaine, compared with placebo. The findings of the current study indicate that topiramate may be even more effective in treating people with addiction who actively want to quit using cocaine.

"Because topiramate is the first medication to demonstrate a robust therapeutic effect for the treatment of cocaine or alcohol dependence, its fundamental neurochemical effects provide important clues as to common links in the neurobiological basis of the addictive process in general," remarked Professor Johnson. "These findings also add to our understanding of how addiction affects the brain because it demonstrates the unique concept that dual neurotransmitter modulation, by simultaneously augmenting the inhibitory action of gamma amino butyric acid and inhibiting the excitatory effects of glutamate, can result in therapeutic effects that reduce the propensity to use cocaine."

*Editor’s Notes:

A. Statement of Disclosure

Professor Johnson reported serving as a consultant for Johnson & Johnson (Ortho-McNeil Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC) the manufacturer of topiramate, from 2003-2008 and currently has no affiliation with that Company, Transcept Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from 2006-2008, Eli Lilly and Company from 2009-2010, and Organon from 2007-2010. He currently consults for D&A Pharma, ADial Pharmaceuticals, LLC, (with which he also serves as chairman), and Psychological Education Publishing Company (PEPCo), LLC. Topiramate is currently available as a generic medicine in the USA, and Professor Johnson has no commercial affiliation with any generic manufacturer of topiramate. Dr. Liu reported serving as a consultant for Celladon Corporation. No other disclosures were reported.

B. Funding/ Support

This study was supported by NIH grants 501 DAO17296-04 and 5 RC1AA019274-02, and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality grant 7 RO1 HS020263092.

theshergottiteassociation:

But what does “water on Mars” mean?
The Curiosity team (read: they’re not just NASA!) put out six papers just a month ago, which have created a lot of hype - have we found liquid water on Mars? What does that even mean? Is it flowing, or trapped in rocks?
The largest part of the payload on Curiosity is called Sample Analysis at Mars, or SAM. The instrument measures volatiles - through heating and measuring the temperature at which the gases appear, which can be compared to known values for materials - and isotopes, with a special focus on looking for organic compounds (and whether their origin is biological). The new paper on SAM reads:

Samples from the Rocknest aeolian deposit were heated to ~835°C under helium flow and evolved gases analyzed by Curiosity’s Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite. H2O, SO2, CO2, and O2 were the major gases released. Water abundance (1.5 to 3 weight percent) and release temperature suggest that H2O is bound within an amorphous component of the sample.

What does this mean, in respect to water? Well, a mineral can actually contain water. Olivine, for instance, can contain a significant amount of water at the high pressures within the Earth’s mantle. In this case, we’re dealing with amorphous materials - amorphous materials in geology refer to non-crystalline substances, such as glasses (in this case, the authors refer to aluminosilicate materials, ferric oxides, and oxyhydroxides as the amorphous materials relevant to these data, as they are present in Martian regolith, or the fine dust that covers the planet). 
The results of chemical analyses from both SAM and CheMin (Chemistry and Mineralogy, which does x-ray diffraction) suggest that because there is a lack of hydrous minerals in the sample, the water most likely is coming from these amorphous components. 
As for isotopes, the stable-isotope ratios of hydrogen (δD) for both atmospheric gas and these rock samples are close in value. This would suggest that the H2O in the amorphous material comes either through “direct contact with the atmosphere” or gas (volatiles) “derived from it.” Changes in the δD value with respect to temperature also may suggest seasonal changes that “reflect[ed] changes in the water cycle.” 
Conclusions? The authors suggest that there is a possibility that the water content of Martian rock—as well as CO2 and other volatiles—could be viable for usage by humans. ChemCam confirms many of these results and delves into how the water might interact with the atmosphere (concluding minimally) and amorphous substances. 

theshergottiteassociation:

But what does “water on Mars” mean?

The Curiosity team (read: they’re not just NASA!) put out six papers just a month ago, which have created a lot of hype - have we found liquid water on Mars? What does that even mean? Is it flowing, or trapped in rocks?

The largest part of the payload on Curiosity is called Sample Analysis at Mars, or SAM. The instrument measures volatiles - through heating and measuring the temperature at which the gases appear, which can be compared to known values for materials - and isotopes, with a special focus on looking for organic compounds (and whether their origin is biological). The new paper on SAM reads:

Samples from the Rocknest aeolian deposit were heated to ~835°C under helium flow and evolved gases analyzed by Curiosity’s Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite. H2O, SO2, CO2, and O2 were the major gases released. Water abundance (1.5 to 3 weight percent) and release temperature suggest that H2O is bound within an amorphous component of the sample.

What does this mean, in respect to water? Well, a mineral can actually contain water. Olivine, for instance, can contain a significant amount of water at the high pressures within the Earth’s mantle. In this case, we’re dealing with amorphous materials - amorphous materials in geology refer to non-crystalline substances, such as glasses (in this case, the authors refer to aluminosilicate materials, ferric oxides, and oxyhydroxides as the amorphous materials relevant to these data, as they are present in Martian regolith, or the fine dust that covers the planet).

The results of chemical analyses from both SAM and CheMin (Chemistry and Mineralogy, which does x-ray diffraction) suggest that because there is a lack of hydrous minerals in the sample, the water most likely is coming from these amorphous components. 

As for isotopes, the stable-isotope ratios of hydrogen (δD) for both atmospheric gas and these rock samples are close in value. This would suggest that the H2O in the amorphous material comes either through “direct contact with the atmosphere” or gas (volatiles) “derived from it.” Changes in the δD value with respect to temperature also may suggest seasonal changes that “reflect[ed] changes in the water cycle.” 

Conclusions? The authors suggest that there is a possibility that the water content of Martian rock—as well as CO2 and other volatiles—could be viable for usage by humans. ChemCam confirms many of these results and delves into how the water might interact with the atmosphere (concluding minimally) and amorphous substances. 

greyismanga:

A quick tutorial on how I paint (mostly angular) shaped objects in a BG.

spookpolice:

I just started making some references for myself, but got carried away hahah… ha :’D

I figured I’d share. I’m hoping to make a series of these things for all the drawing bits that give me trouble: woman torsos, hands, wings, different body types, etc.

I hope you also find them useful!

coynu:

i got another ask about this again so i figured i’d finally make a tutorial on how to get colored line art in sai

Torture Permanently Damages Normal Perception of Pain

neurosciencestuff:

TAU researchers study the long-term effects of torture on the human pain system

image

Israeli soldiers captured during the 1973 Yom Kippur War were subjected to brutal torture in Egypt and Syria. Held alone in tiny, filthy spaces for weeks or months, sometimes handcuffed and blindfolded, they suffered severe beatings, burns, electric shocks, starvation, and worse. And rather than receiving treatment, additional torture was inflicted on existing wounds.

Forty years later, research by Prof. Ruth Defrin of the Department of Physical Therapy in the Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University shows that the ex-prisoners of war (POWs), continue to suffer from dysfunctional pain perception and regulation, likely as a result of their torture. The study — conducted in collaboration with Prof. Zahava Solomon and Prof. Karni Ginzburg of TAU’s Bob Shapell School of Social Work and Prof. Mario Mikulincer of the School of Psychology at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya — was published in the European Journal of Pain.

"The human body’s pain system can either inhibit or excite pain. It’s two sides of the same coin," says Prof. Defrin. "Usually, when it does more of one, it does less of the other. But in Israeli ex-POWs, torture appears to have caused dysfunction in both directions. Our findings emphasize that tissue damage can have long-term systemic effects and needs to be treated immediately."

A painful legacy

The study focused on 104 combat veterans of the Yom Kippur War. Sixty of the men were taken prisoner during the war, and 44 of them were not. In the study, all were put through a battery of psychophysical pain tests — applying a heating device to one arm, submerging the other arm in a hot water bath, and pressing a nylon fiber into a middle finger. They also filled out psychological questionnaires.

The ex-POWs exhibited diminished pain inhibition (the degree to which the body eases one pain in response to another) and heightened pain excitation (the degree to which repeated exposure to the same sensation heightens the resulting pain). Based on these novel findings, the researchers conclude that the torture survivors’ bodies now regulate pain in a dysfunctional way.

It is not entirely clear whether the dysfunction is the result of years of chronic pain or of the original torture itself. But the ex-POWs exhibited worse pain regulation than the non-POW chronic pain sufferers in the study. And a statistical analysis of the test data also suggested that being tortured had a direct effect on their ability to regulate pain.

Head games

The researchers say non-physical torture may have also contributed to the ex-POWs’ chronic pain. Among other forms of oppression and humiliation, the ex-POWs were not allowed to use the toilet, cursed at and threatened, told demoralizing misinformation about their loved ones, and exposed to mock executions. In the later stages of captivity, most of the POWs were transferred to a group cell, where social isolation was replaced by intense friction, crowding, and loss of privacy.

"We think psychological torture also affects the physiological pain system," says Prof. Defrin. "We still have to fully analyze the data, but preliminary analysis suggests there is a connection."