Tag Archives | Anatomy

You Are More Bug Than Human

Yup, that’s right, you have so many disgusting creatures living on and in your body that you’re more bug than human (per BBC Future). Deal with it.

We hate to break it you, but you’re not totally human. It’s nothing about you personally. It’s just that more than 90% of the cells in the human body are actually parasites. You might feel like a single being, but you’re really more of a bug city, teeming with different species.

Every square centimetre of your face houses one or two tiny spiders. — Don’t panic – they keep you clean.

Or as Greg Foot from BritLab puts it in the above video: “In a rather gross way, you are practically a walking petri dish, a home for more bugs and bacteria than you’d care think about.”

Consider the skin on your face. As smooth and peachy as it may look, every square centimetre houses around one or two “demodex spiders”.

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Remixing Human Anatomy with Italian Artist Alessandro Boezio

Alessandro Boezio, an Italian artist, remixes the human anatomy.

via Boezio’s website:

Alessandro Boezio, 1983, he lives and works between Milano and Brescia.

An artist of versatile creativity, he uses an incredible number of materials, both precious and simple, to create sculptures, installations and original works, each infused by a rich vein of humor. He transforms reality by toying with concepts and objects, which, as the artist affirms, “Everything can be transformed, everything can be re-used, everything is re-adaptable”. His works often show a strong bond with nature, bizarre in its micro and macro figurazione. At the same time, Boezio pays a clear homage to technology with its useless knick knacks that man seems practically unable to do without.

Hermaphroditus, 2015

Hermaphroditus, 2015

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The man who revolutionized our knowledge of the human body

Drawn directly from the flesh. Public Domain Review/Flickr, CC BY-SA

Drawn directly from the flesh. Public Domain Review/Flickr, CC BY-SA

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.

By Richard Gunderman, Indiana University-Purdue University

December 31, 2014 marks the 500th anniversary of the birth of one of the most important figures in the history of medicine. He authored one of the most elegant and influential books in scientific history. His investigations revolutionized our understanding of the interior of the human body and the methods physicians use to study and teach about it, reverberating throughout medicine down to the present day.

His name was Andreas Vesalius. He was born into a medical family in what is now Belgium. As a boy he showed a great interest in the dissection of animals, a predilection that disgusted his contemporaries. Yet he persevered, going on to study medicine at both Paris and Padua, then two of the great centers for anatomic research.… Read the rest

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Indiana Man Arrested For Selling Stolen Brains On eBay

stolen brainsThe thing about the brains of nineteenth-century mental patients is, you can’t help but collect them all. Via CNN:

The arrest last month of a 21-year-old suspect uncovered, police say, a macabre scheme to steal the brains of dead mental patients and sell them online. The suspect was peddling some 60 brains. And yes, amazingly there were customers.

Suspect David Charles allegedly stole more than 60 jars of brain in October from a warehouse space at the Indiana Medical History Museum, the Marion County prosecutor’s office said in court papers Thursday. He is accused of breaking into the museum and taking jars of brains and tissue from autopsies performed on patients in the 1890s.

Charles was arrested December 16 after authorities organized an undercover sting at an Indiana Dairy Queen.

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Severed Whole Human Leg Washes Ashore On Chicago Beach

human leg

What was it running from? The Chicago Sun-Times reports:

A human leg was found on a Kenwood neighborhood beach Wednesday afternoon on the South Side, Chicago Police said. Police were notified at 2:42 p.m. about a human leg on the beach in the 4700 block of South Lake Shore Drive.

Authorities said a person walking along Lake Michigan found the leg on the rocks near the lake. The leg was severed from the hip down.

An autopsy was scheduled for Thursday, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. Area Central detectives were conducting a death investigation.

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Scientists Create Bionic Ear With Superhuman Range Of Frequency Hearing

bionic ear

Wearing a pair of these in the modern urban environment sounds torturous. Via Science Daily:

Scientists at Princeton University used off-the-shelf printing tools to create a functional ear that can “hear” radio frequencies far beyond the range of normal human capability. The scientists used 3D printing of cells and nanoparticles followed by cell culture to combine a small coil antenna with cartilage, creating what they term a bionic ear.

“This field has the potential to generate customized replacement parts for the human body, or even create organs containing capabilities beyond what human biology ordinarily provides,” the researchers wrote.

The ear in principle could be used to restore or enhance human hearing. Electrical signals produced by the ear could be connected to a patient’s nerve endings, similar to a hearing aid. The current system receives radio waves, but the research team plans to incorporate other materials, such as pressure-sensitive electronic sensors, to enable the ear to register acoustic sounds.

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The Strange Case Of Edward Mordake’s Two Faces

edward mordakeThe physical manifestation of what we all possess inside? Wikipedia on historical figure Edward Mordake, who allegedly had a second, “evil” face which would spasm, cry, and make horrid expressions:

Edward Mordake was reportedly the 19th century heir to an English peerage. He supposedly had an extra face on the back of his head, which could neither eat nor speak, although it could laugh and cry. Edward begged doctors to have his “demon head” removed, because, supposedly, it whispered satanist language to him at night, but no doctor would attempt it. He committed suicide at the age of 23.

This is the story as told in Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine:

He was a young man of fine attainments, a profound scholar. But upon the back of his head was another face, that of a girl, ‘lovely as a dream, hideous as a devil’. The eyes would follow the movements of the spectator, and the lips ‘would gibber without ceasing’.

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Creepy Medical Cannibalism In Europe’s Past

Res Obscura on a part of medical history which is not secret, yet never discussed, most likely because it is so gruesome:

What did the jars [in seventeenth and eighteenth century pharmacies] actually contain? Things found in herb teas sold today, like chamomile, fennel, licorice, and cardamom — alongside some utterly bizarre ones, like powdered crab’s eyes, Egyptian mummies, and human skull, or “cranium humanum.” I was struck by the degree to which they take for granted the consumption of human bodies as medicinal drugs.

Substances like human fat or powdered mummy were once so common that hundreds or perhaps even thousands of antique ceramic jars purpose-built to contain them still exist in antique shops, museums and private collections. This is no secret, but it remains more or less the domain of specialists in early modern history.

It was a relatively common sight in early modern France and Germany to witness relatives of sick people collecting blood from recently executed criminals to use in medical preparations:

For those who preferred their blood cooked, a 1679 recipe from a Franciscan apothecary describes how to make it into marmalade…[T]hese medicines may have been incidentally helpful—even though they worked by magical thinking, one more clumsy search for answers to the question of how to treat ailments at a time when even the circulation of blood was not yet understood.

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How Much Is My Body Worth?

Via the Guardian, Storm Theunissen discusses her experiment to find out, ultimately learning that we are worth far more dead than alive:

In Britain…there are various legal ways human body parts can be sold. I tried to see how much of the human body can lawfully be put up for sale: by trying to sell as much of my own body as I could.

I tried to sell my hair. I was quoted £50 by a hairdresser in London that specialises in harvesting human hair to make wigs for chemotherapy patients. The British pharmaceutical industry uses many bodily fluids to test new drugs, and I was hopeful for a decent sale upon learning they pay up to £1,750 for 1ml of blister fluid, £1,000 for a cup of saliva and £1,600 for a gram of earwax. The best offer I got was £30 for some blood. Another clinic would have paid me £50 for some skin – if I had psoriasis.

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