tagged w/ Body
A dig for clandestine graves at Charles Manson's last hideout was called to an end Wednesday after yielding no bodies and leaving scientists puzzled over the clues that had enticed them to come this far.
The dig had been scheduled to last three days, ending Thursday. But the work went faster than scheduled, with the crew of 20 digging until dusk, then camping out at night beside the ranch house Manson and his followers had used.
"So far there have been no human remains found," Inyo County Sheriff Bill Lutze said after the four sites with the greatest probability of holding human remains were dug up. "We're finishing up this site and that'll be it for the day - nothing."
Manson and his followers hid out at the ranch following their killing spree in Los Angeles. For years, rumours have swirled about other possible Manson victims, including hitchhikers and runaways who visited the site and were never heard from again.
Scientists who conducted a preliminary probe of the rugged, remote site in February said they identified several spots that could be graves, leading Lutze to conduct the exploratory excavation.
A dig for clandestine graves at Charles Manson's last hideout was called to an... more
the plantaris, a vestigial muscle that runs from the femur (thigh) to the calcaneus (heal), does not exist in approximately ten percent of the humans living today. freshman medical students often mistake this muscle for a nerve due to it's pencil-thin, elongated form. scientists believe the muscle was useful to other primates for grasping with their feet, but is now disappearing because it's motor function today is so minimal. the plantaris acts to weakly plantar flex the ankle joint, to flex the knee joint, and may also provide proprioceptive feedback information to the central nervous system regarding the position of the foot. it's long tendon can readily be harvested for reconstruction elsewhere with little functional deficit. the unusually high density of proprioceptive receptor end organs supports this notion.
the plantaris, a vestigial muscle that runs from the femur (thigh) to the calcaneus... more
Body fat found under the skin - and particularly on the buttocks - may help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, research suggests.
no need to exaggerate though... (jk)Body fat found under the skin - and particularly on the buttocks - may help reduce the... more
An early mystery was genes. Scientists did not know what hidden factor lurked inside living things, giving rise to their traits and traveling from parent to child to recreate those traits anew.
The answer, of course, turned out to be DNA: Segments of the molecule encode the proteins and RNA molecules that carry out the work of life, send signals, capture energy and build biomass.
But it quickly became clear that just having genes was not the full secret of life. The genes need to become active at the right time and place. Think about it: Each one of your cells contains genes that can produce hair and toenails, and can crank out neurotransmitters and digestive enzymes. If all your genes did churn away, your body would become a hideous, useless jumble. Our life depends on the courteous restraint of our genes.
In the late 1950s, French scientists discovered how genes are restrained. They wanted to know why the microbe E. coli sometimes made enzymes for feeding on lactose (the sugar in milk), and why sometimes it didn't. The scientists demonstrated that E. coli uses three genes to feed on lactose, and all three are lined up next to each other in the microbe's DNA. They also discovered that the three genes can all be shut down at once. A special protein latches onto a distinctive bit of DNA near the genes, blocking the molecules that would read their genetic recipes. If the repressing protein is pried away, the genes switch on.
All living things, ourselves included, turn genes on and off in a similar way, by making switch-like proteins called transcription factors. And as scientists have identified more of these, they've discovered something remarkable: They form a chain of command. The job of some transcription factors is to switch others on and off, and they in turn are controlled by other transcription factors. Even a seemingly simple microbe like E. coli has an impressive hierarchy. Just nine genes rule over about half of the 4,000-odd genes in E. coli.
E. coli's network allows it to respond quickly to the challenges it meets, from starvation to heat to the loss of oxygen. It can rapidly reorganize itself, switching on hundreds of genes and switching off hundreds of others. What makes this network all the more impressive are the feedback loops that keep it from spinning out of control. When one gene switches on, for example, it may make a protein that shuts down the gene that switched it on in the first place.
Yet even as scientists uncover this network, they discover yet another mystery. In the latest issue of Nature, scientists reported an experiment in which they wreaked havoc with E. coli's network. They randomly added new links between the transcription factors at the top of the microbe's hierarchy. Now a transcription factor could turn on another one that it never had before. The scientists randomly rewired the network in 598 different ways and then stepped back to see what happened to the bacteria.
You might expect that they all died. After all, if you were to pop open the back of an iPod and start linking its components together in random ways, you'd expect it to crash. But that's not what happened.
An early mystery was genes. Scientists did not know what hidden factor lurked inside... more
This year's flu season has shaped up to be the worst in four years, partly because the vaccine didn't work well against the viruses that made most people sick, health officials said Thursday.
The 2007-2008 season started slowly, peaked in mid-February and seems to be declining, although cases are still being reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Based on adult deaths from flu and pneumonia, this season is the worst since 2003-2004 - another time when the vaccine did not include the exact flu strain responsible for most illnesses.
Each year, health officials - making essentially an educated guess - formulate a vaccine against three viruses they think will be circulating. They guess well most of the time, and the vaccine is often between 70 and 90 percent effective.
But this year, two of the three strains were not good matches and the vaccine was only 44 percent effective, according to a study done in Marshfield, Wis.
The CDC compares flu season by looking at adult deaths from the flu or pneumonia in 122 cities. This year, those deaths peaked at 9 percent of all reported deaths in early March, and remained above an epidemic threshold for 13 consecutive weeks. In 2003-2004, they peaked at more than 10 percent of all deaths, and surpassed the epidemic threshold for nine weeks.
"Our season is not quite as high but is lasting a little longer," said Dr. Dan Jernigan, deputy director of the CDC's influenza division.This year's flu season has shaped up to be the worst in four years, partly... more
Aversion to inbred men isn't just a sensible cultural tradition. It might be biologically hard-wired into women who are literally able to sniff out the scent of incest.
In a study published today in Current Biology, researchers from the University of Liverpool bred two groups of male mice to be identical in every way but one: the diversity of their so-called major urinary proteins.
Lacking Google stalking and the advice of embittered friends, female mice rely on urinary proteins for information about potential mates. In the wild, mice born to genetically unrelated parents have more varied proteins than the offspring of related parents -- and in the Liverpool lab, female mice consistently picked males with the most complex urinary bouquet.
Do human women have the same ability? Scientists don't know -- but it's certainly plausible. Olfactory cues are among the tricks we instinctively use to detect unsuitable mates. (That said, some animals prefer inbreeding -- and in certain circumstances, "kissing cousins" might have an advantage.)
A non-scientific aside: a lot of jokes came to mind for this post and are entirely unfit to print. That's probably for the better. But it's a shame this study didn't come out five years ago -- it would have made a great plot device for an episode Friends or Seinfeld. Aversion to inbred men isn't just a sensible cultural tradition. It might be... more
Maxim ranks Britney Spears fifth, singling out her two kids, two ex-husbands, weight gain and “losing the ability to perform.
Madonna took the fourth place for her “self-righteous bellyaching and rapid postnuptial deterioration.”NUMBER FIVE Maxim ranks Britney Spears fifth, singling out her two kids, two... more
Showing at the Milwaukee Public Museum Through Jan. 18th..........See also at this site Body Worlds Part 2 by LK Productions http://current.com/items/88526421_body_worlds_san_jose
........................Stay tuned for Part 3!Showing at the Milwaukee Public Museum Through Jan. 18th..........See also at this... more
Imagine the joy of receiving an unexpected gift and then opening it to find it's a human eyeball that's been wrongly delivered to you instead of a needy patient who is waiting for a transplant.
The eyeball was intended for a hospital patient in Hobart, Australia, but was wrongly delievered to a hotel patron randomly. The courier firm who made the 'balls-up' defended the mistake claiming it was down to a "failure in an internal handover process."
Don't worry, the eyeball was recovered and successfully transplanted.
Eye don't know, whatever next?Imagine the joy of receiving an unexpected gift and then opening it to find it's... more
Engineers at the University of Washington have used new techniques to create a flexible, biologically safe contact lens with an electronic circuit and lights. This could offer an opportunity for superhuman vision.
I realize this is just one more step closer to some science fiction-like world where we've create a race of robot/human hybrids that want to destroy us, or something equally sinister but you know what? I totally want these! Engineers at the University of Washington have used new techniques to create a... more
According to BMI (Body Mass Index) categorisation, this triathlete, Jessica, is overweight.
The Flickr group in this link catalogues pictures of random people with their BMI category (underweight, normal, obese etc) next to them and makes for interesting viewing. Not only because some members of the public are just plain weird, but because the BMI categories are obviously a little too limiting in their definitions.
The extreme ends of the scale aren't too surprising but there are some questionable results in there. According to BMI (Body Mass Index) categorisation, this triathlete, Jessica, is... more
Interview with Lisa Croel, Director of Marketing at Museum of Innovations in San Jose. She describes Gunther von Hagen's Body Worlds Exhibit of Real Human Bodies in its first visit to Northern California.Interview with Lisa Croel, Director of Marketing at Museum of Innovations in San Jose.... more
Newsweek article chronicles how both obese and slightly overweight women are increasingly satisfied with losing only small amounts of weight. While this may seem unhealthy, it potentially marks a positive shift in body image away from unrealistic hollywood ideals.Newsweek article chronicles how both obese and slightly overweight women are... more