Shark Bites Whale

Phys.Org mentions an interesting article published in the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. The article concerns a fragment of a whale rib, dating to the Pliocene, that shows evidence of a shark bite. In this case the rib also displays evidence of having survived the attack. From Phys.Org: Continue reading

Rickets, Neanderthals, And Lubenow: Part Two

In the previous post in this series I looked at vitamin D metabolism and the effects of vitamin D deficiency on the skeleton. So, lets talk about Lubenow and Neanderthals. Lubenows discussion of Neanderthals and rickets occurs in chapter 14. He begins the chapter by invoking the Genesis flood to explain the ice ages, which only lasted, according to Lubenow, for 700 years (give or take). Continue reading

Rickets, Neanderthals, And Lubenow: Part One

I have mentioned previously that I was reading Lubenow’s Bones of Contention. In this post I would like to focus on Lubenow’s understanding of rickets and Neanderthal morphology. In order to discuss that I first need to discuss vitamin D deficiency Continue reading

Paleopathology of King Tutankhamun And His Relatives

As mentioned in a previous post Jama has published the results of some interesting research on Tutankhamun and his family.
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Begging For An Article

Can some one send me a copy of the following article:

Ancestry and Pathology in King Tutankhamun’s Family
Zahi Hawass, PhD; Yehia Z. Gad, MD; Somaia Ismail, PhD; Rabab Khairat, MSc; Dina Fathalla, MSc; Naglaa Hasan, MSc; Amal Ahmed, BPharm; Hisham Elleithy, MA; Markus Ball, MSc; Fawzi Gaballah, PhD; Sally Wasef, MSc; Mohamed Fateen, MD; Hany Amer, PhD; Paul Gostner, MD; Ashraf Selim, MD; Albert Zink, PhD; Carsten M. Pusch, PhD
JAMA. 2010;303(7):638-647.

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Global History of Health Project

I know I have mentioned this before (unfortunately, I can’t find where) but Richard Steckel and Jerome Rose (among others) are working on a fascinating project called the Global History of Health Project. One of the reasons that I brought this up is because the Jewish World review has a fascinating overview of the project: Continue reading

Tuesday Paleopathology Blogging: Did STW 431 Have Brucellosis?

I’ve been meaning to mention this ever since the article was published in PLoS One.

Brucellosis is an infectious disease caused by any of several bacilli. It is primarily found in livestock such as cows, horses, pigs, and goats. It has also been found in wild animals such as zebra, eland, waterbuck, and impala. It is primarily transmitted to humans via infected dairy products and meat. In humans the disease appears as a chronic infection of the lungs and recurring fevers. Males are affected more than females. The primary center of skeletal involvement occurs in the spine. Ortner and Putschar define the lesion involved as follows:

The lesion is a lytic cavitation. Grossly and on X-ray, it frequently can be seen penetrating the vertebral end-plate and extending through the nucleus pulposus of the disc into the next vertebral body … The cancellous bone within the focus is destroyed without formation of significant sequestra. The cortex also may be perforated, leading to parosteal abscesses. There is usually very little, if any, reactive bone formation except in the healing phase … In contrast to tuberculosis, which it resembles in several ways, complete collapse of vertebrae with gibbus formation is usually not observed … and paravertebral abscess is rare …

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