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Biomedical Ephemera, or: A Frog for Your Boils ://biomedicalephemera.tumblr.com/?og=1" /><"#page/8" />

Biomedical Ephemera, or: A Frog for Your Boils

biomedicalephemera:
“ Amputation of foot and leg with examples of prostheses
Given that we largely only need our legs for balance and ambulation, and that we’re (usually) perfectly capable of balancing with one leg, making functional prostheses for...
biomedicalephemera:
“ Amputation of foot and leg with examples of prostheses
Given that we largely only need our legs for balance and ambulation, and that we’re (usually) perfectly capable of balancing with one leg, making functional prostheses for...

biomedicalephemera:

Amputation of foot and leg with examples of prostheses

Given that we largely only need our legs for balance and ambulation, and that we’re (usually) perfectly capable of balancing with one leg, making functional prostheses for the lower extremities was much simpler than making functional arms and hands. Heck, even a peg leg could work fine in most situations, at least if it was fitted well.

Most prostheses in the early-to-mid 19th century were focused more on aesthetics than on true usability. They looked like the real thing, and could easily be masked by pants and shoes, but they were often clunky, heavy, and ill-fitted (causing sores at the articulation point). Some doctors were trying to work on functional knees for prosthetic legs by that point, but those were even worse to use, as the “joint” was difficult to control.

Traité complet de l'anatomie de l'homme comprenant la medecine operatoire, par le docteur Marc Jean Bourgery. Nicolas Henri Jacob (artist), 1831.

biomedicalephemera:

Cicada emerging from its pupal form

Hearing a constant buzzing outdoors this time of year? If it’s not road construction, it’s probably the cicadas. They derive their name from the Latin cicada, meaning “tree cricket”, but their means of sound production - using a “tymbal” on their thorax, rather than the rasping hind legs that crickets use - means that when a number of males get together to call mates, they can reach over 100 decibels. That’s as loud as a low-speed chainsaw, a jet engine at 1000 feet, or a motorcycle you’re riding.

There are large populations of cicadas that emerge only every 13 or 17 years in the United States, but both the US and Europe, there are also sizable populations of annual cicadas that come out ev ery summer, and buzz at us until it’s cold enough to wear sweaters.

Brehms Tierleben, Allgemeine Kunde des Tierreichs. Dr. Otto zur Strassen, 1915.

image

Just like Giant Canada Geese are Belligerent Hate Boats! :D I love me some alternative animal names.

image

I wonder how ubiquitous this was? I know they exist throughout most of the world aside from far East Asia and most of Africa.

I had jars and jars of discarded shells with my perfect acorn hats. I loved collecting the shells, but I never did anything with them. Before air conditioning was a thing I had my window open every night, and when the night was as hot as day, they screamed long after I fell asleep.

The images etc of Doramad Toothpaste are not credited to their source: ORAU. These images, that I created, ARE NOT Creative Commons etc Share Alike.
Asked by Anonymous

Unfortunately, as the post of Doramad Toothpaste was before I set a proper accreditation system up, I don’t know which of the images you’re referring to. There were three different sources for the post images in my metadata, and searching the ORAU sites did not give any results. Please let me know which image/s you’re referring to.

Just FYI to anyone who this might apply to: I have an email set up specifically for this blog. It’s Frogsandboils@gmail.com. If there are egregious errors or uncredited images, please send all queries to that address. As it’s also my bio editing consultation email, I check it much more often than my Tumblr account, and you’re a lot more likely to get a reply.

Cicada emerging from its pupal form

Hearing a constant buzzing outdoors this time of year? If it’s not road construction, it’s probably the cicadas. They derive their name from the Latin cicada, meaning “tree cricket”, but their means of sound production - using a “tymbal” on their thorax, rather than the rasping hind legs that crickets use - means that when a number of males get together to call mates, they can reach over 100 decibels. That’s as loud as a low-speed chainsaw, a jet engine at 1000 feet, or a motorcycle you’re riding.

There are large populations of cicadas that emerge only every 13 or 17 years in the United States, but both the US and Europe, there are also sizable populations of annual cicadas that come out every summer, and buzz at us until it’s cold enough to wear sweaters.

Brehms Tierleben, Allgemeine Kunde des Tierreichs. Dr. Otto zur Strassen, 1915.

Big-Headed Turtle - Platysternon megacephalum
In one of the best cases of “well, that tracks” names, the Big-Headed Turtle is, er, big-headed. Even the adult form doesn’t seem quite to scale.
While it’s not well-studied, there are few enough of this...
Big-Headed Turtle - Platysternon megacephalum
In one of the best cases of “well, that tracks” names, the Big-Headed Turtle is, er, big-headed. Even the adult form doesn’t seem quite to scale.
While it’s not well-studied, there are few enough of this...

Big-Headed Turtle - Platysternon megacephalum

In one of the best cases of “well, that tracks” names, the Big-Headed Turtle is, er, big-headed. Even the adult form doesn’t seem quite to scale.

While it’s not well-studied, there are few enough of this turtle that it’s considered endangered or “data-deficient” in the lists available.

This species is found in the far south of China, Laos, and Cambodia. It’s also been spotted in Laos, Myanmar, a nd Thailand.

Unfortunately, it’s known to be eaten for a standard (non-medicinal) foodstuff in the areas spotted, too. I assume the “eaten” means they consume the adults - this juvenile looks like a bunch of bones and a beak to me.

Brehms Tierleben, Allgemeine Kunde des Tierreichs. Prof. Otto zur Strassen, 1910.

Surgical steps for treatment of entropion and trichiasis

This patient has entropion (an in-turned eyelid) and trichiasis (a condition where the eyelashes are misdirected and grow inwards towards the eye - frequently but not always accompanying entropion).

The original captions from the National Museum of Health state that this patient had conjunctivitis (swelling of the conjunctiva, the mucous membrane that lines the front of the eye and inside of the eyelids), keratitis (swelling of the cornea), and the entire set of symptoms was secondary to trachoma.

Trachoma is caused by Chlamidia trachomatis, and is also known as “blinding trachoma”, for its often-devastating results when left untreated. Since it often manifests as just an irritating itchy affliction at the start, if people don’t have the opportunity to seek help early on, the condition can permanently scar the retina before they ever get treated.

This is also one of the earliest recorded eye afflictions, recorded in Egypt between 20 and 10 BCE. For a long time, it was endemic to much of the world, but with the advent of antibiotics, regions with organized governments and healthcare systems have gone a long way towards eliminating it. The United States, most of Europe, and India have had concerted efforts to eliminate the condition, but it still affects between 50 - 80 million people, and at least 2 million (possibly up to 8 million) are permanently blinded due to the condition.

The patient shown here is from the 20th General Hospital, located in Ledo, India, during WWII.

National Museum of Health and Medicine Archives.

biomedicalephemera:

Clinical shot of patient recovering from gas gangrene

Gas gangrene is usually caused by the anaerobic bacteria Clostridium perfringens, but can be caused by any other anaerobic bacteria that infects muscle tissue. It’s often fatal, as the infection and exotoxins from the bacteria quickly flood the bloodstream, in addition to breaking down the muscular tissue.

If amputation was not an option, debridement (the medical removal of dead or infected tissue) and excision was often the only treatment. Secondary infection after removal of the infected tissue was a common problem, but antibiotic use after treatment helped stave off new bacteria.

Image from Otis Archives

Is it possible for one to get wet gangrene on the skin of their back?
Asked by Anonymous

Yep, especially when the skin is wounded in a dirty environment. Gas gangrene is a form of wet gangrene that occurs when the anaerobic C. perfringens (occasionally other anaerobic bacteria) infects a wound and is able to establish itself in an oxygen-free environment. This sort of environment is often caused due to blocked blood vessels, causing ischemia. 

While it’s not as common as on the limbs, myonecrosis (tissue death in the muscles, in this case due to infection) of the torso wasn’t unheard of in battlefields through the middle of the 20th century. Field hospitals often didn&rsquo ;t have the proper equipment or setup to prevent infection or to destroy anaerobic bacteria that had already infiltrated a wound.

When Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 went down on Dec 29, 1972, it crashed into a field of sawgrass in the Florida Everglades, and the 77 survivors were stuck in the mud and dirty water for several hours before rescue was able to reach them. Because of all the bacteria in the mud, the injuries from the crash, and the slicing of the sawgrass, eight of the survivors ended up developing gas gangrene in various parts of their body. One of the guys who developed it on his back gave a fairly graphic des cription of the experience on the Discovery Canada/National Geographic Channel series Mayday (Air Disasters in the US).

—-

Long story short, yes, it is. It sounds like a pretty horrific thing to deal with. I advise against it whenever possible.

Have anything on scurvy?
Asked by Anonymous

Hyup! A few posts. There’s only so much you can say on scurvy.

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned the really good summary of the history of scurvy (and the beginnings of blinded scientific studies!) on Sawbones, though. Listen to it if you haven’t already!

image
Front Cover of “Antarctic Penguins”
By Dr. G. Murray Levick, 1914.
Front Cover of “Antarctic Penguins”
By Dr. G. Murray Levick, 1914.

Front Cover of “Antarctic Penguins”

By Dr. G. Murray Levick, 1914.

Inevitabile Fatum - “Inescapable End”

These figures display the major bones of the human skull and cervical spine.

Though Andreas Vesalius was known as the first European physician to disregard the Galenic model of anatomy (based largely upon the bodies of other primates and not humans) and revolutionize our knowledge of the human form, Johann Dryander had already dissected and illustrated the human skull and brain twice, before Vesalius even came out with his first publication.

Vesalius performed most of his work in Padua, Italy, while Dryander lived and practiced in Marburg, Germany.

Anatomiae, hoc est, corporis humani dissectionis pars prior. Johann Dryander, 1537.

anatomicdeadspace:
“ An unidentified smallpox victim that comes from a copy of the 1910 medical textbook, “The Diagnosis of Smallpox” by Thomas Frank Ricketts.
”

anatomicdeadspace:

An unidentified smallpox victim that comes from a copy of the 1910 medical textbook, “The Diagnosis of Smallpox” by Thomas Frank Ricketts.

Can we all just take a breath and appreciate this beautiful ass?
Onager or Asiatic Wild Ass - Equus hemionus
There are five distinct subspecies of the onager, the most horse-like of the wild asses. They’re larger than African Wild Asses (Equus...
Can we all just take a breath and appreciate this beautiful ass?
Onager or Asiatic Wild Ass - Equus hemionus
There are five distinct subspecies of the onager, the most horse-like of the wild asses. They’re larger than African Wild Asses (Equus...

Can we all just take a breath and appreciate this beautiful ass?

Onager or Asiatic Wild Ass - Equus hemionus

There are five distinct subspecies of the onager, the most horse-like of the wild asses. They’re larger than African Wild Asses (Equus africanus), and once had a range from Syria through Tibet and Mongolia.

Currently, though they’re nowhere near as endangered as the African Wild Ass, their habitat is limited to Mongolia (the primary subspecies being the Mongolian Wild Ass), and small pockets in their former territories. The wild population of all subspecies combined is probably not higher than 3,500 individuals, but those that are out there are not in critical danger.

This is a good thing for more reasons than just human interests in conservation - onagers are a significant food source for many Asian predators. Grey wolves and asiatic l ions and tigers take hundreds of individuals a year, and their continued reproduction and conservation is essential for the species that prey on them, too!

Wild Life of the World, Volume II. Richard Lydekker, 1916.

biomedicalephemera:

Plaster model of executed Chinese pirate

The neck stump of this executed Yangzee River pirate is surprisingly accurate for what was probably a sideshow prop. The cervical spine, blood vessels, muscles, trachea, and esophagus are all visible.

The muscular nature of the esophagus is highly visible here. You can also see the hardness of the trachea.

The donation of this model to the Science Museum London came with little accompanying information, but it is known that it was produced in England, between 1910 and 1922. The braid is real human hair, and the plaster and finish is of a high quality. Given its “blood-splattered” carrying case, it was most likely a prop in a traveling sideshow.

Images via Science Museum London.

biomedicalephemera:

Meet my new friend! I have named it Rory.

I believe this is at least the second generation of house centipede (Scutigera coleoptera) to live near my computer. It lives behind my whiteboard calendar. The first generation (to me) lived in the windowsill, though I have reason to believe it has since died and been replaced by its progeny. Rory was a tiny scamp just a year ago, but has since grown to a lovely 1.75 inch (~4.5 cm) body length (excluding legs/antennae).

Centipedes are difficult to gender without dissection, but Rory is a good centipede name, I think. I already have one named Legs. I am astounded that Rory made it to adulthood since my cat has taken to hunting wall-bugs.

House centipedes have a very long lifespan for arthropods, especially those in regu lar contact with humans, often living for 3-7 years. Rory will probably be here long after I have moved on.

Also, they have purpley-blue blood! This is due to having their bodies transport oxygen via the non-iron-containing hemolymph, rather than iron-containing hemoglobin, which is red, and what almost all vertebrates have.

I do not like their creepy legs or their crazy proportions or their speed, but house centipedes are harmless - they mostly come about as a result of you having spiders or ants about, which they feast on, and which are much more likely to try and bite you…unless you swat a house centipede or hurt it for no reason, they almost never bite humans - and when they do, their venom is nothing compared to their jungle relatives.

[More on House Centipedes]

My husband killed Rory a while ago (and I can’t seem to get his guts off the wall *intense sadness*), but either his or Legs’ babies still live in my computer room windowsill. Can we spare a moment to love on my friends again?