Human embryos have lizard hand muscles that disappear before birth

New, high-res 3D images of human embryos show a variety of muscles that were "present in our ancestors but normally absent from the adult human." For example, there are hand muscles that temporarily appear in human embryos but usually disappear before birth. According to the researchers, our human ancestors lost those "muscles from the back of the hand about 250 million years ago as mammals and reptiles split on the evolutionary tree." From Science News:

These appearing and disappearing, or atavistic, muscles are remnants of evolution, says biologist Rui Diogo of Howard University in Washington, D.C. Such atavistic muscles are built as a base from which to start paring down to the final set of muscles that people are born with, he says. “Losing and specializing, that’s what happens in human evolution.”

Other animals have kept some of those muscles. Adult chimpanzees and human embryos have epitrochleoanconeus muscles in their forearms, but most adult humans don’t. Human’s mammalian ancestors also lost dorsometacarpales muscles from the back of the hand about 250 million years ago as mammals and reptiles split on the evolutionary tree. Lizards still have those muscles, and they appear in human embryos, but then are lost or fuse with other muscles during development and aren’t found in most adults.

"Development of human limb muscles based on whole-mount immunostaining and the links between ontogeny and evolution" (Development) Read the rest

Incredible ultra-high resolution 3D brain scan from 100 hour MRI

More than 100 hours of MIR scanning has generated an image of a whole human brain with unprecedented level of detail. Massachusetts General Hospital researchers and their colleagues used a 7 Tesla MRI machine, recently approved by the FDA, to scan the donated brain from a 58-year-old-woman. The image shows detail down to .1 millimeter. From Science News:

Before the scan began, researchers built a custom spheroid case of urethane that held the brain still and allowed interfering air bubbles to escape. Sturdily encased, the brain then went into a powerful MRI machine called a 7 Tesla, or 7T, and stayed there for almost five days of scanning...

Researchers can’t get the same kind of resolution on brains of living people. For starters, people couldn’t tolerate a 100-hour scan. And even tiny movements, such as those that come from breathing and blood flow, would blur the images...

These (new kinds of) detailed brain images could hold clues for researchers trying to pinpoint hard-to-see brain abnormalities involved in disorders such as comas and psychiatric conditions such as depression.

"7 Tesla MRI of the ex vivo human brain at 100 micron resolution" (bioRxiv.org) Read the rest

Magnificent crocheted human anatomical model

Among other wild artworks, Shanell Papp created this incredible crocheted human body titled "Lab (Skeleton)." The piece was displayed on a gurney and the organs can be "dissected."

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Kickstarting mosaics made from precious stones and marble that replicate 16th-century anatomical drawings

John Unger writes, "Using marble, stone and precious gems, I am creating a series of 14 mosaics that replicate 16th century anatomical engravings. Each mosaic is 7’ x 4’ and presents the figures at life size— viewers can stand before them and see anatomy as though looking in a mirror." Read the rest

Old dentists' office walls are full of thousands of "buried teeth"

For at least the third time, construction workers in Georgia have opened up the walls of a former dentist's office only to discover thousands of teeth in the wall cavity. Read the rest

Use VR to travel through a duck's amazing vagina

The internet is perpetually amused and fascinated by the crazy, corkscrewing duck penis, but commonsense dictates that if fella ducks have crazy willies, then lady ducks will have equally amazing hoo-hahs. Read the rest

Breasts aren't "boobs" or "titties" but rather "tiddies" or "titays"

"Titties" is a stupid word. It's so stupid and gross that some millennials are replacing it with even more ridiculous words like "tiddies" or "titays." Brilliantly funny MEL Magazine editor Alana Hope Levinson explores how "The Extremely Online are destroying language — one tiddy (or tity) at a time." From MEL:

I first started thinking about this when columnist merritt k wrote about the state of fake boobs and tried to get away with “tity” — with one “t” — throughout the entire draft. I thought it was a typo, but I was astounded to learn that merritt is on a one-woman crusade to make “tity” both the singular and plural.

Still, I thought merritt was a lone tity weirdo until I encountered “tiddies” in writer and designer Robyn Kanner’s draft on trolling Instagram’s nudity policy. “Tiddies” — apparently also the choice spelling of my bible, Jezebel — first appeared when Kanner was describing a scene in Garden State where Method Man asks Zach Braff, Peter Sarsgaard and Natalie Portman if they “saw some titties” at a strip club. In this case, Kanner was using the double d (lol) as a pronunciation spelling common in slang cause she thinks it “has more swagger.” “Titties with a ‘t’ is nice, but it just sounds like college boys talking about boobs,” she says. “Tiddies is ‘we are older, but we are recognizing we are making a joke about boobs.’” Because “titties” is so ridiculous, making it even more so somehow neutralizes the effect with comedy — or at least gives you some ironic distance.

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Anatomy of the human head in the style of a London tube-map

Jonathan Simmonds, an MD in Boston, MA, created these Map Anatomy illustrations that represent a detailed, functional diagram of the human head's anatomy in the style of a London tubemap; you can buy downloads and posters from his Etsy store, but act quickly, because Transport for London are notorious, humourless assholes about this kind of thing! (via Reddit) Read the rest

Syndaver: A $95K animatronic cadaver that's replacing med-school corpses

The Syndaver is a super-realistic robotic human corpse simulator with replaceable viscera that med students can dissect again and again, freeing them to use the donated bodies of people who willed their remains to science for med school pranks, like sneaking them into the alumni dinner in a tuxedo. Read the rest

Photorealistic "anatomical" fish pencil-cases

Keiko Otsuhata created a set of three "anatomical fish zip-bags" for Colossal, in kinme, saury, and sea bream. They're $18 each. Read the rest

Four anatomical models you assemble from 132 anatomically correct sub-components

The $45.28 Learning Resources Anatomy Models Bundle Set is a well-reviewed set of anatomical models: a 5" heart, a 3.75" brain, a 4.5" body and a 9.2" skeleton, all of which disassemble into anatomically correct sub-components that you assemble into the finished pieces. (via Fun Finds) Read the rest

Lollipops that look like "creature eyeballs"

Vintage Confections' $19 Creature Eyeball lollipop assortments come in an assortment of six flavors ("Blackberry, Marshmallow, Cotton candy, Green apple, Strawberry, Guava") and an assortment of creepy eyeball designs. (via Crazy Abalone) Read the rest

Beautiful hand-cut papercraft of human organs

Ali Harrison creates lacy, delicate paper cutouts of human organs, like this reproductive system. She then recreates those as laser-cut wood and T-shirts, like this one benefiting Planned Parenthood: Read the rest

Why we have kneecaps

Do you ever wonder why we need kneecaps?

The demonstration shows how kneecaps provide leverage. I'm happy the Flying Spaghetti Monster built us this way. Read the rest

Understanding vulvas: what do they really look like?

The Guardian's released the first of "The Vagina Dispatches," four short documentaries about women's genitals. This episode is about vulvas, labiaplasty, anatomy, and sex, and is a fascinating 15 minutes. NSFW, if you work somewhere where images of vulvas are frowned upon. (Thanks, Mae!) Read the rest

French schools use 3D printed anatomical clitoris models in sex-ed classes

The amazing internal anatomy of the clitoris is a mystery that has surfaced and vanished in history, coming into focus in 2005 (!), when Royal Melbourne Hospital urologist Helen O'Connell published her groundbreaking MRI studies. Read the rest

Skull Walker: a scuttling skull-creature

Y Nakajima's "Skull Walker 2.0" used the skull off an older sculpture and a HEXBUG Strand Beast Toy Figure (inspired by Theo Jansen's Strandbeest walkers) to create this brilliant piece of nightmare fuel. (via Laughing Squid) Read the rest

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