Bone cancer shown on a human skull
Bone cancer shown on a human skull
Corset damage to a ribcage. 19th century London. Hunterian Collection, Royal College of Surgeons, London via The Chirurgeon’s Apprentice.
Yes, plain old cloth and string CAN do this to bone. Corsets also had whale bone in them. Living bone is pliable and adaptable. It’s always rebuilding itself. When the right amount of force is placed on it for a long enough time, it will stay that way, particularly if the individual is young.
Submerged human skull found on the beach, Big Island Hawaii
Photo by DPalanuk on Flickr
Archaeologists have unearthed what they believe to be a vampire burial ground on a building site in Poland. The team of historians discovered graves containing four skeletons with their heads removed and placed between their legs near the southern town of Gliwice. Decapitating a suspected vampire was common practice in medieval times because it was thought to be the only way to ensure the dead stay dead. The exact fate of the skeletons is yet unclear, but the archaeologists noted that, apart from being headless, there was no trace of any earthly possessions, such as jewellery, belts or buckles. The remains have been sent for further testing but initial estimations suggest they died sometime around the 16th century.
Alcohol Under the ‘Scope
Alcoholic drinks are crystallized on a slide and illuminated with polarized light, creating these stunning microscope images at 1000x magnification. Sake, Tequila, Daiquiri, White Russian, Pina Colada, and Whiskey.
Pick your poison.
My bestest friend. Love this boy!
Human skulls displaying many fractures and bullet holes. Bottom skull has trajectory rods indicating the path bullets took through the head.
Views of the Adult Human Skull
Top: Front and side views
Bottom left: Lower surface (underside) of base of skull, displaying the bony hard palate (upper palate), zygomatic arches, and foramen magnum.
Bottom right: Upper surface (interior) of base of skull, displaying foramen magnum, sphenozygomatic beam, and temporal beam. The beams are critical supporting structures contributing to the strength of the skull.
A Series of Engravings, representing the Bones of the Human Skeleton. Edward Mitchell and John Barclay, 1819.
Top: Metacarpals (long bones) and carpals (short bones)
Second row, left: Left ulna (long bone)
Second row, right: Scapula and sternum (flat bones)
Third row, left: Sagittal section of the knee joint, including the patella (sesamoid bone)
Third row, right: Thoracic vertebrae (irregular bones)
Bottom: Complete Skeleton
Bones are classified into five groups, organized by shape.
Long bones are longer than they are wide, and are subjected to most of the load-bearing responsibilities in everyday life. These include the humerus, radius, and ulna (arms); fibula, femur, and tibia (legs), as well as the phalanges (fingers and toes), metacarpals (hands) and metatarsals (feet).
They grow from the epiphysis (growth plate) at either end of the bone, and failure of these bones to grow causes the majority of dwarfism cases.
Short bones are as wide as they are long, and provide support, but do not bear heavy loads or move much. These include the tarsals (feet) and carpals (hands/wrists).
Flat bones are broad bones that provide protection to organs, and large areas for muscle attachment. These include the bones in the skull, the ilium, scapula, sternum, and ribs. The flat bones consist of two layers of compact bone, surrounding a layer of cancellous bone, where the majority of red bone marrow exists. In adults, most red blood cells are produced in the flat bones.
Sesamoid bones are bones within tendons, which pass over a joint. The most familiar sesamoid bone is the patella, or knee-bone. These bones provide protection to delicate joints.
Irregular bones don’t fit into any of the above categories. The mandible and vertebrae are irregular bones.
Atlas and Text-book of Human Anatomy. Dr. Johannes Sobotta, 1914.
Anatomy: Descriptive and Applied. Henry Gray, 1918.
A Series of Engravings, representing the Bones of the Human Skeleton. William Cheselden, 1819.
Autopsy: Internal ExaminationThe internal examination starts with a large, deep, Y-shaped incision that is made from shoulder to shoulder meeting at the breast bone and extends all the way down to the pubic bone. When a woman is being examined, the Y-incision is curved around the bottom of the breasts before meeting at the breast bone.The next step is to peel back the skin, muscle and soft tissue using a scalpel. Once this is done, the chest flap is pulled up over the face, exposing the ribcage and neck muscles.Two cuts are made on each side of the ribcage, and then the ribcage is pulled from the skeleton after dissecting the tissue behind it with a scalpel.With the organs exposed, a series of cuts are made that detach the larynx, esophagus, various arteries and ligaments. Next, the medical examiner severs the organs’ attachment to the spinal cord as well as the attachment to the bladder and rectum. Once this is done, the entire organ set can be pulled out in one piece and dissected for further investigation.During this dissection, the various organs are examined and weighed and tissue samples are taken. These samples take the form of “slices” that can be easily viewed under a microscope. Major blood vessels are also bisected and examined.The examiner opens the stomach and examines and weighs the contents. This can sometimes be helpful in figuring out the time of death (more on time of death later).The examiner will then remove the body block from the back and put it behind the neck like a pillow, raising the patient’s head so that it’s easier to remove the brain.The examiner makes a cut with a scalpel from behind one ear, across the forehead, to the other ear and around. The cut is divided, and the scalp is pulled away from the skull in two flaps. The front flap goes over the patients face and the rear flap over the back of the neck.The skull is cut with an electric saw to create a “cap” that can be pried off, exposing the brain. When the cap is pulled off, the dura (the soft tissue membrane that covers the brain) remains attached to the bottom of the skull cap. The brain is now exposed. The brain’s connection to the spinal cord and tentorium (a membrane that connects and covers the cerebellum and occipital lobes of the cerebrum) are severed, and the brain is easily lifted out of the skull for examination.Throughout this whole process, the medical examiner is looking for evidence of trauma or other indications of the cause of death. The process varies based on the nature of the case and is incredibly detailed — the forensic pathologist has to adhere to an intricate, in-depth process to ensure the proper collection and documentation of evidence.After the examination, the body has an open and empty chest cavity with butterflied chest flaps, the top of the skull is missing, and the skull flaps are pulled over the face and neck. To prepare the body for the funeral home:•The organs are either put back into the body or incinerated.•The chest flaps are closed and sewn back together.•The skull cap is put back in place and held there by closing and sewing the scalp.The funeral home is then contacted to pick up the deceased.The whole process takes careful work. Dr Kiesel explains how long this can take:An average autopsy case takes about four hours. That’s including all the paperwork. There is about a half an hour before and after the autopsy for doing the external examination, the dictation, the paperwork. The autopsy can take anywhere from one hour to two hours if it’s an uncomplicated case. If it’s a complicated case like a homicide … it can take many hours — 4 to 6 hours.Dr Kiesel continues, “The medical examiner will then take all of the information that they’ve received from the autopsy exam, all of the information they’ve received from the investigation, and they will determine a cause of death and a manner of death.”This article How Autopsies Workby Robert Valdes, and more on the subject of autopsys and the autopsy dynamics please click here