Homer's epic works were composed c. 750 BC, just as the first alphabetic written language - Greek script - had been invented. After that, sounds of human speech could be encoded directly into print, using the 24 letters of the Greek alphabet. With phonetic alphabet available, a person reading the written words could deliver aloud to an audience any work as-written.
Odyssey thus emerged at a place and a time when a mechanism had first become available to record sounds of human speech. The intrinsic literary value of this classic work gives reason to its preservation - *by repetitive copying of the 12,000 lines of its script* - for 27 centuries (2,700 years).
The Origin of Consciousness ...
" Into human history around 3000 B.C. comes a curious and very remarkable practice. It is a transmutation of speech into little marks on stone or clay or papyrus (or pages) so that speech can be seen rather than just heard, and seen by anybody, not just those within earshot at the time."
"The first writing in human history in a language of which we have enough certainty of translation to consider it in connection with my hypothesis is the Iliad. Modern scholarship regards this revenge story of blood, sweat, and tears to have been developed by a tradition of bards or aoidoi between about 1230 B.C. when, according to inferences from some recently found Hittite tablets, the events of the epic occurred and about 900 or 850 B.C., when it came to be written down."
The thoughts which I publish in what follows are the precipitate of philosophical investigations which have occupied me for the last sixteen years. They concern many subjects: the concepts of meaning, of understanding, of a proposition, of logic, the foundations of mathematics, states of consciousness, and other things. I have written down all these thoughts as remarks, short paragraphs, of which there is sometimes a fairly long chain about the same subject, while I some- times make a sudden change, jumping from one topic to another.—It was my intention at first to bring all this together in a book whose form I pictured differently at different times. But the essential thing was that the thoughts should proceed from one subject to another in a natural order and without breaks.
After several unsuccessful attempts to weld my results together into such a whole, I realized that I should never succeed. The best that I could write would never be more than philosophical remarks; my thoughts were soon crippled if I tried to force them on in any single direction against their natural inclination.——And this was, of course, connected with the very nature of the investigation. For this compels us to travel over a wide field of thought criss-cross in every direction.— The philosophical remarks in this book are, as it were, a number of sketches of landscapes which were made in the course of these long and involved journeyings.
The “content” of any medium is always another medium. The content of writing is speech, just as the written word is the content of print ... If it is asked, “What is the content of speech?,” it is necessary to say: “It is an actual process of thought, which is in itself nonverbal.”
"From the abundance, accessibility and richness of this iron ore, its proximity to the coal field and to the navigation of the Tombigbee River, I can hardly doubt that, like the coal itself, it is destined, at no distant day, to be a source of great mineral wealth to Alabama." - 1846, Sir Charles Lyell [primal geologist: Principles of Geology, 1830] .
Within 30 years, Birmingham would spring from the earth at the spot where coal, limestone and iron ore--which gives Red Mountain its color and name -- naturally existed within 20 miles of one another. Birmingham became known as the Magic City because it burst forth from the mountain as if by magic, with 3,086 residents according to the 1880 census.
As the main bioenergetically active organelles of nonphotosynthetic eukaryotes, mitochondria convert part of the free energy released by the oxidation of nutrient molecules into ATP and other useful forms of energy needed by cells. However, this energy conversion process is far from being 100% efficient, and a significant fraction of the released energy is dissipated as heat. This raises the hitherto unexplored question of the effect of this heat production on the temperature of mitochondria and other cellular components.
Molecular machines: What about turbulent motion in the vicinity of proteins? Respiratory proteins are extraordinary nanoscale molecular machines that can change their conformational state hundreds of times per second; the ATP synthase rotates at up to 400 times per second.
Endothermy is generated by the simple expedient of having about five times as many mitochondria in the visceral organs as equivalent poikilotherms, which, in evolutionary terms, may have originally been associated with greater stamina and a higher field metabolic rate.
Andreas Roland Gruentzig was born at the start of World War II on June 25, 1939 in Dresden, Germany. His father, Dr. Wilmar Gruentzig (1902–1945), was a secondary-school science teacher with a Ph.D. in chemistry. Wilmar was conscripted into the meteorological service of the Luftwaffe during World War II. He presumably died during the war. His mother was Charlotta (née Zeugner) Gruentzig (1907-1955) and a teacher. His older brother was Johannes Gruentzig.
After his birth in Dresden, in 1940 the family moved to the house of a relative in the small town of Rochlitz in western Saxony. After the war, Charlotta and her sons moved to Leipzig along with her sister Alfreda Beier and her mother. In 1950, Charlotta moved her family to Buenos Aires, Argentina to live with her husband's brother and wife. Unhappy and homesick Charlotta and her two sons moved back to Leipzig two years later. Gruentzig and his brother Johannes entered high school at the Thomasschule zu Leipzig. Gruentzig graduated from the Thomasschule in 1957 with highest honors. In 1956, his brother Johannes fled across the border to Hanover. Gruentzig followed a year later.
Gruentzig studied at Bunsen Gymnasium while his brother enrolled as a medical student at Heidelberg University. Gruentzig began his medical studies at Heidelberg University in the fall of 1958 subsequently graduating on April 8, 1964. He then rotated through a series of internships in Mannheim, Hanover, Bad Harzburg, and Ludwigshafen. His studies included internal medicine and vascular surgery.
In 1966 Gruentzig returned to Heidelberg University to take on a staff assistant job at the university's Institute for Social and Occupational Medicine investigating risk factors for cardiovascular disease, chronic bronchitis, and liver degeneration. In 1967, he departed for a six-month paid fellowship to study epidemiology at the University of London School of Hygiene. In 1968 he returned to Heidelberg. Early in 1968 he left for a six-month assistant doctor's job in Darmstadt at the Max Ratschow Clinic.
In November 1969, Gruentzig and his future wife Michaela moved to Zurich where he worked in the department of Angiology at the University Hospital of Zurich.
Dr. Gruentzig fashioned balloons in his kitchen sink and did the first balloon angioplasty in a peripheral artery in 1974. Soon afterward, he decided that the same thing could be done in the coronary arteries after animal experiments.
The first human angioplasty was done intraoperatively in San Francisco by Dr. Gruentzig and Dr. Myler. Soon after, on September 16, 1977, in Zurich Switzerland Dr. Gruentzig did the first angioplasty in the cath lab on an awake patient.
The patient was recathed October 20, 1977, and the site was open - 10 and 30 years later, the patient’s artery was still open as demonstrated by repeat catheterizations.
“The ancient Greeks referred the origins of medicine to a god Asklepios, thereby testifying to their appreciation of the truly divine function of the healing art. The emblem of Aesculapius, familiar in medical symbolism at the present day, was a staff with a serpent coiled round it, the animal typifying wisdom in general, and more particularly the wisdom of the medicine-man, with his semi-miraculous powers over life and death.
“The temples of Aesculapius were scattered over the ancient Hellenic world. To them the sick and ailing resorted in crowds. The treatment, which was in the hands of an hereditary priesthood, combined the best of the methods carried on at our present-day health-resorts, our hydropathics, sanatoriums, and nursing-homes. Fresh air, water-cures, massage, gymnastics, psychotherapy, and natural methods in general were chiefly relied on.
“Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine” (460 - 370 BC) was associated with the Asclepieum of Kos, an island off the south-west coast of Asia Minor, near Rhodes. He revitalized the work of the health-temples, which had before his time been showing a certain decline in vigour, coupled with a corresponding excessive tendency towards sophistry and priestcraft.
“Hippocrates first gave the physician an independent standing, separating him from the cosmological speculator. Hippocrates confined the medical man to medicine. He did with medical thought what Socrates did with thought in general—he “brought it down from heaven to earth.
‘Hippocrates set his face against any tendency to mystery-mongering, to exclusiveness. His concern was rather with the physician’s duties than his ‘rights.’
“At the dawn of recorded medical history Hippocrates stands for the fundamental and primary importance of *seeing clearly* — that is of clinical observation. And what he observed was that the human organism, when exposed to certain abnormal conditions — certain stresses — tends to behave in a certain way: that in other words, each “disease” tends to run a certain definite course. To him a disease was essentially a process, one and indivisible, and thus his practical problem was essentially one of prognosis — ‘What will be the natural course of this disease, if left to itself?’
“Vesalius (1514-64), known as the modern “Father of Anatomy,” for dissecting human bodies, was fiercely assailed by the hosts of orthodoxy. Vesalius proved that Galen had been wrong in saying that the interventricular septum of the heart was permeable.
“Michael Servetus (1509-53) suggested that the blood, in order to get from the right to the left side of the heart, might have to pass through the lungs. *For his heterodox opinions [regarding other matters] he was burned at the stake.
“William Harvey (1578-1657), who founded modern experimental physiology, was the first to establish not only the fact of the circulation but also the physical laws governing it, and is commonly reckoned the Father of Modern Medicine. He owed his interest in the movements of the blood to Fabricio, his tutor at Padua, who drew his attention to the valves in the veins, thus suggesting the idea of a *circular* as opposed to a to-and-fro motion. Harvey’s great generalisation, based upon a long series of experiments in vivo, gave the coup de grâce to Galenic physiology.
“*** Modern medicine, based upon a painstaking research into the details of physiological function, had begun. ***”
“The Staff of Professors of the Royal Caroline Institute has on 23rd October, 1924, decided to confer this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to the Professor of Physiology at the University of Leiden, Willem Einthoven, for his discovery of the mechanism of the electrocardiogram.
“Einthoven’s name is linked partly with the design of a physical instrument, the string galvanometer, partly with the so-called electrocardiogram, a record of the electrical potential fluctuations at the surface of the body, which accompany the heart beat. The heart beat, like the piston movement of a steam engine, is a cyclic process. Behind this process lies, in the first place, a similarly cyclic process in the heart muscle.
“The same mechanism governing the characteristics of the electrocardiogram, also governs the characteristics of the mechanical process during the heart beat. We should remember in this connection that the mechanical process not only consists of the succession of the stimulation of the separate parts of the heart compartments, but also of the cooperation of the individual parts of the heart wall which form the essential condition for the mechanical effect in the individual ventricle or in the individual auricle. A deficiency in this cooperation can, with regard to the mechanical effect, be as fatal as a valvular insufficiency. Today, the importance of the mechanism discovered by Einthoven can easily be realized.”
“The ancient world and the Middle Ages had no idea of the existence of the circulation of the blood. It was not until the Late Renaissance that efforts were made to grasp this process anatomically and understand its function. Thus, Miguel Serveto searched in vain for a connection between the right heart and the left, and in so doing discovered the lesser circulation in 1553. In 1569, Caesalpinus traced the path of the large circulation. Jacobus Sylvius (1543), Canani (1564), and Fabricius of Aquapendente (1574) concurred in recognizing the centripetal movement of the venous bloodstream from the structure and arrangement of valves in the veins. Before their time it had been believed that blood flowed outwards to the periphery, even in the veins.
“William Harvey, one of the most gifted pupils of Fabricius (1578-1657), combined all these individual findings with the results of his own research to form the general picture of what we today call the circulation of the blood. But even he had no clear idea of the circulation in the region of the capillaries. This section was explained and described for the first time by Malpighi in 1661, after he had viewed a frog's lung under a microscope.
“In any event, it is the year 1628, in which Harvey published his classic work De motu cordis et sangunis, that we can call the birth-year of cardiology.”
“By the third time the procedure was performed, the success of the operation had become dramatically apparent. Dr. Taussig described the third patient to receive the landmark operation "as an utterly miserable, small six-year old boy who was no longer able to walk." His skin was intensely blue, his lips deep purple. Just after the final stitches were tied and the clamps released, the anesthesiologist called out, "The boy's a lovely color now!" Dr. Taussig remembered the thrill of walking around to the head of the operating table to see those "lovely normal pink lips." She reported that after his recovery from the operation he was a happy, active child.
“In 1945, the first scientific paper describing the original three operations appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association and had immediate worldwide impact.”
”Say his name, and the busiest heart surgeons in the world will stop and talk for an hour. Of course they have time, they say, these men who count time in seconds, who race against the clock. This is about Vivien Thomas. For Vivien they’ll make time.
Dr. Denton Cooley has just come out of surgery, and he has 47 minutes between operations. “No, you don’t need an appointment,” his secretary is saying. “Dr. Cooley’s right here. He wants to talk to you now.”
Cooley suddenly is on the line from his Texas Heart Institute in Houston. In a slow Texas drawl he says he just loves being bothered about Vivien. And then, in 47 minutes—just about the time it takes him to do a triple bypass—he tells you about the man who taught him that kind of speed.
No, Vivien Thomas wasn’t a doctor, says Cooley. He wasn’t even a college graduate. He was just so smart, and so skilled, and so much his own man, that it didn’t matter.
And could he operate. Even if you’d never seen surgery before, Cooley says, you could do it because Vivien made it look so simple.
Vivien Thomas and Denton Cooley both arrived at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1941— Cooley to begin work on his medical degree, Thomas to run the hospital’s surgical lab under Dr. Alfred Blalock. In 1941 the only other black employees at the Johns Hopkins Hospital were janitors. People stopped and stared at Thomas, flying down corridors in his white lab coat. Visitors’ eyes widened at the sight of a black man running the lab. But ultimately the fact that Thomas was black didn’t matter, either. What mattered was that Alfred Blalock and Vivien Thomas could do historic things together that neither could do alone.
Together they devised an operation to save “Blue Babies”—infants born with a heart defect that sends blood past their lungs—and Cooley was there, as an intern, for the first one. He remembers the tension in the operating room that November morning in 1944 as Dr. Blalock rebuilt a little girl’s tiny, twisted heart.”
‘‘Al, Eileen’s lips are a glorious pink color!’’ said Helen Taussig, MD, pediatrician at Johns Hopkins noted for congenital cardiac anomalies, excitedly. Were these words comparable to those of astronaut Neil Armstrong, ‘‘one giant leap for mankind’’ in introducing an era in human courage and exploration? As a participant in the surgical event at Johns Hopkins Hospital on November 29, 1944, and at the invitation of Lawrence Cohn, Editor of this Journal, I will relate some recollections of the historic first ‘‘blue baby’’ correction, which many consider the dawn of cardiac surgery.
By an unusual stroke of my personal luck, Dr. Alfred Blalock had witnessed a tennis game in the courtyard at Hopkins’ Hospital between me and a fellow third-year student, Lester Persky. To my surprise, he then invited me to join him and his family for a weekend at Gibson Island so that he could have an opponent for ping pong. That may have helped me as an aspiring surgeon. I served externships in surgery during my senior year to fill vacancies, as many of the house staff volunteered for military service during World War II.
After graduation from Hopkins School of Medicine, I received a personal invitation to join the surgical house staff as an intern.Having graduated on August 18, 1944, I joined the staff immediately for a straight surgical internship. My first rotation then was to provide fluid, blood, and plasma to support procedures in the operating rooms. That included responsibility for the blood bank and crossmatching of blood. I worked with one technician who enjoyed permanent employment. On the date of November 29, I arrived in scrub suit at 6:00 AM in the operating room for the scheduled procedure. Vivien Thomas, who was Dr Blalock’s trusted technician from the Hunterian Laboratory (the dog lab), was there already. An air of tension was felt by all.
The patient, Eileen Saxon, a 2-year-old intensely cyanotic and frail child, was chosen as the first patient for trial of a new and untested treatment for a congenital anomaly called tetralogy of Fallot. Most members of the medical and surgical staff questioned the plan to operate on this pathetic child.
Dr. Blalock took his position on the left side of the table, with Bill Longmire on the opposite side. Vivien stood behind Dr Blalock. Dr Taussig stood behind Harmel but was unable to witness the dissection. The incision was an anterolateral incision in the third interspace, and the second and third costal cartilages were divided. Exposure was limited by the incision, and I was unable to observe much. Because the aortic arch was on the left side, the subclavian artery was almost too short to pass over the arch into the left subclavian artery. Instruments were crude by today’s standards and consisted of several bulldog clamps, which were encircled with silk threads to permit traction. Some of these techniques had been developed by Vivien in the dog lab. Dissection in the highly vascular mediastinum to isolate the left pulmonary artery was skillfully done by Dr Blalock with instruments and his left index finger. When the final preparation for the anastomosis was made, the end of the shortened subclavian artery was connected with fine black silk sutures to the side of the pulmonary artery. Dr Blalock several times asked Vivien for advice on suturing.
“In medical school, DeBakey worked for a professor who was researching arterial pulse waves. Asked to find or devise a pump that could modify such waves, DeBakey immersed himself in the engineering literature. He found several designs for roller pumps, which could propel fluid through rubber tubing held in a circular frame by pressing the tube with rollers, and soon built a small, hand-cranked version of his own. This worked well for his professor, but DeBakey realized that his roller pump would also be ideal for doing blood transfusions. At the time, transfusions were often done by collecting blood from the donor in a glass container, then quickly administering it to the patient, before it could clot. (Sodium citrate had been used as an anticoagulant for transfused blood since World War I, but it sometimes had severe side effects and many physicians preferred not to use it.) DeBakey's simple device made it possible to gently pump blood directly from donor to recipient, leaving less time for the blood to clot. And, having no valves, the roller pump did only minimal damage to the blood cells. DeBakey did thousands of transfusions for the New Orleans medical community using the pump.
“At a medical meeting a few years later, DeBakey met John Gibbon, who was developing the first heart-lung bypass machine. One of Gibbon's chief problems was the pump he used, which tended to destroy blood cells. DeBakey suggested his roller pump, and Gibbon incorporated a motorized version of it into his second prototype in the late 1930s. Modified versions of the DeBakey pump are still used in modern heart-lung machines.
“The Tulane mentors who had the greatest influence on DeBakey were Rudolph Matas (1860-1957) and Alton Ochsner (1896-1981). Matas, who retired as Chair of the Department of Surgery in 1927, was one of the outstanding surgeons of his time. William Osler called him "the father of vascular surgery" for his early work on peripheral aneurysm repair. Alton Ochsner succeeded Matas as head of the Department of Surgery, and quickly developed one of the best surgical teaching programs in America. Because Tulane didn't have its own hospital, the program was run from the New Orleans Charity Hospital. Ochsner was a pioneer in the surgical treatment of lung cancer and was one of the first to link lung and esophageal cancers to cigarette smoking.
“DeBakey met Ochsner during his third year of medical school, and in his fourth year began working in Ochsner's surgical laboratory, investigating peptic ulcer. He was soon in charge of the lab, sometimes doing eight to ten dog surgeries each day. He loved the research and technical aspects of operating, and was easily persuaded to continue in surgery as Ochsner's intern and then resident. After receiving his MD in 1932, DeBakey did his surgical residency at Charity Hospital, gradually becoming Ochsner's collaborator.
“When the United States entered World War II, DeBakey, like most young men, wanted to enter military service. Ochsner wanted to keep him at Tulane and initially declared him as "essential personnel," but then relented. DeBakey was immediately recruited to Surgical Consultants Division of the Army Surgeon General's office by his colleague Fred Rankin, who was then the Chief Consultant. Together with B. Noland Carter, DeBakey and Rankin were responsible for providing the Surgeon General with recommendations concerning all aspects of optimal care for the surgical needs of army personnel.”
On May 6, 1953, the first successful truly open-heart operation was performed with the use of the heart-lung machine. On that spring day in Philadelphia, John Heysham Gibbon of the Jefferson University Medical Center, using total cardiopulmonary bypass for 26 minutes, closed a large secundum atrial septal defect (ASD) in an 18-year-old woman. Beginning with this case, generations of cardiac surgeons have been able to operate on millions of human hearts.
John W. Kirklin and colleagues at the Mayo Clinic launched their open heart program on March 5, 1955. They used a heart-lung machine based on the Gibbon-IBM machine, but with their own modifications.
Dr. Kirklin wrote:
" In the winter of 1954 and 1955 we had 9 surviving dogs out of 10 cardiopulmonary bypass runs. With my wonderful colleague and pediatric cardiologist, Jim DuShane, we had earlier selected 8 patients for intracardiac repair. Two had to be put off because two babies with very serious congenital heart disease came along and we decided to fit them into the schedule. We had determined to do all 8 patients even if the first 7 died. All of this was planned with the knowledge and approval of the governance of the Mayo Clinic. Our plan was then to return to the laboratory and spend the next 6 to 12 months solving the problems that had arisen in the first planned clinical trial of a pump oxygenator ... We did our first open heart operation on a Tuesday in March 1955."
John Kirklin became Chairman of the Department of Surgery at the Mayo Clinic in 1960 and became Chairman of Surgery at the University of Alabama Birmingham in 1966. He served as Editor for The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, authored more than 500 scientific articles, and coauthored (with Sir Brian Barrett-Boyes) the definitive text Cardiac Surgery.
“Her son, Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr., was the first African-American to graduate from Vanderbilt University and, in 1980, the first cardiac surgeon in the nation to perform a human implantation of the automatic implantable defibrillator.”
“The idea of solving the human organ shortage with pigs has tantalized surgeons for decades. More than 117,000 Americans are currently on a transplant wait-list in the U.S., according to federal figures, and 22 people die every day awaiting a match.
“Pig organs are similar in size and function to our own, and people are less squeamish about harvesting body parts from an animal raised for meat than they would be about a primate’s.Yet one major hurdle that has continued to vex any such cross-species transplants, or xenotransplants, has been the threat of transmitting viruses that can infect people and pigs alike: The latter’s genome includes 25 so-called retroviruses that apparently do nothing to porkers but might transmit diseases to people—especially immune-compromised transplant patients. ”That concern, particularly amid the HIV epidemic, has helped stall such research for the past couple decades (with the exception of pig heart valves that are used in humans—dead tissue that doesn’t pose the same transmission risks). Recent gene editing advances, however, are rejuvenating interest in pig-to-human transplants.”
Tom Seeley: From 1980 to 1995, I directed most of my efforts at understanding how a honey bee colony solves the problem of allocating its foragers across an ever-changing landscape of flower patches so that it gathers its food efficiently, in sufficient quantity, and with the correct nutritional mix. This work is reviewed in detail in my book The Wisdom of the Hive (1995, Harvard University Press). Since 1995, I have concentrated on figuring out how a swarm of honey bees chooses a new home. This problem arises when a colony reproduces and the old queen bee and some ten thousand worker bees leave the parental hive to produce a daughter colony. The emigrating bees settle on a tree branch in a beard-like cluster and then hang out there together for several days. During this time, these homeless insects do something truly amazing: they hold a democratic debate to choose their new living quarters. Exactly how they do so is reviewed in my book Honeybee Democracy (2010, Princeton University Press).
Remarkably, there are intriguing similarities between how the bees in a swarm and the neurons in a brain are organized so that even though each unit (bee or neuron) has limited information and limited intelligence, the group as a whole makes first-rate collective decisions. For examples, in both systems the process of making a choice consists basically of a competition between the options to accumulate support (bee visits or neuron firings). And in both systems the winner of the competition is determined by which option first accumulates a critical level, or quorum, of support. Consistencies like these indicate that there are general principles of organization for building groups with SI, that is, groups that are far smarter than the smartest individuals in them.
The analyses of collective decision-making by honey bee colonies indicate that a group will possess a high level of SI if among the group’s members there is: 1) diversity of knowledge about the available options, 2) open and honest sharing of information about the options, 3) independence in the members’ evaluations of the options, 4) unbiased aggregation of the members’ opinions on the options, and 5) leadership that fosters but does not dominate the discussion.
Mountcastle:The neocortex of human is a thin, extended, convoluted sheet of tissue with a surface area of ~2600 cm2, and thickness 3–4 mm. It contains up to 28 x 10^9 neurons and approximately the same number of glial cells. Cortical neurons are connected with each other and with cells in other parts of the brain by a vast number of synapses, of the order of 10^12. The cortex is organized horizontally into six laminae, and vertically into groups of cells linked synaptically across the horizontal laminae. The basic unit of the mature neocortex is theminicolumn, a narrow chain of neurons extending vertically across the cellular layers II–VI, perpendicular to the pial surface. Each minicolumn in primates contains ~80–100 neurons, except for the striate cortex where the number is ~2.5 times larger.
Minicolumns contain all the major cortical neural cell phenotypes, interconnected in the vertical dimension. The minicolumn is produced by the iterative division of a small cluster of progenitor cells, a polyclone, in the neuroepithelium, via the intervening ontogenetic unit in the cortical plate of the developing neocortex.
Here, we describe functional units, at a cellular level, of a compound eye from the base of the Cambrian, more than half a billion years old. Remains of early Cambrian arthropods showed the external lattices of enormous compound eyes, but not the internal structures or anything about how those compound eyes may have functioned. In a phosphatized trilobite eye from the lower Cambrian of the Baltic, we found lithified remnants of cellular systems, typical of a modern focal apposition eye, similar to those of a bee or dragonfly. This shows that sophisticated eyes already existed at the beginning of the fossil record of higher organisms, while the differences between the ancient sys- tem and the internal structures of a modern apposition compound eye open important insights into the evolution of vision.
Endothelial hemoglobin a is enriched at the myoendothelial junction, the point where endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells make contact in resistance arteries and arterioles, where it regulates the effect of NO signaling on vascular reactivity. Mechanistically, hemoglobin a heme iron in the Fe3+ state permits active NO signaling, and this signaling is shut off when hemoglobin a is reduced to the Fe2+ state by endothelial cytochrome B5 reductase 3. - Straub lab
Hemoglobin (Hb) is a major protein involved in transport of oxygen (O2). Red blood cells (RBCs) contain maximum amount of Hb and because of their unique structure and plasticity they transport O2 to various tissues of the body at an optimal concentration. Recently, it has been reported that, apart from RBCs, Hb is also expressed by nonerythroid cells such as epithelial cells of different origin. The cells expressing Hb are from the tissues where maintenance of O2 homeostasis is of paramount importance. Hb expression has been observed in the epithelial cells from human tissues including lungs, neurons, retina, and endometrium.
Hemoglobin was accidentally discovered by Hünefeld in 1840 in samples of earthworm blood held under two glass slides. He occasionally found small plate-like crystals in desiccated swine or human blood samples. These crystals were later named as “Haemoglobin” by Hoppe-Seyler in 1864. Around 1870, Claude Bernard discovered its role as oxygen carrier. However the discovery of the detailed three-dimensional structure of Hb by X-ray crystallography is credited to Perutz et al. for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize (1962) in chemistry along with Sir John Kendrew.
Hb is an iron-containing oxygen-transport metalloprotein found majorly in the RBCs of all vertebrates except in the fish family Channichthyidae as well as in some invertebrates. The main function of Hb in mammals is to transport O2 from the lungs to various tissues of the body, but it is also known to interact with three other gases such as CO2, CO, and NO.
Hb is a tetramer made up of two α-globin chains and two β-globin chains which are encoded by two genes located on chromosomes 16 and 11, respectively. The β-globin gene cluster is packaged into inactive heterochromatin in nonerythroid cells, whereas the Hb-α genes are imbedded in open chromatin conformations in all cell types. Each of these chains has a heme moiety attached; thus individual chains can transport oxygen. Under physiological conditions it is involved in transport of oxygen from respiratory organs like lungs to various tissues through RBCs.
ScientificBeekeeping.com articles: by Randy Oliver - commercial [1,000 hive] California beekeeper / insightful biologist / great writer ... see 7-part "Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline" - Feb.-Sept. 2015
* The regular pattern of rounded hexagons in the honeybee comb is a result of the progressive fusion of the circular walls induced by the flow of the visco-elastic molten wax near the triple junction. *
* The regular pattern of rounded hexagons in the honeybee comb is a result of the progressive fusion of the circular walls induced by the flow of the visco-elastic molten wax near the triple junction. *
"The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always. No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe. It's not only their unbelievable stature, nor the color which seems to shift and vary under your eyes, no, they are not like any trees we know, they are ambassadors from another time."
- John Steinbeck
The three redwood subfamily genera are: Sequoia and Sequoiadendron of California and Oregon, USA; and Metasequoia in China.
The redwood species contain the largest and tallest trees in the world. Only two of the genera, Sequoia and Sequoiadendron, are known for massive trees.
The tallest tree in the world is a Sequoia sempervirens (coastal redwood), the Hyperion Tree (380 ft.).
The largest, by volume, is a Sequoiadendron giganteum (giant redwood), the General Sherman Tree (275 ft).
Metasequoia glyptostroboides (dawn redwood) are smaller (150 ft).
APIOPOLIS - urban honeybee sanctuary in Raleigh, North Carolina
. P. VERGILI MARONIS: GEORGICON - LIBER QVARTVS
Nunc age, naturas apibus quas Iuppiter ipse addidit, expediam, pro qua mercede canoros 150 Curetum sonitus crepitantiaque aera secutae Dictaeo caeli regem pavere sub antro. Solae communes natos, consortia tecta urbis habent magnisque agitant sub legibus aevum, et patriam solae et certos novere penates, 155 venturaeque hiemis memores aestate laborem experiuntur et in medium quaesita reponunt. Namque aliae victu invigilant et foedere pacto exercentur agris; pars intra saepta domorum Narcissi lacrimam et lentum de cortice gluten 160 prima favis ponunt fundamina, deinde tenaces suspendunt ceras: aliae spem gentis adultos educunt fetus, aliae purissima mella stipant et liquido distendunt nectare cellas. Sunt quibus ad portas cecidit custodia sorti, 165 inque vicem speculantur aquas et nubila caeli aut onera accipiunt venientum aut agmine facto ignavum fucos pecus a praesepibus arcent. Fervet opus, redolentque thymo fragrantia mella. ac veluti lentis Cyclopes fulmina massis 170 cum properant, alii taurinis follibus auras accipiunt redduntque, alii stridentia tingunt aera lacu; gemit impositis incudibus Aetna; illi inter sese magna vi bracchia tollunt in numerum versantque tenaci forcipe ferrum: 175 non aliter, si parva licet componere magnis, Cecropias innatus apes amor urget habendi, munere quamque suo. Grandaevis oppida curae et munire favos et daedala fingere tecta. At fessae multa referunt se nocte minores, 180 crura thymo plenae; pascuntur et arbuta passim et glaucas salices casiamque crocumque rubentem et pinguem tiliam et ferrugineos hyacinthos. Omnibus una quies operum, labor omnibus unus: mane ruunt portis; nusquam mora; rursus easdem 185 vesper ubi e pastu tandem decedere campis admonuit, tum tecta petunt, tum corpora curant; fit sonitus, mussantque oras et limina circum. Post, ubi iam thalamis se composuere, siletur in noctem fessosque sopor suus occupat artus. 190 Nec vero a stabulis pluvia impendente recedunt longius aut credunt caelo adventantibus Euris, sed circum tutae sub moenibus urbis aquantur, excursusque breves temptant et saepe lapillos, ut cumbae instabiles fluctu iactante saburram, 195 tollunt, his sese per inania nubila librant. Illum adeo placuisse apibus mirabere morem, quod neque concubitu indulgent nec corpora segnes in Venerem solvunt aut fetus nixibus edunt: verum ipsae e foliis natos, e suavibus herbis 200 ore legunt, ipsae regem parvosque Quirites sufficiunt aulasque et cerea regna refigunt. Saepe etiam duris errando in cotibus alas attrivere ultroque animam sub fasce dedere: tantus amor florum et generandi gloria mellis. 205 Ergo ipsas quamvis angusti terminus aevi excipiat, neque enim plus septima ducitur aestas, at genus immortale manet multosque per annos stat fortuna domus et avi numerantur avorum. Praeterea regem non sic Aegyptus et ingens 210 Lydia nec populi Parthorum aut Medus Hydaspes observant. Rege incolumi mens omnibus una est; amisso rupere fidem constructaque mella diripuere ipsae et crates solvere favorum. Ille operum custos, illum admirantur et omnes 215 circumstant fremitu denso stipantque frequentes et saepe attollunt umeris et corpora bello obiectant pulchramque petunt per vulnera mortem.
His quidam signis atque haec exempla secuti esse apibus partem divinae mentis et haustus 220 aetherios dixere; deum namque ire per omnes terrasque tractusque maris caelumque profundum. Hinc pecudes, armenta, viros, genus omne ferarum, quemque sibi tenues nascentem arcessere vitas; scilicet huc reddi deinde ac resoluta referri 225 omnia nec morti esse locum, sed viva volare sideris in numerum atque alto succedere caelo.
VIRGIL: GEORGICS - BOOK IV
The Nature and Qualities of Bees
[ 29 B.C. ]
Come now and I’ll impart the qualities Jupiter himself gave bees, for which reward they followed after the melodious sounds and clashing bronze of the Curetes, and fed Heaven’s king in the Dictean cave. They alone hold children in common: own the roofs of their city as one: and pass their life under the might of the law. They alone know a country, and a settled home, and in summer, remembering the winter to come, undergo labour, storing their gains for all. For some supervise the gathering of food, and work in the fields to an agreed rule: some, walled in their homes, lay the first foundations of the comb, with drops of gum taken from narcissi, and sticky glue from tree-bark, then hang the clinging wax: others lead the mature young, their nation’s hope, others pack purest honey together, and swell the cells with liquid nectar: there are those whose lot is to guard the gates, and in turn they watch out for rain and clouds in the sky, or accept the incoming loads, or, forming ranks, they keep the idle crowd of drones away from the hive. The work glows, and the fragrant honey is sweet with thyme. And like the Cyclopes when they forge lightning bolts quickly, from tough ore, and some make the air come and go with ox-hide bellows, others dip hissing bronze in the water: Etna groans with the anvils set on her: and they lift their arms together with great and measured force, and turn the metal with tenacious tongs: so, if we may compare small things with great, an innate love of creation spurs the Attic bees on, each in its own way. The older ones take care of the hive, and building the comb, and the cleverly fashioned cells. But at night the weary young carry back sacs filled with thyme: they graze far and wide on the blossom of strawberry-trees, and pale-grey willows, and rosemary and bright saffron, on rich lime-trees and on purple hyacinths. All have one rest from work: all have one labour: they rush from the gates at dawn: no delay: when the evening star has warned them to leave their grazing in the fields again, then they seek the hive, then they refresh their bodies: there’s a buzzing, a hum around the entrances and thresholds. Then when they’ve settled to rest in their cells, there’s silence in the night, and sleep seizes their weary limbs. If rain’s threatening they don’t go far from their hives, or trust the sky when Easterlies are nearing, but fetch water from nearby, in the safety of their city wall, and try brief flights, and often lift little stones, as unstable ships take up ballast in a choppy sea, and balance themselves with these in the vaporous clouds. And you’ll wonder at this habit that pleases the bees, that they don’t indulge in sexual union, or lazily relax their bodies in love, or produce young in labour, but collect their children in their mouths themselves from leaves, and sweet herbs, provide a new leader and tiny citizens themselves, and remake their palaces and waxen kingdoms. Often too as they wander among harsh flints they bruise their wings, and breathe their lives away beneath their burden. so great is their love of flowers, and glory in creating honey. And though the end of a brief life awaits the bees themselves (since it never extends beyond the seventh summer) the species remains immortal, and the fortune of the hive is good for many years, and grandfathers’ grandfathers are counted. Besides, Egypt and mighty Lydia and the Parthian tribes, and the Median Hydaspes do not pay such homage to their leader. With the leader safe all are of the same mind: if the leader’s lost they break faith, and tear down the honey they’ve made, themselves, and dissolve the latticed combs. The leader is the guardian of their labours: to the leader they do reverence, and all sit round the leader in a noisy throng, and crowd round in large numbers, and often they lift the leader on their shoulders and expose their bodies in war, and, among wounds, seek a glorious death. Noting these tokens and examples some have said that a share of divine intelligence is in bees, and a draught of aether: since there is a god in everything, earth and the expanse of sea and the sky’s depths: from this source the flocks and herds, men, and every species of creature, each derive their little life, at birth: to it surely all then return, and dissolved, are remade, and there is no room for death, but still living they fly to the ranks of the stars, and climb the high heavens.
The Last Bomb - 1945 US War Department documentary film ... *view min. 12:00 to min. 14:00* to see strategic importance of Iwo Jima to war effort [ also available in HD with additional narration on the Smithsonian ChannelHERE ]
Battle of Okinawa - Excellent Smithsonian documentary ... though titled "Day of the Kamikaze", this film gives great insight into the Japanese mindset behind the ferocity of the war in the Pacific, eventuating in the "necessary evil" which ended the conflict.
The 393rd Bomb Squadron, out of Whiteman Air Force Base, near Kansas City, is the squadron whose planes dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In fact, the current commander is the grandson of Colonel Paul W. Tibbets Jr., the pilot who flew the Hiroshima mission in 1945. Lieutenant Colonel Paul W. “Nuke” Tibbets IV grew up in Montgomery, Alabama, and graduated from the Air Force Academy.