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Westlake Legal Group > LiveScience

Here’s what Scotland’s dogs looked like 4,500 years ago

The re-created, three-dimensional face of a dog that lived 4,500 years ago in Scotland is so realistic, you almost want to reach out and pet its thick fur.

Besides melting the hearts of animal lovers, this dog — whose skull was found in an elaborate Neolithic burial at Cuween Hill in the Orkney islands, an archipelago off Scotland’s northeastern coast — has surprised scientists. That’s because this furball looks remarkably like a wolf, even though it was likely domesticated.

The dog was the size of a large collie and resembled, in some of its features, a European gray wolf, Alison Sheridan, principal archaeological research curator in the Department of Scottish History and Archaeology at National Museums Scotland, where the skull is stored, said in a statement.

Sheridan added that the skull and reconstruction could reveal details not only “about ceremonial practices and the symbolic significance of the dog in late Neolithic Orkney, but also about the appearance of domestic dogs in the third millennium B.C.” [Gallery: Brand-New Baby Wolves]

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These days, domesticated dogs tend to have more prominent, raised foreheads than wolves do, Jack Tseng, a functional anatomist at the University at Buffalo, previously told Live Science. Moreover, domestic dogs tend to have shorter faces and more crowded teeth as a result of that, he said. Other research has shown that domesticated dogs tend to have floppier ears, smaller brains, shorter curly tails and lighter and blotchy coats than wild wolves do.

Researchers have known about the Neolithic dog since 1901, when 24 dog skulls were discovered at the Cuween Hill burial. However, this is the first time one of the skulls has been “brought to life” with forensic reconstruction.

Previous research on the Cuween Hill site revealed that the dog remains were placed in the burial chamber there more than 500 years after the original tomb was constructed, indicating that these dogs were buried for ritualistic purposes, the archaeologists said.

To create an accurate 3D model of this particular dog, staff members put the skull in a CT scanner at Edinburgh University’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. This scan, in turn, gave them enough data to print a 3D model, which forensic artist Amy Thornton used to shape Fido’s head.

Just as she would a human facial re-creation, Thornton created the dog’s likeness by building up muscle, skin and hair on top of the 3D-printed skull. “This brought its own set of challenges, as there is much less existing data relating to average tissue depths in canine skulls compared to humans,” Thornton said in the statement. Even so, “the resulting model gives us a fascinating glimpse at this ancient animal,” she said.

Dogs were clearly important in Neolithic Orkney. These ancient people likely kept them as trained pets and guard dogs, and may have even taught them how to herd sheep, said Steve Farrar, an interpretation manager at Historic Environment Scotland.

“Maybe dogs were their symbol or totem; perhaps, they thought of themselves as the ‘dog people,'” Farrar said in the statement.

Visitors can see the Neolithic dog’s reconstructed, furry head in Orkney later this year.

Originally published on Live Science.

Westlake Legal Group Neolithic-dog Here's what Scotland's dogs looked like 4,500 years ago LiveScience Laura Geggel Associate Editor fox-news/science fnc/science fnc article 0aea6ca0-46f4-5a59-ae6b-806d16882014   Westlake Legal Group Neolithic-dog Here's what Scotland's dogs looked like 4,500 years ago LiveScience Laura Geggel Associate Editor fox-news/science fnc/science fnc article 0aea6ca0-46f4-5a59-ae6b-806d16882014

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Can you still get the measles if you’ve been vaccinated?

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6026792410001_6026793726001-vs Can you still get the measles if you've been vaccinated? Rachael Rettner LiveScience fox-news/health/infectious-disease/vaccines fox-news/health/infectious-disease/outbreaks fox-news/health/infectious-disease fnc/health fnc article 4b280ec7-c35f-5991-8562-1aaed27c2b9a

The number of measles cases in the U.S. continues to climb, with more than 550 cases reported from January to April, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That’s the second highest number of measles cases reported in any year since 2000, the CDC says.

Many of this year’s cases occurred as part of ongoing measles outbreaks in several U.S. cities, and most infected people were unvaccinated, according to the CDC. But if you’ve been vaccinated, can you still catch the disease?

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Although it is possible to get the measles even if you’ve been vaccinated, it’s quite rare: Two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine — which are given as part of the standard U.S. childhood vaccination schedule — are 97 parents effective at preventing measles, according to the CDC. This means that about 3 parents of people who receive two doses of the measles vaccine will get measles if they are exposed to the virus. [27 Devastating Infectious Diseases]

It’s not clear why some fully vaccinated people get measles, but it could be that their immune system did not respond properly to the vaccine, the CDC says. (Still, if a person is fully vaccinated, and they come down with measles, they are more likely to have a mild case of the illness.)

In addition, some people may be at a slightly higher risk of getting measles because they received only one dose of the MMR vaccine. Although the measles vaccine was developed in 1963, it wasn’t until 1989 that health officials recommended that a child receive two doses, according to the CDC.

This means there are “many people who are adults now who only received one dose” of MMR, said Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore. One dose of MMR is still more than 90 percent effective at preventing measles, but it’s not quite as good as two doses, Adalja said.

Adults who received only one dose of MMR as a child could consider getting a second dose, Adalja told Live Science. In situations where there are outbreaks going on, “I don’t think its a bad idea,” he said.

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In addition, some people who received the measles vaccine in the 1960s may need to be revaccinated. That’s because, between 1963 and 1967, some people received a form of the measles vaccine known as the “inactivated” (killed) vaccine, which was not effective, according to the CDC. People who received this form of the vaccine, or were vaccinated before 1968 and don’t know what vaccine type they got, should be revaccinated with the current “live attenuated” form of the vaccine, the CDC says.

Waning immunity?

Another question people may have is whether the vaccine’s protection wanes over time. Generally, people who’ve received two doses of MMR are considered protected for life, meaning they don’t need a booster shot, according to the CDC.

Still, there may be some waning that happens with age, Adalja said.

There is a way to check your level of protection against measles. You can get a blood test that measures antibody levels against the measles virus. However, doctors don’t routinely use this test on patients — it’s more often used for health care workers who are generally at higher risk of being exposed to measles. But it may be used in other situations: for example, for college students who need to show they are immune to measles, according to University of Rochester Medical Center.

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Generally, the CDC recommends that people who don’t have written documentation of getting the MMR vaccine should get vaccinated. However, people who were born before 1957 are considered likely to be immune to the virus (because most people born at that time were infected naturally with the virus), and therefore don’t need to be vaccinated.

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Originally published on Live Science.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6026792410001_6026793726001-vs Can you still get the measles if you've been vaccinated? Rachael Rettner LiveScience fox-news/health/infectious-disease/vaccines fox-news/health/infectious-disease/outbreaks fox-news/health/infectious-disease fnc/health fnc article 4b280ec7-c35f-5991-8562-1aaed27c2b9a   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6026792410001_6026793726001-vs Can you still get the measles if you've been vaccinated? Rachael Rettner LiveScience fox-news/health/infectious-disease/vaccines fox-news/health/infectious-disease/outbreaks fox-news/health/infectious-disease fnc/health fnc article 4b280ec7-c35f-5991-8562-1aaed27c2b9a

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What if winter lasted for years like it does on ‘Game of Thrones’?

Westlake Legal Group what-if-winter-lasted-for-years-like-it-does-on-game-of-thrones What if winter lasted for years like it does on 'Game of Thrones'? Yasemin Saplakoglu, Staff Writer LiveScience fox-news/entertainment/game-of-thrones fnc/science fnc article a720eff2-6af8-5c83-842b-54ed099cfaae

Winter is not coming to the northern hemisphere — and we have our planet’s tilt to thank.

Earth’s axis is slightly tilted as it rotates around the sun. This means that the sun’s rays don’t hit our planet equally: If the rays directly hit the northern hemisphere, it spells winter for the southern hemisphere, and vice versa. Because the Earth is titled, as it orbits the sun, certain latitudes of the planet receive more or less sunlight during each season. [5 Real-Life Inspirations for ‘Game of Thrones’ Characters]

But what if the seasons — and specifically, winter — lasted for years on our planet like they do on “Game of Thrones“?

It depends on how it happened, said Christopher Walcek, a senior research associate at the University of Alabany’s Atmospheric Sciences Research Center. In other words, to answer the question, you’d need to know what caused winter to last for years.

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It could happen (though it wouldn’t) if our planet fell into an orbit farther from the sun (nope) or stopped orbiting entirely in mid-February (this might happen… just kidding).

Let’s say the latter happened, and the northern hemisphere wound up permanently tilted away from the sun.

In that case, in the northern hemisphere, the days would be short, the nights would long — and you’d have a high frequency of snowstorms.. Because the warmer weather wouldn’t roll around to melt the snow, it would begin to accumulate, Walcek told Live Science.

After just a couple of years, lingering winter weather would cause major ecosystem changes, he said.

Deciduous trees and plants that normally sprout in the spring wouldn’t do so; this would have ramifications for the rest of the food chain. “Bears and squirrels wouldn’t be able to eat and would starve, deer would similarly be culled,” Walcek said.

As animals adjusted to reduced sunlight and availability of energy, “populations of [every species] would be reduced to a much lower level,” he said.

For example, many animals spend the months of winter preserving their energy through various means as food becomes scarce.

Take frogs and turtles. They survive the winter season by lowering their metabolic rate so that they don’t need to eat. These animals pretty much become “behaviorally inactive” during this time, said Jon Costanzo, an adjunct professor of biology at Miami University. But “there are limits to how long they can survive without feeding,” he said.

If winter went on and on, frogs and turtles would deplete their energy reserves and, being unable to feed, die of starvation. Or, metabolic waste products that accumulate in the body during the winter would build up, reaching toxic levels.

“Frogs and turtles that live in seasonally cold places are very well-adapted to survive the winter, even a particularly long one,” Costanzo told Live Science. “However, it is doubtful that they could survive a hibernation that lasts multiple years.”

Winter in Westeros is long, but it does usually end after a couple of years. But what if our world just got stuck on winter, and the cold lasted for millennia?

That would look like an ice age , Walcek said. But even ice ages have seasons, so let’s imagine a seasonless ice age.

Within hundreds of thousands of years, huge ice sheets and glaciers would form over massive parts of land, and would plow over villages and valleys, the researcher said. “If you stop [the Earth’s rotation] in the middle of February, here in the northern hemisphere, probably within about a thousand years you’d see huge ice sheets form over Europe and over Canada.”

Places like New York City would likely be on the edge of an ice sheet . There would be “huge changes to the whole food chain of every animal and plant,” Walcek said. People would take more to hunting, leaving behind hopes of growing plants under packs of snow, he said.

But physics won’t allow this to happen so… happy spring!

Editor’s note: This article was corrected on April 14 to clarify that the Earth’s tilt does not change as it rotates the sun.

Originally published on Live Science.

Westlake Legal Group Game-of-Thrones-ICEWALL What if winter lasted for years like it does on 'Game of Thrones'? Yasemin Saplakoglu, Staff Writer LiveScience fox-news/entertainment/game-of-thrones fnc/science fnc article a720eff2-6af8-5c83-842b-54ed099cfaae   Westlake Legal Group Game-of-Thrones-ICEWALL What if winter lasted for years like it does on 'Game of Thrones'? Yasemin Saplakoglu, Staff Writer LiveScience fox-news/entertainment/game-of-thrones fnc/science fnc article a720eff2-6af8-5c83-842b-54ed099cfaae

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Fountains of plasma rain might explain one of the biggest mysteries of the Sun

Westlake Legal Group fountains-of-plasma-rain-might-explain-one-of-the-biggest-mysteries-of-the-sun Fountains of plasma rain might explain one of the biggest mysteries of the Sun LiveScience fox-news/science/air-and-space/sun fnc/science fnc Brandon Specktor, Senior Writer article 47c74830-44cd-52fd-add0-a223c6e26522

Today’s weather forecast on the sun calls for a high of 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit (5,500 degrees Celsius), constant supersonic wind, mysterious eruptions of giant lava-lamp-blobs and, oh yes, light rain. So, you know, pack an umbrella.

As bizarre as it sounds, rain on the sun is a relatively common occurrence. Unlike rain on Earth, where liquid water evaporates, condenses into clouds, then falls back down in droplets after growing sufficiently heavy, solar rain results from the rapid heating and cooling of plasma (the hot, charged gas that comprises the sun).

Scientists expect to see fiery rings of plasma rain rise and fall along the sun’s huge, looping magnetic field lines after the eruption of solar flares, which can heat the plasma at the sun’s surface from a few thousand to nearly 2 million F (1.1 million C). Now, however, NASA scientists believe they’ve discovered a completely new structure on the sun that may create days-long rain storms, even without the intense heat of solar flares. [Rainbow Album: The Many Colors of the Sun]

In a new study published April 5 in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, the NASA team describes the structures as raining null-point topologies (RNPTs) — superbright, comparatively small magnetic loops that rise up to 30,000 miles (50,000 kilometers) above the sun’s surface. While studying five months of solar observations taken by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), the team detected three clearly visible RNPT structures, each of which blazed with plasma rain for days at a time.

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“The ease with which these structures were identified and the frequency of rain during all observations provides compelling support for the conclusion that this is a ubiquitous phenomenon,” the authors wrote in the study.

Hunting for molten rain

The detection of these drizzly structures came as a surprise to NASA researcher Emily Mason, who was scouring the SDO footage for signs of rain in massive structures called helmet streamers — 1 million-mile-tall (1.6 million km) magnetic field loops named after a knight’s pointy headgear.

These streamers are clearly visible leaping out of the sun’s corona, or the outermost part of its atmosphere, during solar eclipses , and seemed as good a place as any to look for solar rain, the researchers wrote. However, Mason couldn’t find a trace of falling plasma in any SDO footage of the streamers. What she did see were numerous bright, low, mysterious structures that she and her team later identified as the RNTPs.

The relatively low altitude of the structures may be the most interesting aspect of the results, the researchers wrote. Reaching a maximum of 30,000 miles (50,000 km) over the sun’s surface, the RNTPs were only about 2% as tall as the helmet streamers Mason and her team were looking at. That means that whatever process was causing the plasma to heat up and rise along the magnetic field lines was occurring in a much narrower region of the sun’s atmosphere than previously thought.

That means the processes that drive these ubiquitous fountains could help explain one of the enduring mysteries of the sun — why is the sun’s atmosphere nearly 300 times hotter than its surface?

“We still don’t know exactly what’s heating the corona, but we know it has to happen in this layer,” Mason said in a statement.

Originally published on Live Science.

Westlake Legal Group solar-rain Fountains of plasma rain might explain one of the biggest mysteries of the Sun LiveScience fox-news/science/air-and-space/sun fnc/science fnc Brandon Specktor, Senior Writer article 47c74830-44cd-52fd-add0-a223c6e26522   Westlake Legal Group solar-rain Fountains of plasma rain might explain one of the biggest mysteries of the Sun LiveScience fox-news/science/air-and-space/sun fnc/science fnc Brandon Specktor, Senior Writer article 47c74830-44cd-52fd-add0-a223c6e26522

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Oldest ice on Earth may be hiding 1.5 miles beneath Antarctica

European scientists looking for some of the oldest ice on the planet have homed in on a particular spot in Antarctica, where they will drill more than 1.5 miles (2.7 kilometers) below the surface of the ice.

Over the next five years, the “Beyond EPICA-Oldest Ice” mission will work at a remote location known as “Little Dome C” to start drilling for ice up to 1.5 million years old, the team announced today (April 9) at the meeting of the European Geosciences Union in Vienna, Austria.

“Ice cores are unique for geosciences because they are an archive of the paleo-atmosphere,” said Beyond EPICA’s coordinator Olaf Eisen of the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany. [Antarctica: The Ice-Covered Bottom of the World (Photos)]

From analyzing gas bubbles, molecules and particles trapped in thin layers of ancient ice, scientists can reconstruct carbon dioxide levels, temperature data and other climate indicators over a long period of time. A major goal of this project will be to understand why the cycle of Earth’s ice ages changed in the distant past.

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The expedition will build on a past mission, EPICA (the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica), which took place from 1996 to 2004 at the Concordia research station, jointly operated by France and Italy. The EPICA researchers were able to obtain an ice core with an 800,000-year record of climate data. During this period, the climate flipped from glacial to interglacial periods on a 100,000-year cycle.

The EPICA core, however, “doesn’t cover the time between 900,000 and 1.2 million years ago, where we had a transition in the climate system,” Eisen told reporters during a press conference.

Prior to 1.2 million years ago, Earth’s ice ages are believed to have been alternating on a quicker, 40,000-year cycle. Scientists don’t know what happened during the following transition period in the climate system that caused the glacial periods to get longer and colder. The Beyond EPICA researchers hope to find some answers in the ice from Little Dome C as well as data that will help them build climate forecasts for the future.

Over the last three years, the researchers surveyed the region around Concordia as well as the region around Dome Fuji for a potential drill site that would be likely to have 1.5-million-year-old ice.

About 2 miles (3.2 km) above sea level, Little Dome C is about 18 miles (30 km) from Concordia station — or a 2-hour snowmobile ride. The average temperature at the drill site is minus 66 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 54.5 degrees Celsius), and the team will work only the two months during the Antarctic summer, camped out in shipping containers.

The area around Little Dome C is also very dry and hardly sees precipitation, which is good for the goal of the project.

“The smaller the accumulation rate of snow every year, the more years you have in each meter,” said project scientist Catherine Ritz, of France’s Institute for Geosciences and Environmental Research (IGE).

Having more layers packed in tightly is important because, closer to the bedrock, ice can melt due to the heat from beneath the surface of Earth. Melting at the bottom is the reason the previous EPICA ice core only had layers back to 800,000 years.

“The most exciting information we will be looking at will be squeezed in the deepest part of the core,” Carlo Barbante, of the University of Venice, told reporters. “Most probably, the ice as old as 800,000 years to 1.5 million years will be squeezed in the last 200 to 300 meters of ice.”

It will likely take the Beyond EPICA team years to reach those ancient layers of ice as they remove 13-foot-long (4 meter), 4 -inch-wide (10 centimeters) tubes of ice at a time. That also means the most important results of the project won’t come out until at least 2025.

The European Union-funded project is estimated to cost about €30 million euros ($33.8 million), according to the BBC.

Original article on Live Science.

Westlake Legal Group antarctica-dome-c-NO-REUSE Oldest ice on Earth may be hiding 1.5 miles beneath Antarctica Megan Gannon, Live Science Contributor LiveScience fox-news/science/planet-earth/oceans fnc/science fnc ec195ca0-c5a3-5b6a-b113-2b5c8b82fb66 article   Westlake Legal Group antarctica-dome-c-NO-REUSE Oldest ice on Earth may be hiding 1.5 miles beneath Antarctica Megan Gannon, Live Science Contributor LiveScience fox-news/science/planet-earth/oceans fnc/science fnc ec195ca0-c5a3-5b6a-b113-2b5c8b82fb66 article

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Man develops odd lesion on eyeball 2 years after cataract surgery

Westlake Legal Group man-develops-odd-lesion-on-eyeball-2-years-after-cataract-surgery Man develops odd lesion on eyeball 2 years after cataract surgery Rachael Rettner LiveScience fox-news/health/vision-and-hearing fox-news/health/medical-research/rare-diseases fnc/health fnc article 0a3922b5-f0a2-57df-ae0a-8762cb24030d

It looks like a Hollywood special effect: An eye with a bulging white mass where the pupil and iris should be. But this odd eye problem is the result of a rare lesion on a man’s eyeball, according to a new report of the case.

The 74-year-old man arrived at an eye clinic with a pearly white, jelly-like mass on his right eye, according to the report, published April 4 in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology. The man told his doctors that two years earlier, he’d had cataract surgery on his right eye. Afterward, he’d noticed a scar on his cornea — the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eyeball — that gradually thickened over the next six months, the report said. [‘Eye’ Can’t Look: 9 Eyeball Injuries That Will Make You Squirm]

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His vision in the right eye was very poor — too poor to see an eye chart, although he could tell when doctors moved their hands in front of his eye.

Westlake Legal Group eye-2-JAMA-Ophthalmology Man develops odd lesion on eyeball 2 years after cataract surgery Rachael Rettner LiveScience fox-news/health/vision-and-hearing fox-news/health/medical-research/rare-diseases fnc/health fnc article 0a3922b5-f0a2-57df-ae0a-8762cb24030d

Test results showed that the man had a “corneal keloid,” a rare type of lesion on the cornea (JAMA Ophthalmology)

Doctors performed a procedure to remove the mass and examined some of the eye cells under a microscope.

Test results showed that the man had a “corneal keloid,” a rare type of lesion on the cornea, according to the authors of the report, led by Dr. Nikolas Raufi, an ophthalmologist at Duke Eye Center in Durham, North Carolina.

A corneal keloid is “an extremely rare, abnormal growth of tissues that is like scar tissue” on the cornea, said Dr. John Hovanesian, a clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and an ophthalmologist at Harvard Eye Associates in Laguna Hills, California. Indeed, it’s so rare that, more than a century since it was first identified, fewer than 100 cases have ever been reported, Hovanesian told Live Science.

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And this man’s case was even more unusual, given his age — most cases of corneal keloids occur in the first three decades of life, according to the AAO.

Some people are born with conditions that can cause corneal keloids to develop in both eyes. But the condition can also occur after an eye infection or trauma, including eye surgery, such as cataract surgery, the AAO said.

Hovanesian, who wasn’t involved with the man’s case, noted that corneal keloids are different from keloids of the skin, the latter of which is a type of raised scar that sits as a bump above the skin. Although the same word is used in the names of these conditions, “we think they’re very different diseases,” Hovanesian said. Corneal keloids are much rarer than skin keloids — even people who are prone to developing skin keloids aren’t at increased risk of corneal keloids after certain eye surgeries, studies have found.

It’s unclear why corneal keloids form. But Hovanesian said the cornea has an “amazing molecular organization” that allows it to be crystal clear. But when the same tissue grows in a disorganized way, the cornea becomes whitish, he said.

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Still, Hovanesian stressed that “it’s extremely rare to have this type of complication” after eye surgery. “Many ophthalmologists have never seen a corneal keloid because it’s such a rare thing.”

After the procedure to remove the lesion, the man said he felt like he was doing well, although he still couldn’t see well enough out of his right eye to view an eye chart. He also had an abnormal growth of blood vessels in his eye, and his cornea appeared cloudy. The man will be monitored for a possible recurrence of the lesion, the report said.

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Originally published on Live Science.

Westlake Legal Group eye-1-JAMA-Ophthalmology Man develops odd lesion on eyeball 2 years after cataract surgery Rachael Rettner LiveScience fox-news/health/vision-and-hearing fox-news/health/medical-research/rare-diseases fnc/health fnc article 0a3922b5-f0a2-57df-ae0a-8762cb24030d   Westlake Legal Group eye-1-JAMA-Ophthalmology Man develops odd lesion on eyeball 2 years after cataract surgery Rachael Rettner LiveScience fox-news/health/vision-and-hearing fox-news/health/medical-research/rare-diseases fnc/health fnc article 0a3922b5-f0a2-57df-ae0a-8762cb24030d

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Deadly fungal ‘superbug’ spreads worldwide, alarming scientists

Westlake Legal Group deadly-fungal-superbug-spreads-worldwide-alarming-scientists Deadly fungal 'superbug' spreads worldwide, alarming scientists Stephanie Pappas LiveScience fnc/health fnc article 0a037489-43ae-58ac-a780-248fffd648eb

A deadly fungal infection that is resistant to major antimicrobial medications is spreading globally, and scientists aren’t sure where it came from.

The fungus, called Candida auris, is a yeast that normally lives harmlessly on the skin and mucous membranes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to The New York Times, a drug-resistant form of the fungus has popped up across the globe, including in England, Spain, India, Venezuela and the United States.

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“It is a creature from the black lagoon,” Tom Chiller, the head of the fungal branch at the CDC, told the Times. “It bubbled up and now it is everywhere.” [27 Devastating Infectious Diseases]

Growing threat

The CDC first issued an alert about drug-resistant C. auris in 2016 and today describes it as a “serious threat.” The yeast, according to that alert, was first discovered in 2009 from the ear discharge of a patient in Japan, though a retrospective study of old medical samples found one infection dating back to 1996 in South Korea.

Most strains of C. auris are resistant to at least one antifungal drug class, according to the CDC, and more than one-third of the strains are resistant to two. A subset of strains are resistant to all three antifungal drug classes available.

What makes the infection even more alarming is that the fungus persists on surfaces and has been documented spreading from person to person within hospitals and clinics. Half of residents tested at some nursing homes in the Chicago area were positive for C. auris, the Times reported. So far, the CDC has received 587 reports of cases in the United States.

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C. auris infections are most deadly for those who already have compromised immune systems, including the elderly and the very young. The infection typically spreads within health care settings, often affecting those who are already in precarious health. The initial symptoms are fever, aches and fatigue, and the disease can be fatal, particularly if the yeast spreads to the blood, brain or heart.

Origin of a threat

The strains of drug-resistant C. auris are genetically distinct on different continents, suggesting that the drug resistance is evolving separately but simultaneously worldwide. It’s unclear what is causing this rise in these fungal “superbugs,” but one theory is that widespread fungicide use on crops is prompting C. auris to evolve resistance.

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Fungicides called azoles have been implicated in the rise of another drug-resistant fungus, Aspergillus fumigatus, according to 2012 research in the journal PLOS Pathogens. Some researchers think these same antifungals have opened a niche for the strongest, most fungicide-resistant strains of C. auris to survive.

Overuse of antibiotics in farm animals created a similar crisis with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Now, the CDC is working to monitor the genetics of C. auris and understand how to stop its spread. That could be challenging, according to the Times. At Royal Brompton Hospital near London, staffers used special sprayers to douse the entire room in microbe-killed hydrogen peroxide, the newspaper reported. Everything died — except C. auris.

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Originally published on Live Science.

Westlake Legal Group fungus_istock Deadly fungal 'superbug' spreads worldwide, alarming scientists Stephanie Pappas LiveScience fnc/health fnc article 0a037489-43ae-58ac-a780-248fffd648eb   Westlake Legal Group fungus_istock Deadly fungal 'superbug' spreads worldwide, alarming scientists Stephanie Pappas LiveScience fnc/health fnc article 0a037489-43ae-58ac-a780-248fffd648eb

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60 Ancient Egyptian mummies entombed together died ‘bloody, fearsome deaths’

More than 4,000 years ago in Egypt, dozens of men who died of terrible wounds were mummified and entombed together in the cliffs near Luxor. Mass burials were exceptionally rare in ancient Egypt — so why did all these mummies end up in the same place?

Recently, archaeologists visited the mysterious Tomb of the Warriors in Deir el Bahari, Egypt; the tomb had been sealed after its discovery in 1923. After analyzing evidence from the tomb and other sites in Egypt, they pieced together the story of a desperate and bloody chapter in Egypt’s history at the close of the Old Kingdom, around 2150 B.C.

Their findings, presented in the PBS documentary “Secrets of the Dead: Egypt’s Darkest Hour,” paint a grim picture of civil unrest that sparked bloody battles between regional governors about 4,200 years ago. One of those skirmishes may have ended the lives of 60 men whose bodies were mummified in the mass burial, PBS representatives said in a statement. [Photos: Mummies Discovered in Tombs in Ancient Egyptian City]

Archaeologist Salima Ikram, a professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo, investigated the mummies with a camera crew in late September 2018, with the cooperation of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities and the assistance of local experts, Davina Bristow, documentary producer and director, told Live Science.

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From the tomb’s entrance, a maze of tunnels branched out about 200 feet (61 meters) into the cliff; chambers were filled with mummified body parts and piles of bandages that had once been wrapped around the corpses but had come unraveled, Ikram discovered.

The bodies all seemed to belong to men, and many showed signs of severe trauma. Skulls were broken or pierced — probably the result of projectiles or weapons — and arrows were embedded in many of the bodies, suggesting the men were soldiers who died in battle. One of the mummies was even wearing a protective gauntlet on its arm, such as those worn by archers, according to Ikram.

“These people have died bloody, fearsome deaths,” Ikram said.

And evidence from elsewhere in Egypt suggests that they died during a period of extreme social upheaval. [25 Grisly Archaeological Discoveries]

A kingdom’s collapse

Some of those clues lay in the tomb of the pharaoh Pepi II, whose 90-year reign had just ended, Philippe Collombert, an Egyptologist at the University of Geneva in Switzerland, told Live Science in an email.

Pepi II’s burial tomb in Saqqara, Egypt, was ornate and spectacular; it was built during his youth, which suggests that the kingdom at that time was secure with no signs of civil collapse, Collombert said.

However, Pepi II’s tomb was looted soon after he was buried. Such a profoundly sacrilegious act could only have taken place if Egyptians had already begun to reject the godlike stature of the pharaoh, and if the central government was no longer in control, Collombert explained.

As Pepi II’s influence waned toward the end of his rule and local governors became more and more powerful, their burial chambers became bigger and more lavish. One governor’s tomb, built in the Qubbet el Hawa necropolis after Pepi II’s death, contained inscriptions that hinted at the conflict emerging between political factions, describing social disruption, civil war and lack of control by a single administration, Antonio Morales, an Egyptologist at the University of Alcalá in Madrid, Spain, said in the documentary.

And famine caused by drought may have accelerated this social collapse, according to Morales. Another inscription in the governor’s tomb noted that “the southern country is dying of hunger so every man was eating his own children” and “the whole country has become like a starving locust,” Morales said.

Together, starvation and unrest could have laid the groundwork for a frenzied battle that left 60 men dead on the ground — and then mummified in the same tomb, Ikram said.

“Secrets of the Dead: Egypt’s Darkest Hour” aired last night (April 3) on PBS and is now available to stream on the PBS website and on PBS apps.

Originally published on Live Science.

Westlake Legal Group ancient-egypt-mummies 60 Ancient Egyptian mummies entombed together died 'bloody, fearsome deaths' Mindy Weisberger, Senior Writer LiveScience fox-news/science/archaeology/ancient-egypt fnc/science fnc article 220553d3-e279-5ff5-b0c1-9bdc0e971673   Westlake Legal Group ancient-egypt-mummies 60 Ancient Egyptian mummies entombed together died 'bloody, fearsome deaths' Mindy Weisberger, Senior Writer LiveScience fox-news/science/archaeology/ancient-egypt fnc/science fnc article 220553d3-e279-5ff5-b0c1-9bdc0e971673

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This 2,300-year-old Egyptian fortress had an unusual task: Guarding a port that sent elephants to war

A 2,300-year-old fortress that protected an ancient port called “Berenike” has been discovered in Egypt on the coast of the Red Sea by a Polish-American archaeological team.

Westlake Legal Group fortress-1 This 2,300-year-old Egyptian fortress had an unusual task: Guarding a port that sent elephants to war Owen Jarus, Live Science Contributor LiveScience fox-news/science fnc/science fnc article 422f626a-3d75-5b66-9076-ccd1c35bd7f3

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