Micrograph of a Nit and Human Hair.

canvas Image via Wellcome Images.
by Kevin Mackenzie.
Scanning electron micrograph of a nit or head louse egg (coloured green) attached to a strand of human hair (coloured brown).
Head lice feed on human blood and live in close proximity to the scalp. Female lice lay eggs in sacs that attach firmly to individual strands of hair near the base of the hair shaft.
Most will hatch within seven to ten days, and the newly emerged immature louse (nymph) will then need to feed on blood to survive. The width of the image is 1.5 mm.
A head louse develops from an egg to an adult in 16 to 21 days. Head lice start out life as eggs, which are attached to the hair near the scalp to stay warm.
Eggs usually hatch within seven to ten days, and the newly emerged immature lice (nymphs) then need to feed on blood from the scalp to survive.
Nymphs go through three stages before maturing into adults, which can take around a week.
The adult louse is about the size of a sesame seed and has six legs with claws that help it cling on to the hair.
Adult lice can live for three to four weeks, but will only survive for one or two days away from a person’s head.
Wellcome Images.

Bush Tucker and Medicine.

5693438-3x2-700x467A remote community in the Northern Territory is growing its own fruit and vegetables, bush tucker and bush medicine.
Ali Curung is an Indigenous community about 350 kilometres north of Alice Springs, where a network of communal garden beds have just being built.
The raised garden beds are a part of a community project to learn more about local bush tucker and medicines, but also to provide fresh food in a town where supplies are trucked in infrequently.
There are native fruits such as passionfruit and finger limes, local tucker including bush tomatoes and raisins, and introduced vegetables such as cauliflower.
Gardener Graham Beasley says he learnt how to use the bush tucker as a kid, and wants to pass the skills on.

“The bush raisins, you can crush it up together and make a flour, then everybody can share a damper,” he said.
Some of the plants can also be used for medicines.
“If the kids have sores, you can crush it together and rub it all over their bodies.”
Mr Beasley is a first time gardener but says he has found a new passion and wants to teach others in the community how to do it.
“I like growing things.
If we get more plants growing, we’ll be able to grow seeds here and get them to grow in their yards as well,” he said.
“Bush medicines and bush plants. Trying to get them to learn from here and grow properly in the community.”
via Remote garden provides fresh supply of bush tucker and medicines – Rural News – ABC Rural (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

Emma, a young mother with bone cancer.

Sylvia Liber won the community/regional category for her work, including this photo of Emma Drummond, an 18­-year-­old mother diagnosed recently with a rare form of bone cancer.
Image Credit:  Photograph by Sylvia Liber/Illawarra Mercury
Source: Walkley photo of the year: ice addict image wins prestigious award – in pictures | Art and design | The Guardian

Fracastoro, the Syphilis Poet.

Original Painting of Fracastoro by Titian.
A notorious 16th-century Italian’s portrait was acquired by the National Gallery in London in 1924.
His name? Girolamo Fracastoro. His claim to fame?
A word for the sexually transmitted disease that was terrifying his countrymen—syphilis—was derived from a poem he wrote.
The portrait was damaged, darkened by varnish, and unsigned, so the museum staff relegated it to a basement gallery despite Fracastoro’s renown.
Eventually, cleaning and conservation revealed the hand of a master artist.
After close examination, curators decided last year that the artist must be the famed Venetian painter known as Titian.
The portrait now hangs in one of the museum’s main galleries.
via Rediscovered Treasures

The History of Eyeglasses, 13thC. onwards.

ku-xlarge-534x276The earliest evidence of a precise magnifying glass is in Alhazen’s Book of Optics in 1021.
The seven-volume treatise referenced “a magnifying device forming a magnified image.” The Book of Optics transformed the way people understood light and vision and discussed the use of a convex lens to magnify images.
Originally written in Arabic, it was later translated into Latin, which inspired Roger Bacon to study optics and was instrumental to the invention of eyeglasses in 13th century Italy.
Alhazen’s Book of Optics inspired the English philosopher Roger Bacon to compose Opus Majus, a dissertation covering all aspects of natural science including the physiology of eyesight, the anatomy of the eye and brain, reflected vision and refraction, magnifying glasses and corrective lenses.
Corrective lenses bend the light entering the eye to fix refractive errors that cause poor eyesight.
Sometime in the 1280’s, an artisan in Italy placed two magnifying lenses into a frame to be balanced on the bridge of the nose – creating the first modern-day version of eyeglasses.
Corrective lenses reached another milestone in 1604, when Johannes Kepler published The Optical Part of Astronomy. This treatise described the function of the retina and recognized that images are projected inversely by the eye’s lens and then reversed by the brain.
Most notably, he demonstrated that concave lenses correct nearsightedness, and convex lenses correct farsightedness.
The biggest challenge for eyeglasses after their invention was keeping them firmly secured to one’s face. This challenge was remedied in the 1700s with the development of spectacles with double hinged side pieces. The side pieces rest atop each ear and hold the eyeglasses in place –glasses are still made this way today.

Another breakthrough in the development of corrective lenses occurred in the 1780s, when Benjamin Franklin invented the bifocal.
Tired of switching between two pairs of eyeglasses to see up-close and at a distance, Benjamin Franklin devised a way to fit both types of lenses into one frame. He placed the distance lens at the top and the close-up lens at the bottom, successfully combining two types of spectacles into bifocal glasses.
Bifocals were the primary type of glasses for seeing close-up and at a distance until progressive lenses were developed by Varilux in 1959.
Inspired to create a more natural transition between the close-up and distance lenses of the bifocals, Bernard Maitenaz developed multifocal lenses that provide a seamless transition between all viewing distances – progressive lenses.
Read on via The History of Eyeglasses — www.penbaypilot.com.

Thomas Mutter, 19th Century ‘Super Doctor’.


Close-up of a surgeon’s amputation kit (Courtesy of Thomas Jefferson University Archives & Special Collections, Philadelphia)
By Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz
Dr. Thomas Dent Mütter’s story is not so surprising if you consider that a man did not need a medical degree to practice medicine in early 19th-century Philadelphia.
In fact, he didn’t even need a license—a practice that Philadelphia would not embrace into the final decade of the 19th century.
Although the tide was changing, the clear truth was that anyone who wanted to put out a shingle and call himself a doctor could do just that.
Basics of modern medicine, such as the infectiousness of diseases, were still under heavy dispute.
Causes of even common diseases were confusing to doctors. Appendicitis was called peritonitis, and its victims were simply left to die.
Bleeding the ill was still a widespread practice. There was no anesthesia – neither general nor local.
If you came to a doctor with a compound fracture, you had only a 50 percent chance of survival.
But Mütter was a different kind of doctor and a different kind of teacher.
By the end of the 1830s, Mütter, young, smart, ambitious, and blessed with extraordinary talents was gaining a reputation as “one of the best of good fellows” in the Philadelphia medical world and not just in the lecture hall.
“He possessed spontaneously, as it were, the art both of making and holding friends,” a fellow doctor would write of him, “a natural amenity of manner and gentleness of character, a manliness of bearing so intermingled with feminine graces that even children were attracted by it, and a love of approbation that induced him to do what he could to please others.”
See more via Before Dr. Mutter, Surgery Was a Dangerous and Horrifically Painful Ordeal | History | Smithsonian.