Tag: human origins

Very Serious Scientific Study Asks: Which Dance Moves Drive Girls Wild?

By Joseph Calamia | September 8, 2010 3:18 pm

Researchers say they have uncovered the dance floor moves to make the ladies go wild–at least if you’re a naked, faceless, non-gendered avatar. After recording 19 men, aged 18 to 35, with a 12-camera system as they danced in a laboratory, the researchers projected each man’s individual moves onto a computer model and asked 39 women what they thought.

The Good:

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Bronze Age Brain Surgeon: Volcanic Glass Scalpel, Please

By Joseph Calamia | August 31, 2010 11:44 am

brainMove over, Dr. Quinn. Sure, the fictional television doctor could perform surgeries in the Old West using nothing more than a spoon–but one researcher now argues that inhabitants of a small village in Turkey sliced skulls over 4,000 years ago, using shards of volcanic glass.

Working in a Bronze Age graveyard in Ikiztepe, Turkey, archaeologist Önder Bilgi has uncovered 14 skulls with rectangular cut marks. He believes the Ikiztepe people used obsidian “scalpels,” found elsewhere on the site, to treat brain tumors and fight-related head injuries, and to relieve pressure from hemorrhaging.

Bilgi also told New Scientist, which has a complete interview, that the skulls’ healing indicates that some patients survived at least two years after their surgeries. Though this isn’t the oldest evidence of brain surgery (researchers have found a hole drilled into a Neolithic skull), Bilgi argues that the Ikiztepe rectangular skull openings are much more “sophisticated.”

Bilgi, who in an earlier study analyzed arsenic absorption in Ikiztepe bones to determine their metalworking skills, told New Scientist that the tools themselves aren’t too worse for multiple millennial wear:

“The blades are double-sided, about 4 centimetres [1.6 inches] long, and very, very sharp. They would still cut you today.”

Related content:
Discoblog: Brain Surgery Enables Woman to Run 100-Mile Races
Discoblog: Why Michael Jackson Might Be Buried Without His Brain
Discoblog: Military Members to Donate Their Brains to Science
Discoblog: Will Drilling a Hole in Your Head Cure Alzheimer’s?

Image: flickr / Mykl Roventine

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