Egyptian Mummy’s Face Recreated with 3D Printing


Post 7903

Egyptian Mummy’s Face Recreated with 3D Printing

Egyptian Mummy's Face Recreated with 3D Printing

Researchers created a 3D-printed replica of the skull from an Egyptian mummy.

Credit: Varsha Pilbrow and Gavan Mitchell, University of Melbourne

An Egyptian mummy’s head and face have been reconstructed with forensic science and 3D printing, offering scientists a tantalizing glimpse of the individual’s life and death.

The mummified head was discovered by accident in the collections of the University of Melbourne in Australia. A museum curator happened upon the remains during an audit and, concerned about the state of the specimen, sent it for a computed tomography(CT) scan.

“Turns out, [the skull] is actually quite intact; it has got bandages and looks well on the inside,” said Varsha Pilbrow, a biological anthropologist in the University of Melbourne’s Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience. “Of course, that then allowed us to think what to do next.” [In Photos: Egypt’s Oldest Mummy Wrappings]

With the help of an imaging specialist, Pilbrow and her team used the scans to create a 3D-printed replica of the mummy’s skull. Then, the scientists studied the specimen’s facial-bone features, such as the size and angle of the jaw and characteristics of the eye sockets, to determine that the head belonged to a female. The researchers are calling the specimen Meritamun. They say she was probably not more than 25 years old at the time of her death and was important enough to be mummified.

“It is quite fascinating that we did all of this without destroying the specimen in any way, and that is important from a museum curatorial point of view,” Pilbrow said.

The true origins of the mummified head are still unknown, though. Scientists think it belonged in the collections of Frederic Wood Jones, a professor who conducted archeological work in Egypt before joining as the head of anatomy at the University of Melbourne in 1930. From the distinctive style of the linen bandaging and embalming of the specimen, the researchers think Meritamun was mummified in Egypt and that she may have lived at least 2,000 years ago. They will now use radiocarbon dating to date the specimen more precisely, the scientists said.

Meanwhile, the CT scans and 3D-printed replica of the skull are revealing other details about Meritamun, including her dental abnormalities and diseases she might have had.

“We noticed that the top of her skull is very thin. It is extremely porous,” Pilbrow told Live Science. “It suggests that she would have suffered from severe anemia.”

A deficiency of hemoglobin and oxygen would have led to the swelling of bone marrow — as it tried to produce more red blood cells — and thinning of the skull bone, Pilbrow said.

“Anemia and dental pathologies were quite prevalent among Egyptian populations,” Pilbrow said.This provides just one possible clue about how Meritamun died, but Pilbrow and her co-workers are continuing to dig into other factors that may have cost the young woman her life.

The research has yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Original article on Live Science.

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Facts About Germanium


Post 7902

Facts About Germanium

 http://www.livescience.com/29520-germanium.html
Germanium is a silvery white metalloid. This is a 2-by-3 centimeter piece of polycrystalline germanium, weighing about 12 grams.

Credit: Jurii/Creative Commons

Shiny and silvery, yet very brittle, germanium is an important component in semiconductors and fiber optics. Some people think germanium supplements have health benefits, but research has not supported those claims.

  • Atomic number (number of protons in the nucleus): 32
  • Atomic symbol (on the periodic table of elements): Ge
  • Atomic weight (average mass of the atom): 72.630
  • Density: 3.077 ounces per cubic inch (5.323 grams per cubic cm)
  • Phase at room temperature: solid
  • Melting point: 1,720.9 degrees Fahrenheit (938.3 degrees Celsius)
  • Boiling point: 5,131 F (2,833 C)
  • Number of natural isotopes (atoms of the same element with a different number of neutrons): 5. There are also 19 artificial isotopes created in a lab.
  • Most common isotopes: Ge-74 (36.28 percent of natural abundance), Ge-72 (27.54 percent of natural abundance), Ge-79 (20.84 percent of natural abundance), Ge-73 (7.73 percent of natural abundance), Ge-76 (7.61 percent of natural abundance)

The existence of germanium was predicted by Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev in 1869, after he developed the periodic table of elements, according to Chemistry Explained. Arranging the elements by atomic weight left some gaps in the table. Mendeleev theorized that there were several elements yet to be discovered, including element No. 32. In 1885, Clemens Winkler, a German chemist, discovered what was then referred to as “eka-silicon” in an ore known as argyrodite. The ore contained silver, sulfur, iron oxide, and zinc with about 7 percent of the unknown metal.

According to Chemistry Explained, Mendeleev had predicted that element 32 would have a density of 5.5 grams per cubic centimeter (5.5 times the density of water) and atomic weight of 70 (a little less than four times the atomic weight of water): very close to the actual density (5.323 grams per cubic centimeter) and atomic weight (72.630) of germanium. The accuracy of Mendeleev’s prediction increased chemists’ confidence in the periodic table.

Electron configuration and elemental properties of germanium.

Electron configuration and elemental properties of germanium.

Credit: Greg Robson/Creative Commons, Andrei Marincas Shutterstock

  • Germanium is metalloid, which means it has properties of both metals and nonmetals. Other metalloids on the periodic table are boron, silicon, arsenic, antimony, tellurium, and polonium, according to the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
  • Germanium is one of the few elements that expand when it freezes, like water does, according to Chemicool. Others include gallium, silicon, bismuth and antimony.
  • The name “germanium” comes from the Latin name for Germany, named for Winkler’s home country, according to the Jefferson Lab.
  • According to Chemicool, the abundance of germanium in the Earth’s crust is about 1.5 parts per million by weight, and the abundance in the solar system is about 200 parts per billion by weight.
  • Germanium’s value was recognized during World War II, according toEmily Darby, a chemistry student at Harvey Mudd College, when it was used in high-resolution radar receivers. The first germanium transistor was invented shortly afterward.
  • According to the U.S. Geological Survey, approximate percentages of the uses of germanium are: 30 percent for infrared (IR) optics, including detectors; 20 percent fiber optics used in communications; 20 percent polyethylene terephthalate used in a variety of products such as cloth fibers, food containers, and resins; 15 percent for electronics and solar cells for solar panels; and 5 percent for phosphors, metallurgy, and organics including medications.
  • Germanium is primarily mined with zinc ore as well as with argyrodite, germanite, and coal according to the Los Alamos National Laboratory. According to Chemistry Explained, germanium is mined in Alaska, Tennessee, China, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Russia and Belgium.

There have been claims that germanium may be beneficial for health, including improving the immune system, oxygen supply in the body, and destroying free radicals. According to Healthline, germanium has also been considered to be beneficial in treating allergies, asthma, arthritis, HIV/AIDS and various forms of cancer.

There is, however, little to no scientific support of these claims, and using germanium supplements or medications can lead to many side effects, including kidney damage, anemia, muscle weakness and lack of coordination, and elevated liver enzymes, according to Healthline.

In experiments, a derivative of germanium called spirogermanium has been shown to inhibit replication in certain cancer cells, but human studies show it has adverse effects and is not suitable as an anticancer treatment, according to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Germanium is commonly used in detectors in a variety of fields, according to a study published in Applied Physics Letters in 2016. The study discusses the high efficiency of germanium photodetectors when used in the visible and near infrared spectra of light. The germanium detectors were compared to conventional silicon based photodetectors and, according to the authors, had better signal to noise ratio and responses near the ends of the spectral range of light able to be observed with the detectors.

Germanium was tested for use in photodetectors due to its smallbandgap, or the easier ability for electrons to jump to a higher energy state, which is common in semiconductor metals. These photoconductors are used in many types of technologies that are used in our everyday lives such as television remote controls, automatically opening doors common at large stores, and fiberoptic communication systems as well as many scientific uses in astronomy, laboratory research, and environmental monitoring according to LaserFocusWorld. With increased efficiency due to the higher absorption of germanium in photodetectors versus traditional materials such as silicon, more and better information can be received in the target wavelength.

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Jewish avengers unapologetic for targeting Nazis after WWII


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Jewish avengers unapologetic for targeting Nazis after WWII

  • In this April 1946 photo from the U.S. Army Signal Corps, U.S. Lt. Robert R, Rogers, left, and Erich Pinkau, of the German criminal police, examine the under-floor hiding place where arsenic was found in a Nuremberg, Germany bakery which supplied bread to Stalag 13, seven miles away. In mid-April, over 2,200 prisoners at the camp were stricken with arsenic poisoning from the toxicant coated on the loaves given to the prisoners. Seventy years after the most daring attempt of Jewish Holocaust survivors to seek revenge, the leader of the plot has only one simple regret _ that to his knowledge he didn't actually succeed in killing any Nazis. Joseph Harmatz is one of the few remaining Jewish "Avengers" who carried out a mass poisoning of former SS men in an American prisoner-of-war camp in 1946 after World War II. The poisoning sickened more than 2,200 Germans but ultimately caused no known deaths. (U.S. Army Signal Corps via AP)

    In this April 1946 photo from the U.S. Army Signal Corps, U.S. Lt. Robert R, Rogers, left, and Erich Pinkau, of the German criminal police, examine the under-floor hiding place where arsenic was found in a Nuremberg, Germany bakery which supplied bread to Stalag 13, seven miles away. In mid-April, over 2,200 prisoners at the camp were stricken with arsenic poisoning from the toxicant coated on the loaves given to the prisoners. Seventy years after the most daring attempt of Jewish Holocaust survivors to seek revenge, the leader of the plot has only one simple regret _ that to his knowledge he didn’t actually succeed in killing any Nazis. Joseph Harmatz is one of the few remaining Jewish “Avengers” who carried out a mass poisoning of former SS men in an American prisoner-of-war camp in 1946 after World War II. The poisoning sickened more than 2,200 Germans but ultimately caused no known deaths. (U.S. Army Signal Corps via AP)(The Associated Press)

Seventy years after the most daring attempt of Jewish Holocaust survivors to seek revenge against their former tormentors, the leader of the plot has only one simple regret — that to his knowledge he didn’t actually succeed in killing any Nazis.

Joseph Harmatz is one of the few remaining Jewish “Avengers” who carried out a mass poisoning of former SS men in an American prisoner-of-war camp in 1946 that sickened more than 2,200 Germans but ultimately caused no known deaths. A recently declassified U.S. military report obtained by The Associated Press has only added to the mystery of why the brazen operation did not kill Nazis, because it shows the amount of arsenic used should have been fatal to tens of thousands.

Still, the 91-year-old Harmatz says the message echoed into a rallying cry for the newborn state of Israel — that the days when attacks on Jews went unanswered were over.

“We didn’t want to come back (to pre-state Israel) without having done something, and that is why we were keen,” Harmatz said in a hoarse, whispery voice from his apartment in north Tel Aviv.

Despite a visceral desire for vengeance, most Holocaust survivors were too weary or devastated to seriously consider it, after their world was shattered and 6 million Jews killed during World War II. For most, merely rebuilding their lives and starting new families was revenge enough against a Nazi regime that aimed to destroy them. For others, physical retribution ran counter to Jewish morals and traditions. For even more, the whole concept of reprisals seemed pointless given the sheer scope of the genocide.

In this photo made on Monday, May 23, 2016, Joseph Harmatz sits during an interview with the Associated Press at his apartment in Tel Aviv, Israel. Harmatz is one of the few remaining Jewish "Avengers" who carried out a mass poisoning of former SS men in an American prisoner-of-war camp in 1946 after World War II. The poisoning sickened more than 2,200 Germans but ultimately caused no known deaths.(AP Photo /Tsafrir Abayov)

In this photo made on Monday, May 23, 2016, Joseph Harmatz sits during an interview with the Associated Press at his apartment in Tel Aviv, Israel. Harmatz is one of the few remaining Jewish “Avengers” who carried out a mass poisoning of former SS men in an American prisoner-of-war camp in 1946 after World War II. The poisoning sickened more than 2,200 Germans but ultimately caused no known deaths.(AP Photo /Tsafrir Abayov)(The Associated Press)

But a group of some 50, most young men and women who had already fought in the resistance, could not let the crimes go unpunished and actively sought to exact at least a small measure of revenge. The Nuremberg trials were prosecuting some top Nazis, but the Jewish people had no formal representative. There was a deep sense of justice denied, as the vast majority of Nazis immersed themselves back into a post-war Germany that was being rebuilt by the Americans’ Marshall plan.

While there were some isolated acts of Jews harming individual Nazis after the war, the group, codenamed Nakam, Hebrew for vengeance, sought a more comprehensive form of punishment.

“We didn’t understand why it shouldn’t be paid back,” said Harmatz, who was nicknamed Julek, and lost most of his family in the Holocaust.

So the group set out with a simple mission.

“Kill Germans,” Harmatz said flatly.

How many?

“As many as possible,” he quickly replied.

The first plan of action described by Harmatz was audacious. Initiated by the resistance fighter and noted Israeli poet Abba Kovner, the idea was to poison the water supply of Nuremberg, a plot that could have potentially killed hundreds of thousands.

But there were deep reservations even among the Avengers that such an operation would kill innocent Germans and undermine international support for the establishment of Israel. Either way, when Kovner sailed for Europe with the poison, he drew suspicion from British authorities and was forced to toss it overboard before he was arrested.

This photo from the U.S. Army Signal Corps taken during World War II shows a bakery in Nuremberg, Germany, which supplied bread to Stalag 13, seven miles away. In mid-April, over 2,200 prisoners at the camp were stricken with arsenic poisoning from arsenic coated on the loaves given to the prisoners. Full and empty bottles of the toxicant were found under the floor of the facility. Seventy years after the most daring attempt of Jewish Holocaust survivors to seek revenge, the leader of the plot has only one simple regret _ that to his knowledge he didn't actually succeed in killing any Nazis. Joseph Harmatz is one of the few remaining Jewish "Avengers" who carried out a mass poisoning of former SS men in an American prisoner-of-war camp in 1946 after World War II. The poisoning sickened more than 2,200 Germans but ultimately caused no known deaths. (U.S. Army Signal Corps via AP)

supplied bread to Stalag 13, seven miles away. In mid-April, over 2,200 prisoners at the camp were stricken with arsenic poisoning from arsenic coated on the loaves given to the prisoners. Full and empty bottles of the toxicant were found under the floor of the facility. Seventy years after the most daring attempt of Jewish Holocaust survivors to seek revenge, the leader of the plot has only one simple regret _ that to his knowledge he didn’t actually succeed in killing any Nazis. Joseph Harmatz is one of the few remaining Jewish “Avengers” who carried out a mass poisoning of former SS men in an American prisoner-of-war camp in 1946 after World War II. The poisoning sickened more than 2,200 Germans but ultimately caused no known deaths. (U.S. Army Signal Corps via AP)(The Associated Press)

Following that setback, attention shifted toward Plan B, a more limited operation that specifically targeted the worst Nazi perpetrators. Undercover members of the group found work at a bakery that supplied the Stalag 13 POW camp at Langwasser, near Nuremberg, and waited for their chance to strike the thousands of SS men the Americans held there.

It came on Apr. 13, 1946. Using poison procured from one of Kovner’s associates, three members spent two hours coating some 3,000 loaves of bread with arsenic, divided into four portions. The goal was to kill 12,000 SS personnel, and Harmatz oversaw the operation from outside the bakery.

While the mass death count of the first plan would have been disastrous for the Jewish people, the second’s more direct route was easier to accept, since its targets were the worst of the worst, said Dina Porat, the chief historian at Israel’s Yad Vashem memorial. She has written a biography of Kovner and is about to publish another book on the Avengers themselves.

“The terrible tragedy was about to be forgotten, and if you don’t punish for one crime, you will get another,” she explained. “This is what was driving them, not only justice but a warning, a warning to the world that you cannot hurt Jews in such a manner and get away with it.”

Even if they were ultimately unsuccessful, she said, the Avengers’ act was seeped with symbolism for a burgeoning state of Israel fighting for its survival in a hostile region.

“What is Zionism? Zionism is the Jews taking their fate in their own hands and not letting the others dictate our fate,” she said. “This is what they wanted to show. You cannot get away with such a terrible deed.”

Under German regulations, authorities in Nuremberg later investigated Harmatz and Leipke Distal, who worked undercover in the bakery for months, after they appeared in a 1999 television documentary and revealed details of the operation.

The prosecutors, in the uncomfortable position of having to investigate Holocaust survivors trying to kill Nazis, eventually concluded that even though there was an attempted murder they would not file charges because of the “extraordinary circumstances.”

According to previously classified files from the U.S. military’s Counter Intelligence Corps, which investigated the 1946 incident and which the Nuremberg prosecutors did not have access to, the amount of arsenic used should have been enough to cause a massive number of deaths. The files were obtained by the AP through a Freedom of Information Act request to the National Archives.

In one memo from 1947 stamped “confidential,” investigators write that at the bakery they found “three empty hot water bottles and a burlap bag containing four full hot water bottles.” An analysis of the contents “revealed that they contained enough arsenic mixed with glue and water to kill approximately 60,000 persons.”

Another confidential report said a chemist called in to help in the investigation had determined “10 kilo of pure arsenic was present, mixed with water and glue for adhesive purposes.”

Laboratory investigators found arsenic on the bottom, top and sides of the bread, and reported that doctors said the SS men exhibited symptoms “similar to cholera and included vomiting, diarrhea and skin rashes.” The report added that the most amount of arsenic found on a loaf was 0.2 grams — which fell well within the range of 0.1-0.3 grams that would be ‘in most cases lethal.”

To this day, it remains a mystery as to why the poison failed to kill Nazis. The prevailing theory is that the plotters in their haste spread the poison too thinly. Another is that the Nazi prisoners immediately sensed something was off with the bread and therefore no one ingested enough of it to die.

After the attack, Harmatz, Distal and others had to flee quickly. At the border of Czechoslovakia they were met by Yehuda Maimon, an Auschwitz survivor from Poland who lost his parents in the camps and decided to join Nakam shortly after escaping a death march. He was responsible for smuggling the group out safely and bribing officials at the border. From there, they slipped into Italy before migrating for good to the Holy Land.

From the retirement home outside Tel Aviv where his grandchildren frequently visit him, the 92-year-old Maimon, who goes by the nickname Poldek, fixes a steely gaze with his piercing blue eyes. He looks back with satisfaction at carrying out his “duty” for revenge before starting anew in Israel.

“It was imperative to form this group. If I am proud of something it is that I belonged to this group,” he said. “Heaven forbid if after the war we had just gone back to the routine without thinking about paying those bastards back. It would have been awful not to respond to those animals.”

____

Herschaft reported from New York. Associated Press writer David Rising in Berlin contributed to this report.

On Twitter, follow Heller at http://www.twitter.com/aronhellerap and Herschaft at http://www.twitter.com/HerschaftAP