It’s always smart to be skeptical of all the natural remedies that are continuously pushed out on the market. Occasionally I find myself wondering if I’m being a bit TOO skeptical. Surely, there must be some truth being some of the claims that these products are making. Granted, it’s important to remember that ingredients are listed in descending order by concentration, so if you’re buying a product because it advertises a specific ingredient, be sure it’s at the top of the list.
On to the science behind the claims of argan oil, honey, tea tree oil, and many other natural ingredients.
Legend has it that in the 1950s, DC Comics concluded that the ticket to sure sales lay not with super-powered hijinks, but with gorillas: any comic with an ape on its cover was sure to outsell the ape-free issues. By that token alone, Primates, a new graphic novel by Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks about the lives and work of three seminal primatologists, should be a smash-hit.
Primates tells the connected stories of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas, known collectively as “Leaky’s Angels” in tribute to their collective mentor, archaeologist and paleoanthropologist Louis Leaky. Beginning with Goodall in 1960, each woman embarked on a long-term field study of a group of primates—Goodall, chimps; Fossey, mountain gorillas; Galdikas, orangutans—and, in the process, revolutionized not only the field of primatology but scientific perspectives on human evolution and the very definition of humanity.
Written by Jim Ottaviani and drawn and lettered by Maris Wicks, Primates draws from the diaries of all three scientists—as well as a slew of other sources detailed in a bibliography at the end to paint a compelling picture of their work and lives, deftly interweaving the three women’s stories in an account that’s equal parts biography and scientific history…
I have always love collecting comic books, getting into a really good graphic novel series, heck, I even have binders full of the collectible cards…
But I don’t think I’ve ever wanted a graphic novel as much as I want this one.
I know. I’d like to read this too cos science + graphic novels = time well spent in the bathtub. What I’m hoping is that this presents accurate information and at least a little critical analysis of some of the bad methodology of earlier primatology and ethology. The most prominent example I can think of is Fossey’s over involvement. I say this cos it would be a waste to write something about pioneers but not point out that pioneering work is rarely perfect and that we should learn from our predecessor’s mistakes instead of mythologising them as flawless. The recent scandal with Jane Goodall’s perhaps unintentional plagiarism is a good example too, but one which would probably be irrelevant to this novel. I’m looking for something with some substance and want to learn some factoids. I hope this delivers.
Cue nerd boner.
The Violet Back Starling is a member of the Sturnidae family, much of which is comprised with birds bearing iridescent wings. This iridescence is due to the different forms of melanosomes (small pigmented organelles) that the birds have in their feathers. As Ed Yong explains:
The layers (of the feathers) mostly consist of small pigmented structures called melanosomes, which are found in all bird feathers. In their simplest form, they’re shaped like solid rods. But the starlings have added three types of deluxe features on top of this basic model. Some have evolved flatter melanosomes, which lets them pack more layers into the same space. Others have hollow melanosomes, which provide even more layers as light passes through solid walls and empty interiors. Yet others have melanosomes that are hollow and flattened.
Pictured above is the Lena River. This river some 2,800 miles(4,500km) long, is one of the largest rivers in the world. The Lena Delta Reserve is the most extensive protected wilderness area in Russia. It is an important refuge and breeding grounds for many species of Siberian wildlife.
Top: Metacarpals (long bones) and carpals (short bones)
Second row, left: Left ulna (long bone)
Second row, right: Scapula and sternum (flat bones)
Third row, left: Sagittal section of the knee joint, including the patella (sesamoid bone)
Third row, right: Thoracic vertebrae (irregular bones)
Bottom: Complete Skeleton
Bones are classified into five groups, organized by shape.
Long bones are longer than they are wide, and are subjected to most of the load-bearing responsibilities in everyday life. These include the humerus, radius, and ulna (arms); fibula, femur, and tibia (legs), as well as the phalanges (fingers and toes), metacarpals (hands) and metatarsals (feet).
They grow from the epiphysis (growth plate) at either end of the bone, and failure of these bones to grow causes the majority of dwarfism cases.
Short bones are as wide as they are long, and provide support, but do not bear heavy loads or move much. These include the tarsals (feet) and carpals (hands/wrists).
Flat bones are broad bones that provide protection to organs, and large areas for muscle attachment. These include the bones in the skull, the ilium, scapula, sternum, and ribs. The flat bones consist of two layers of compact bone, surrounding a layer of cancellous bone, where the majority of red bone marrow exists. In adults, most red blood cells are produced in the flat bones.
Sesamoid bones are bones within tendons, which pass over a joint. The most familiar sesamoid bone is the patella, or knee-bone. These bones provide protection to delicate joints.
Irregular bones don’t fit into any of the above categories. The mandible and vertebrae are irregular bones.
Atlas and Text-book of Human Anatomy. Dr. Johannes Sobotta, 1914.
Anatomy: Descriptive and Applied. Henry Gray, 1918.
A Series of Engravings, representing the Bones of the Human Skeleton. William Cheselden, 1819.
Transgenic Anonymous. Actually we do not know how grateful we should be to these little friends:
p53 is a tumor suppressor protein that in humans is encoded by the TP53 gene. p53 is crucial in multicellular organisms, where it regulates the cell cycle and, thus, functions as a tumor suppressor that is involved in preventing cancer (text via Wikipedia)