Scivias and the illuminations of Hildegard von Bingen

Scivias by Hildegard of Bingen Hildegard von Bingen’s Scivias (short for “Scito vias Domini,” or “Know the Ways of the Lord”) is, as the title suggests, mostly comprised of various divinely-ordained rules for life, especially regarding potential social deviancy. In a manner reminiscent of the Book of Revelation (or even the Quran), Hildegard describes a…

Natalia Karp plays Chopin’s Nocturne in C-sharp minor

From Wikipedia: In 1943, after the death of her husband in a bomb raid, Karp was sent to the Kraków-Płaszów concentration camp where she came into contact with Amon Göth (a man who had personally shot 30-90 women and children during the liquidation of the Tarnów ghetto). On his birthday, Göth ordered her to play…

Modeling global cerebral ischemia and reperfusion injury

Modeling global cerebral ischemia and reperfusion injury Presented by Taurus Londoño Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Abstract Sudden cardiac arrest accounts for approximately 500,000 deaths in the United States each year, with associated mortality largely mediated by global cerebral ischemia, a reduction or complete cessation of blood flow to the brain. Within seconds of cardiac…

On autophagy

Autophagy (from the Greek “auto” and “phagy,” literally meaning “self-eating”) is an intracellular process in eukaryotes that involves the breakdown and recycling of organelles, proteins, and other molecules. Cellular components targeted for degradation are typically dysfunctional or inefficient (i.e. such degradation may represent a diversion of resources), and are enveloped by an autophagosome (a double-membraned…

A brief history of the fall of Rome

The dissolution of the Western Roman Empire is popularly perceived as a sudden and dramatic cataclysm, with the “fall” of classical civilization often precisely dated to 476 CE. In that year, so the story goes, the child Emperor of the West, Romulus Augustulus, was deposed by the barbarian warlord Odoacer who then established the first…

Hypoxia, anoxia, lactic acid fermentation, and naked mole rats…

Fermentation is the ancient and evolutionarily conserved metabolic process by which glycolytic pyruvate is reduced by the electron carrier NADH, thus regenerating NAD+ while producing any of a number organism-specific end products. For example in yeast, the fermentation end product is ethanol, while in mammals, the end product is lactate. In mammals, this process occurs…