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Concept: Anatomy


Introduction: Over the last decade, the use of medical marijuana has expanded dramatically; it is now permitted in 16 states and the District of Columbia. Our study of family physicians in Colorado is the first to gather information about physician attitudes toward this evolving practice.

Concepts: Medicine, United States, Physician, Anatomy, Pediatrics, Medical school, Specialty, Doctor of Medicine


The lambeosaurine Tsintaosaurus spinorhinus has traditionally been reconstructed with an elevated, hollow, spike-like crest composed entirely of the nasal bones, although this has been disputed. Here, we provide a new reconstruction of the skull of this species based on reexamination and reinterpretation of the morphology and articular relationships of the type and Paratype skulls and a fragmentary crest. We confirm the presence of a supracranial crest composed of the elevated nasal bones, but also including the premaxillae. We hypothesize that the crest is a tall, lobate, hollow structure that projects dorsally and slightly caudally a distance greater than the height of the skull along the quadrate. In our reconstruction, the nasal passage passes through the crest, but enters the skull rostral to the tubular process of the nasals, not through it. Tsintaosaurus spinorhinus is rediagnosed on the basis of a suite of cranial autapomorphies including a circumnarial fossa subdivided into three accessory fossae, prefrontal with ascending rostral process and lateral flange, nasals fused sagittally to form elongate tubular process that rises dorsally from skull roof, each nasal being expanded rostrocaudally into a rhomboid distal process, and medial processes of premaxillae at the summit of the cranial crest inserted between rhomboid processes of nasals. Tsintaosaurus spinorhinus lacks characters that are present in more derived lambeosaurines (parasaurolophins and lambeosaurins), such as rotation of the caudal margin of the crest to an acute angle with the skull roof, lateral processes of the nasals that enclose part of the intracranial cavity and participate in the formation of the walls of the common median chamber, and a smooth narial fossa lacking ridges and accessory fossae. We hypothesize that ancestrally the rostrum of lambeosaurines may have been more similar to that in Saurolophinae, and became subsequently reduced in complexity during evolution of the group.

Concepts: Snake scales, Skull, Anatomy, Anatomical terms of location, Occipital bone, Animal anatomy, Skull and Bones, Vomer


Most American colleges and universities offer gateway biology courses to meet the needs of three undergraduate audiences: biology and related science majors, many of whom will become biomedical researchers; premedical students meeting medical school requirements and preparing for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT); and students completing general education (GE) graduation requirements. Biology textbooks for these three audiences present a topic scope and sequence that correlates with the topic scope and importance ratings of the biology content specifications for the MCAT regardless of the intended audience. Texts for “nonmajors,” GE courses appear derived directly from their publisher’s majors text. Topic scope and sequence of GE texts reflect those of “their” majors text and, indirectly, the MCAT. MCAT term density of GE texts equals or exceeds that of their corresponding majors text. Most American universities require a GE curriculum to promote a core level of academic understanding among their graduates. This includes civic scientific literacy, recognized as an essential competence for the development of public policies in an increasingly scientific and technological world. Deriving GE biology and related science texts from majors texts designed to meet very different learning objectives may defeat the scientific literacy goals of most schools' GE curricula.

Concepts: Medicine, Education, University, Anatomy, Medical school, College, Curriculum, Association of American Medical Colleges


A unique anatomical variation of the suprascapular notch was discovered in one scapula from 610 analyzed by three-dimensional CT reconstruction. Two bony bridges were found, converting it into a double suprascapular foramen, in the left upper extremity of an 56-year-old Caucasian female. This variation might be a risk factor for suprascapular nerve entrapment. Suprascapular nerve running through inferior suprascapular foramen was discovered. Suprascapular vessels passed through superior suprascapular foramen (artery lay medially and vein laterally). A new hypothesis of double suprascapular foramen formation (mechanism of creation) is presented based on recent anatomical findings (e.g., the discovery in 2002 of the anterior coracoscapular ligament). Knowledge of the anatomical variations described in this study should be helpful in arthroscopic and open procedures at the suprascapular region and also confirms the safety of operative decompression for the suprascapular nerve.

Concepts: Blood vessel, Observation, Anatomy, Supraspinatus muscle, Suprascapular nerve, Suprascapular notch, The Double, Double variation


BACKGROUND: Educational computer games are examples of computer-assisted learning objects, representing an educational strategy of growing interest. Given the changes in the digital world over the last decades, students of the current generation expect technology to be used in advancing their learning requiring a need to change traditional passive learning methodologies to an active multisensory experimental learning methodology. The objective of this study was to compare a computer game-based learning method with a traditional learning method, regarding learning gains and knowledge retention, as means of teaching head and neck Anatomy and Physiology to Speech-Language and Hearing pathology undergraduate students. METHODS: Students were randomized to participate to one of the learning methods and the data analyst was blinded to which method of learning the students had received. Students' prior knowledge (i.e. before undergoing the learning method), short-term knowledge retention and long-term knowledge retention (i.e. six months after undergoing the learning method) were assessed with a multiple choice questionnaire. Students' performance was compared considering the three moments of assessment for both for the mean total score and for separated mean scores for Anatomy questions and for Physiology questions. RESULTS: Students that received the game-based method performed better in the pos-test assessment only when considering the Anatomy questions section. Students that received the traditional lecture performed better in both post-test and long-term post-test when considering the Anatomy and Physiology questions. CONCLUSIONS: The game-based learning method is comparable to the traditional learning method in general and in short-term gains, while the traditional lecture still seems to be more effective to improve students' short and long-term knowledge retention.

Concepts: Scientific method, Head and neck anatomy, Biology, Education, Anatomy, Learning, Human anatomy, Methodology


This paper emphasizes the anatomical substrate of several foot conditions that are seldom discussed in this context. These include the insertional and non-insertional Achilles tendinopathies, plantar fasciopathy, inferior and posterior heel spurs, foot compartment syndromes, intermetatarsal bursitis and Morton’s neuroma. It is a rather superficial anatomical review of an organ that remains largely neglected by rheumatologists. It is our hope that the cases discussed and the cross examination by instructors and participants will stimulate study of the foot and the attention it deserves.

Concepts: Medicine, Biology, Foot, Anatomy, Human anatomy, Anatomical terms of location, Morton's neuroma, Neuroma


Variation is a naturally occurring phenomenon that is observable at all levels of morphology, from anatomical variations of DNA molecules to gross variations between whole organisms. The structure of the otic region is no exception. The present paper documents the broad morphological diversity exhibited by the inner ear region of placental mammals using digital endocasts constructed from high-resolution X-ray computed tomography (CT). Descriptions cover the major placental clades, and linear, angular, and volumetric dimensions are reported.

Concepts: DNA, Evolution, Biology, Species, Medical imaging, Anatomy, Inner ear, Comparative anatomy


Fire is a powerful natural force that can change landscapes extremely quickly. Hominins have harnessed this resource for their own purposes, with mechanistic and developmental physiological consequences. In addition, the use of fire has niche constructive effects, altering selective environments for genetic and cultural evolution. We review the record for hominin fire use in the Plio-Pleistocene, before considering the various functions for its use, and the resultant mechanistic and developmental consequences. We also adopt the niche construction framework to consider how the use of fire can modify selective environments, and thus have evolutionary consequences at genetic and cultural levels. The light that fire produces may influence photoperiodicity and alter hormonally-controlled bodily rhythms. Fire used for cooking could have extended the range of foods hominins were able to consume, and reduced digestion costs. This may have contributed to the expansion of the hominin brain and facial anatomy, influenced by a higher quality cooked diet. Fire may also have allowed dispersal into northern areas with much cooler climates than the hominin African origin, posing novel problems that affected diet and social behaviour.

Concepts: Genetics, Natural selection, Evolution, Nutrition, Biology, Anatomy, Human evolution, Cooking


For generations, the supply of practicing physicians in the United States has swung from too small to too large and back again. In 2006, alarmed about a growing physician shortage, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) recommended that medical school enrollments be increased by 30% over the next decade. Now, entering classes are projected to reach 21,434 students by the 2016-2017 academic year, almost a 30% increase over 2002 (see table). Colleges of osteopathic medicine have been growing for the past 20 years, doubling in number from 15 to 30 and increasing enrollments from 6892 students in 1990 to . . .

Concepts: Medicine, Physician, Anatomy, Pediatrics, Medical school, Internal medicine, Doctor of Medicine, Osteopathic medicine in the United States


Endothermy (the metabolic production and retention of heat to warm body temperature above ambient) enhances physiological function, and whole-body endothermy generally sets mammals and birds apart from other animals. Here, we describe a whole-body form of endothermy in a fish, the opah (Lampris guttatus), that produces heat through the constant “flapping” of wing-like pectoral fins and minimizes heat loss through a series of counter-current heat exchangers within its gills. Unlike other fish, opah distribute warmed blood throughout the body, including to the heart, enhancing physiological performance and buffering internal organ function while foraging in the cold, nutrient-rich waters below the ocean thermocline.

Concepts: Biology, Physiology, Heart, Fish, Animal, Anatomy, Human anatomy, Warm-blooded