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Concept: Decapitation


From the eighteenth century through to the abolition of public executions in England in 1868, the touch of a freshly hanged man’s hand was sought after to cure a variety of swellings, wens in particular. While the healing properties of corpse hands in general were acknowledged and experimented with in early modern medicine, the gallows cure achieved prominence during the second half of the eighteenth century. What was it about the hanged man’s hand (and it always was a male appendage) that gave it such potency? While frequently denounced as a disgusting ‘superstition’ in the press, this popular medical practice was inadvertently legitimised and institutionalised by the authorities through changes in execution procedure.

Concepts: Medicine, Therapy, Science, Capital punishment, Hanging, New England, Decapitation, Gallows


The HEAVEN head transplant initiative needs human data concerning the acute restoration of motor transmission after application of fusogens to the severed cord in man. Data from two centuries ago prove that a fresh cadaver, after hanging or decapitation, can be mobilized by electrical stimulation for up to 3 hours. By administering spinal cord stimulation by applied paddles to the cord or transcranial magnetic stimulation to M1 and recording motor evoked potentials, it should be possible to test fusogens in fresh cadavers. Delayed neuronal death might be the neuropathological reason.

Concepts: Spinal cord, Death, Evoked potential, Transcranial magnetic stimulation, Acute accent, Neurotechnology, Cadaver, Decapitation


In the United States (US) between 300 and 400 people are killed yearly by legal intervention or law enforcement other than by legal execution METHODS: We explored variations in US deaths by legal intervention using the Compressed Mortality File and CDC WONDER.

Concepts: United States, Law, Human rights, Capital punishment, Law of the United States, Murder, Decapitation


Arabidopsis thaliana shoot branching is inhibited by a low red light to far red light ratio (R:FR, an indicator of competition), and by loss of phytochrome B function. Prior studies have shown that phytochrome B deficiency suppresses bud growth by elevating systemic auxin signalling, and that increasing the R:FR promotes the growth of buds suppressed by low R:FR by inhibiting bud abscisic acid (ABA) accumulation and signalling. Here, systemic auxin signalling and bud ABA signalling were examined in the context of rapid bud responses to an increased R:FR. Increasing the R:FR promoted the growth of buds inhibited by a low R:FR within 6 h. Relative to a low R:FR, bud ABA accumulation and signalling in plants given a high R:FR showed a sustained decline within 3 h, prior to increased growth. Main stem auxin levels and signalling showed a weak, transient response. Systemic effects and those localised to the bud were further examined by decapitating plants maintained either under a low R:FR or provided with a high R:FR. Increasing the R:FR promoted bud growth before decapitation, but decapitated plants eventually formed longer branches. The data suggest that rapid responses to an increased R:FR may be mediated by changes in bud ABA physiology, although systemic auxin signalling is necessary for sustained bud repression under a low R:FR.

Concepts: Bud, Ratio, Arabidopsis thaliana, Arabidopsis, Plant physiology, Plant stem, Phytochrome, Decapitation


This study presents the results of the analysis of forensic examinations of the remains of 194 prisoners exhumed at Powązki Military Cemetery in Warsaw. In all probability, most of those buried there were judicially sentenced to death by firing squad or hanging in connection with activities of the Polish independence underground in its struggles with the postwar communist regime. Forensic medical research focussed on determining causes of death and reconstructing the mechanisms of injury leading to death. Most probable causes of death were found in 108 of 194 cases; of these, 76 were isolated gunshot wounds to the head, mostly directed to the occipital region. In 29 of 194 cases, only extensive skull fractures were observed, making it impossible to determine the mechanism of injury. The condition of these skulls do not permit the exclusion of injuries due to gunshots, which were very likely given the historical context of the studied location. In one case, it is assumed that the cause of death could be blunt force trauma to the head. In 86 of 194 cases, it was not possible to determine the cause of death. Of these cases, 20 skeletons were in such poor condition that erosive changes could have completely obliterated even very extensive head injuries leading to death. No injuries were observed that could be associated with execution by hanging.

Concepts: Injuries, Wound, Capital punishment, Hanging, Causes of death, Concussion, Lethal injection, Decapitation


The aim of our study was to examine all types of decapitation from forensic literature, including our own case, and to analyze the presentation of beheading in fine art, popular literature, and music. To do this, over 200 scientific articles in regard to decapitation were analyzed, as well as more than 10,000 artworks, and several hundreds of literary works and music pieces. In addition, a macroscopic examination of a decapitated victim was performed. Finally, a multislice computerized tomography (MSCT) examination of the cervical spine in two live volunteers was undertaken to present the osteological relationships. The forensic and criminal investigation revealed that a female victim was murdered by her jealous husband by applying several strikes with an axe, which resulted in an incomplete decapitation. All the main neck structures were transected, including the cervical spine, except a smaller part of the skin and soft tissue in the nuchal region. The mentioned MSCT examination in both the neutral position and flexion showed that the mandible can also be injured in a higher cervical location of the severance line. Various types of beheading were mentioned, including a homicidal, suicidal, accidental, judicial, internal, pathophysiological, and foetal ones. The status of consciousness and emotions in individuals just before and after decapitation was discussed. Finally, it was found that decapitation was the subject of many artists, and some writers and musicians. In conclusion, we presented a rare case of a homicide beheading performed with an axe. In addition, forensic importance of decapitation was discussed, as well as its great medical, social, anthropological, and artistic significance.

Concepts: Skin, Literature, Capital punishment, Music, Homicide, Neck, Art, Decapitation


The medieval chapel of Notre Dame-des-Fontaines (Our Lady of the Fountains), in the French Maritime Alps, is entirely covered by the fresco cycle of the Passion (15th century) that depicts the last days of Jesus from the Last Supper to the Resurrection. Under a small window, there is the brutal representation of the suicide of Judas Iscariot, hanging from a tree, with the abdomen quartered from which his soul, represented by a small man, is kidnapped by a devil. The author, Giovanni Canavesio, represented the traitor’s death with very detailed anatomical structures, differently thus from other paintings of the same subject; it is therefore possible to assume that the artist had become familiar with the human anatomy. In particular, the realism of the hanged man’s posture, neck bent in an unnatural way, allows us to hypothesize that it probably comes from direct observation of the executions of capital punishment, not infrequently imposed by the public authorities in low medieval Italy.

Concepts: Anatomy, Human anatomy, Capital punishment, Hanging, Jesus, Decapitation, The Passion of the Christ, Judas Iscariot


Laparoscopic segmentectomy for liver tumor located in the left lateral segment (LLS) is thought to be a standard protocol nowadays with several advantages, such as small wound, few blood loss, and short hospital stay. However, there are still many disadvantages during executing laparoscopic LLS segmentectomy. This manuscript aims to present the technique to execute LLS segmentectomy with small incision, hanging maneuver without Pringle maneuver in patients with tumor at LLS of the liver.

Concepts: Surgery, Capital punishment, Hanging, Republic of China, Decapitation


Entity-Attribute-Value (EAV) tables are widely used to store data in electronic medical records and clinical study data management systems. Before they can be used by various analytical (e.g., data mining and machine learning) programs, EAV-modeled data usually must be transformed into conventional relational table format through pivot operations. This time-consuming and resource-intensive process is often performed repeatedly on a regular basis, e.g., to provide a daily refresh of the content in a clinical data warehouse. Thus, it would be beneficial to make pivot operations as efficient as possible. In this paper, we present three techniques for improving the efficiency of pivot operations: (1) filtering out EAV tuples related to unneeded clinical parameters early on, (2) supporting pivoting across multiple EAV tables, and (3) conducting multi-query optimization. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our techniques through implementation. We show that our optimized execution method of pivoting using these techniques significantly outperforms the current basic execution method of pivoting. Our techniques can be used to build a data extraction tool to simplify the specification of and improve the efficiency of extracting data from the EAV tables in electronic medical records and clinical study data management systems.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Data, Computer program, Data mining, Clinical data acquisition, Robust statistics, Data management, Decapitation


Recently, the interest toward human longevity free from diseases is being converged as one system frame along with the development of mobile computing environment, diversification of remote medical system and aging society. Such converged system enables implementation of a bioinformatics system created as various supplementary information services by sensing and gathering health conditions and various bio-information of mobile users to set up medical information. The existing bio-information system performs static and identical process without changes after the bio-information process defined at the initial system configuration executes the system. However, such static process indicates ineffective execution in the application of mobile bio-information system performing mobile computing. Especially, an inconvenient duty of having to perform initialization of new definition and execution is accompanied during the process configuration of bio-information system and change of method. This study proposes a dynamic process design and execution method to overcome such ineffective process.

Concepts: Medicine, Natural environment, Definition, Extensional definition, Computer program, Capital punishment, Mobile computing, Decapitation