Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Jesus


The Turin Shroud is traditionally considered to be the burial cloth in which the body of Jesus Christ was wrapped after his death approximately 2000 years ago. Here, we report the main findings from the analysis of genomic DNA extracted from dust particles vacuumed from parts of the body image and the lateral edge used for radiocarbon dating. Several plant taxa native to the Mediterranean area were identified as well as species with a primary center of origin in Asia, the Middle East or the Americas but introduced in a historical interval later than the Medieval period. Regarding human mitogenome lineages, our analyses detected sequences from multiple subjects of different ethnic origins, which clustered into a number of Western Eurasian haplogroups, including some known to be typical of Western Europe, the Near East, the Arabian Peninsula and the Indian sub-continent. Such diversity does not exclude a Medieval origin in Europe but it would be also compatible with the historic path followed by the Turin Shroud during its presumed journey from the Near East. Furthermore, the results raise the possibility of an Indian manufacture of the linen cloth.

Concepts: Jordan, Arabian Peninsula, Jesus, Shroud of Turin, Europe, Middle East, Islam, Asia


Stigmata are one of the most ancient and fascinating mysteries of the Christian religion. The word “stigmata” derives by the Greek “stigma”, that means sign, mark. Classically, stigmata are the sores inflicted on Jesus Christ during his passion and crucifixion. Today, the term stigmatized has been extended to designate several cases of individuals, who show skin sores similar to those of Christ. The Authors report a brief history of stigmata, trying to give an explanation to such a fascinating phenomenon.

Concepts: Crucifixion of Jesus, Christ, Saint Peter, Good Friday, Christianity, New Testament, Religion, Jesus


This study examined sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) by 1,612 individuals who are current or former members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). Data were obtained through a comprehensive online survey from both quantitative items and open-ended written responses. A minimum of 73% of men and 43% of women in this sample attempted sexual orientation change, usually through multiple methods and across many years (on average). Developmental factors associated with attempts at sexual orientation change included higher levels of early religious orthodoxy (for all) and less supportive families and communities (for men only). Among women, those who identified as lesbian and who reported higher Kinsey attraction scores were more likely to have sought change. Of the 9 different methods surveyed, private and religious change methods (compared with therapist-led or group-based efforts) were the most common, started earlier, exercised for longer periods, and reported to be the most damaging and least effective. When sexual orientation change was identified as a goal, reported effectiveness was lower for almost all of the methods. While some beneficial SOCE outcomes (such as acceptance of same-sex attractions and reduction in depression and anxiety) were reported, the overall results support the conclusion that sexual orientation is highly resistant to explicit attempts at change and that SOCE are overwhelmingly reported to be either ineffective or damaging by participants. (PsycINFO Database Record © 2014 APA, all rights reserved).

Concepts: Latter Day Saint movement, National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality, All rights reserved, Latter Day Saint, Sexual orientation, Jesus, Sexual orientation change efforts, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


Whether selecting a candy in a shop or picking a digital camera online, there are usually many options from which consumers may choose. With such abundance, consumers must use a variety of cognitive, emotional, and heuristic means to filter out and inhibit some of their responses. Here we use brand logos within a Go/No-Go task to probe inhibitory control during the presentation of familiar and unfamiliar logos. The results showed no differences in response times or in commission errors (CE) between familiar and unfamiliar logos. However, participants demonstrated a generally more cautious attitude of responding to the familiar brands: they were significantly slower and less accurate at responding to these brands in the Go trials. These findings suggest that inhibitory control can be exercised quite effectively for familiar brands, but that when such inhibition fails, the potent appetitive nature of brands is revealed.

Concepts: Jesus, Universe, Camera, Logo


Stigma refers to the wounds reproduced on the human body, similar to the ones inflicted on the Christ during his crucifixion, on the palms, soles, and head, as well as the right or the left side of the chest, the lips and, the back. Whether they are genuine or fabricated, stigmata are still considered a medical enigma.

Concepts: Right-wing politics, Left-wing politics, Differential diagnosis, Human body, Religion, Jesus


Infant baptism originated when St. Augustine proclaimed the doctrine of original sin in 412 CE. Neonates stillborn or deceased before baptism were declared to go down to Hell and were buried outside of sacred ground. From the 15th century, parents carried these infants to “respite sanctuaries” in remote mountain chapels, where miraculous images were believed to revive the infant in order to allow baptism and a Christian burial. Monasteries made fortunes out of the parents' anguish. In 1528, the abuse of the Oberbüren image ignited iconoclasm and heralded the beginning of the Reformation. From 1740, Pope Benedict XIV opposed the sanctuaries, especially Ursberg in Swabia, declaring as invalid any apparent signs of life, e.g., changes in skin color, a change from rigidity to flexibility, blood flowing from the nose, sweat on the skin, cessation of a cadaveric smell, and the movement of a feather held at the infant’s mouth. Only crying and sounds of respiration remained valid signs of revivification. The debate ran for centuries, highlighting the difficulty of distinguishing a stillborn from a liveborn baby before the stethoscope became available. The existence of respite sanctuaries is an illustration of the failure of the doctrine of original sin, which was never accepted by the pious.

Concepts: Augustine of Hippo, Rome, Pope Benedict XVI, Protestant Reformation, Infant, Pope Benedict XIV, Jesus, Original sin


This study explored Christian nurses' views of their source of caring (Deity or other), adherence to biblical faith practices, and view of nursing as a job, career, profession, or calling. Participants who reported Deity (God, Christ, Holy Spirit) as their source of caring were more likely to view nursing as a calling and report a higher degree of volunteering (serving), giving (financially to a religious community), devotions and prayer (personal walk), and fellowship (meeting with a community of other believers). Results have implications for understanding the concept of caring within the context of a Christian worldview.

Concepts: Nursing, Deity, Bible, Holy Spirit, Christianity, Jesus, God, Religion


The configuration of one’s social environment influences the course and experience of depression. Research suggests that experiencing depression is associated with stigmatisation and the concomitant experiencing of discrimination across many facets of social life. This is identified as a particularly important factor in rural communities. Contemporary work is absent in relation to understanding the stigma towards depression in Ireland, and its manifestation in rural Ireland specifically. Evidence is presented which suggests that depression is a significant source of stigmatisation in this setting, and that entrenched views centring upon disability and fear are prevalent.

Concepts: Educational psychology, Communities, Experience, Stigmata, Jesus


In the history of Christianity, veneration of the Virgin Mary reached its greatest intensity in the XIII century. Her perceived impact on daily life was tremendous and not surprisingly this extended to the spheres of disease and healing. The purpose of this study is to compare the medical and neuropsychiatric findings in two XIII century Spanish texts of Marian miracles, both examples of the popular Catholicism (vs. official catholic doctrine). We analyzed the medical and neuropsychiatric events in the Cantigas de Santa Maria (Canticles of St. Mary, CSM), composed at the court of Alfonso X and the Milagros de Nuestra Señora (The Miracles of Our Lady, MNS), written by Gonzalo de Berceo. Among the 25 miracles reported in the MNS, medically relevant facts were addressed in 19 miracles with a total of 23 recorded events (including resurrection or escape from death in five) and demonic possession in three (one with witchcraft/deicide). The most common medical subjects were ergotism, obstetric-gynecological, sudden death, intellectual disability/illiteracy, encephalopathy/alcohol intoxication, suicide (with self-mutilation/castration), infanticide, infections, and absence of body decomposition after death. The 427 canticles in the CSM contain 270 medically relevant facts. Neuropsychiatric conditions were alluded to in 98 songs. Blindness and dystonia/weakness/deformities were the most common phenomena. Illuminations detailed many of the medical facts in the CSM, but not in the MNS. Medically relevant facts were described in both texts, but with more details in the CSM. Neurological conditions were more often described in the CSM, psychiatric conditions in the MNS.

Concepts: Death, Assumption of Mary, Jesus, Blessed Virgin Mary, Christianity, Psychiatry, Mary, Neurology


Historically, some propose that organized nursing was founded on biblical principles and the caring behaviors and characteristics of Christ, and that caring originates with God. More recently, perceptions of caring have shifted to a humanistic, postmodern worldview, where the source of caring is within the person. This integrative literature review synthesized caring literature from humanistic, postmodern, and biblical, theological worldviews. Findings reveal that 95% of research and 85% of nonresearch publications were written from the humanistic perspective. The results lay a foundation for an alternative middle range theory on caring from a biblical worldview for nurses holding Christian beliefs.

Concepts: Culture, Epistemology, Life stance, Postmodernism, Jesus, Greek loanwords, Anthropology, Christianity