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Concept: The Passion of the Christ


We have examined the remains of a Pilgrim burial from St Mary Magdalen, Winchester. The individual was a young adult male, aged around 18-25 years at the time of death. Radiocarbon dating showed the remains dated to the late 11th-early 12th centuries, a time when pilgrimages were at their height in Europe. Several lines of evidence in connection with the burial suggested this was an individual of some means and prestige. Although buried within the leprosarium cemetery, the skeleton showed only minimal skeletal evidence for leprosy, which was confined to the bones of the feet and legs. Nonetheless, molecular testing of several skeletal elements, including uninvolved bones all showed robust evidence of DNA from Mycobacterium leprae, consistent with the lepromatous or multibacillary form of the disease. We infer that in life, this individual almost certainly suffered with multiple soft tissue lesions. Genotyping of the M.leprae strain showed this belonged to the 2F lineage, today associated with cases from South-Central and Western Asia. During osteological examination it was noted that the cranium and facial features displayed atypical morphology for northern European populations. Subsequently, geochemical isotopic analyses carried out on tooth enamel indicated that this individual was indeed not local to the Winchester region, although it was not possible to be more specific about their geographic origin.

Concepts: Bone, Mycobacterium, Isotope, Skeleton, Leprosy, Mycobacterium leprae, The Passion of the Christ, Mary Magdalene


Prior research on romantic relationships suggests that being in love involves a blurring of self-other cognitive boundaries. However, this research has focused so far on conceptual self-representation, related to the individual’s traits or interests. The present study tested the hypothesis that passionate love involves a reduced discrimination between the self and the romantic partner at a bodily level, as indexed by an increased Joint Simon effect (JSE), and we further examined whether this self-other discrimination correlated with the passion felt for the partner. As predicted, we found an increased JSE when participants performed the Joint Simon Task with their romantic partner compared with a friend of the opposite sex. Providing support for the self-expansion model of love (Aron and Aron in Pers Relatsh 3(1):45-58, 1996), this result indicates that romantic relationships blur the boundaries between the self and the romantic partner at a bodily level. Furthermore, the strength of romantic feelings was positively correlated with the magnitude of the JSE when sharing the task with the romantic partner.

Concepts: Scientific method, Interpersonal relationship, Love, Romance, Romance novel, Lust, The Passion of the Christ


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


‘Separated by several time zones are nurses with the passion to care, the desire to heal, the drive to improve and, in many cases, the grace to help patients grieve’.

Concepts: The Grace, The Passion of the Christ, Columbia Records albums


The MDEpiNet is a public-private partnership between the US Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health and participating partners. The PASSION program is an MDEpiNet-sponsored program that aims to demonstrate the goals of MDEpiNet by using cardiovascular medical device registries to bridge evidence gaps across the medical device total product life cycle. To this end, a PASSION Think Tank meeting took place in October 2014 in Silver Spring, MD, to facilitate discussion between stakeholders about the successes, challenges, and future novel applications of medical device registries, with particular emphasis on identifying pilot projects. Participants spanned a broad range of groups including patients, device manufacturers, regulators, physicians/academicians, professional societies, providers, and payers. The meeting focus included 4 areas of cardiovascular medicine intended to cultivate interest in 4 MDEpiNet disease-specific/device-specific working groups: coronary intervention, electrophysiology, valvular disease, and peripheral vascular disease. In addition, more general issues applying to registry-based infrastructure and analytical methodologies for assessing device benefit/risk were considered to provide context for the working groups as PASSION programs going forward. This article summarizes the discussions at the meeting and the future directions of the PASSION program.

Concepts: Medicine, Disease, Infectious disease, Cardiology, Future, Input device, Public–private partnership, The Passion of the Christ