Ian Fraser died at his residence, 19 Upper Malone Road, on 11th May in his ninety-ninth year. He had been a significant force in Ulster surgery, indeed the entire Ulster medical scene, almost from his appointment as an ‘honorary attending surgeon in charge of the out-patient department’ at the then Belfast Hospital for Sick Children (in Queen Street) in 1927 until late in life; and he was to receive wide national and international recognition. An acute sense of history was not the least of his gifts and all writers on local medical history owe much to his perceptive sketches of predecessors and earlier contemporaries.
A memorial service was held in Fisherwick Church on 2nd July. The family honoured me in their invitation to give a Tribute - which is reproduced below. I have added some notes which with standard reference sources, Ian's own autobiographical sketches, the Fraser Archive in the Archivist's office at RVH and other material preserved by his son, will I hope, provide sufficient background information to tempt the future biographer whom Fraser's life so richly deserves.
Three aviculariine genera endemic to Brazil are revised. Typhochlaena C. L. Koch, 1850 is resurrected, including five species; Pachistopelma Pocock, 1901 includes two species; and Iridopelma Pocock, 1901, six species. Nine species are newly described: Typhochlaena amma
sp. n., Typhochlaena costae
sp. n., Typhochlaena curumim
sp. n., Typhochlaena paschoali
sp. n., Pachistopelma bromelicola
sp. n., Iridopelma katiae
sp. n., Iridopelma marcoi
sp. n., Iridopelma oliveirai
sp. n. and Iridopelma vanini
sp. n. Three new synonymies are established: Avicularia pulchra Mello-Leitão, 1933 and Avicularia recifiensis Struchen & Brändle, 1996 are junior synonyms of Pachistopelma rufonigrum Pocock, 1901 syn. n., and Avicularia palmicola Mello-Leitão, 1945 is a junior synonym of Iridopelma hirsutum Pocock, 1901 syn. n.
Pachistopelma concolor Caporiacco, 1947 is transferred to Tapinauchenius Ausserer, 1871, making the new combination Tapinauchenius concolor (Caporiacco, 1947)
comb. n. Lectotypes are newly designed for Pachistopelma rufonigrum Pocock, 1901 , Iridopelma hirsutum Pocock, 1901 and Pachistopelma concolor Caporiacco, 1947. Cladistic analyses using both equal and implied weights were carried out with a matrix comprising 62 characters and 38 terminal taxa. The chosen cladogram found with X-Pee-Wee and concavity 6 suggests they are monophyletic. All species are keyed and mapped and information on species habitat and area cladograms are presented. Discussion on biogeography and conservation is provided.
Brazilian Atlantic rainforest; bromeliads; campo rupestre; cerrado; endemism; new species; restinga; systematics; tarantula
Following in the footsteps of Billard and Ballantyne, Edith Potter founded from the 1930s onwards the modern subspecialty of perinatal pathology. Her name is eponymously linked with the facial characteristics of infants with bilateral renal agenesis.
Servants were an important part of the northwestern European household economy in the preindustrial past. This study examines household-level characteristics that are predictive of the presence of rural servants using data from Orkney, Scotland. The number of servants present in a household is related to household composition, landholding size, and the marital status of the household head. In addition, the sex of the particular servant hired reveals that the labor of male and female servants is not fungible. The sex of the servant hired is related to the ratio of male and female household members of working age, the occupation of the head, household composition, and the size of the household’s landholding.
Historical demography; farm labor; servants; household economy; sexual division of labor; Orkney; Scotland
The Asian bush mosquito, Aedes japonicus japonicus, a potential vector of several viruses, was first detected in Germany in 2008 on the Swiss-German border. In the following years, this invasive species apparently succeeded in establishing populations in southern Germany and in spreading northwards. In 2011, its distribution area already covered large areas of the federal state of Baden-Wurttemberg, and its northernmost German collection point was reported to be close to Stuttgart. Several independent submissions to our laboratories of Ae. j. japonicus specimens in July 2012, originating from the same area in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, western Germany, prompted us to carry out an immediate surveillance in this region in the expectation of finding a further distribution focus of Ae. j. japonicus in Germany.
After inspecting the places of residence of the collectors of the submitted mosquito specimens, all kinds of water containers in 123 cemeteries in surrounding towns and villages were checked for mosquito developmental stages. These were collected and kept to produce adults for morphological species identification. One specimen per collection site was identified genetically by COI sequence analysis.
Aedes j. japonicus adults and immature stages were found in 36 towns/villages that were checked (29%) over an area of approximately 2,000 km2 in southern North Rhine-Westphalia and northern Rhineland Palatinate. The species could not be demonstrated further south when monitoring towards the northernmost previous collection sites in southern Germany. It therefore remains to be elucidated whether the species has entered western Germany from the south, from Belgium in the west where it has been demonstrated to occur locally since 2002, or through a new introduction.
Aedes j. japonicus is obviously much more widely distributed in Germany than previously thought. It appears to be well adapted, to have a strong expansion tendency and to replace indigenous mosquito species. Thus, a further spread is anticipated and elimination seems hardly possible anymore. The vector potency of the species should be reason enough to thoroughly monitor its future development in Germany.
Aedes japonicus japonicus; Cemeteries; Distribution focus; Spread; Western Germany
E-selectin polymorphisms are an independent atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease (CAD) risk factor. This study aimed to investigate the link between the C1901T and G2692A E-selectin tagging SNPs and their haplotypes and the extent of coronary artery disease in Polish patients.
For this study 321 patients were recruited CAD extent by coronary angiography and E selectin gene variant were investigated using HapMap, PCR/RFLP, multivariate logistic regression and haplotype analysis.
Frequency distributions of the C1901T and G2692A polymorphisms were significantly different in CAD patients as compared to control subjects (p=0.037 and p=0.025, respectively). The C1901T polymorphism was found to be an independent genetic predictor of risk of CAD (OR=3.01) in a multivariate model adjusted for classic, environmental risk factors. The A-C and G-T haplotypes showed the strongest significant associations with CAD. The A-C haplotype proved to be significantly more common in controls (haplotype frequency 9.2%) than in CAD (5.7%, p=0.048); the G-T haplotype was not found among control subjects (0.0%) but was found in CAD (1.3%, p=0.0099).
Associations between the C1901T and G2692A E-selectin polymorphisms and CAD in the Polish population were found. Investigated variants correlated with the risk of coronary artery disease development but not with the extent of coronary artery vascular changes. In the haplotype analysis, 2 haplotypes influenced CAD – the A-C haplotype (7%) proved to exert a protective effect against CAD, while the effect of the less frequent G-T haplotype (1%) was associated with significant increase in CAD risk.
coronary artery disease; E-selectin; gene polymorphism; arteriosclerosis
In the present study, we evaluated the histological morphology of the adult Paramphistomum (P.) gracile. Adult flukes with bodies 5~15 mm in length and 2~7 mm in width were subjected to histological analysis. Longitudinal and transversal serial-sections were stained with hematoxylin and eosin, and examined. The body surface and longitudinal section of P. gracile were also assessed using scanning electron microscopy. In this species, the anterior sucker and posterior sucker (acetabulum) were present on an anterior and posterior part of the body, respectively. The major folds were located in the areas of the anterior sucker, genital canal, and posterior sucker. The fluke membrane was spineless at the tegument surface and in the tegument tissue. Histological data showed structural-systematic characteristics of the digestive tract, reproductive tract, excretory tract, copulatory organs, connective tissues, and muscle tissues. We attempted to elucidate the histological characteristics of P. gracile that might increase the knowledge and understanding of rumen fluke morphology.
histology; light microscopy; morphology; Paramphistomum gracile; scanning electron microscopy
The Asian bush or rock pool mosquito Aedes japonicus japonicus is one of the most expansive culicid species of the world. Being native to East Asia, this species was detected out of its original distribution range for the first time in the early 1990s in New Zealand where it could not establish, though. In 1998, established populations were reported from the eastern US, most likely as a result of introductions several years earlier. After a massive spread the mosquito is now widely distributed in eastern North America including Canada and two US states on the western coast. In the year 2000, it was demonstrated for the first time in Europe, continental France, but could be eliminated. A population that had appeared in Belgium in 2002 was not controlled until 2012 as it did not propagate. In 2008, immature developmental stages were discovered in a large area in northern Switzerland and bordering parts of Germany. Subsequent studies in Germany showed a wide distribution and several populations of the mosquito in various federal states. Also in 2011, the species was found in southeastern Austria (Styria) and neighbouring Slovenia. In 2013, a population was detected in the Central Netherlands, specimens were collected in southern Alsace, France, and the complete northeastern part of Slovenia was found colonized, with specimens also present across borders in adjacent Croatia. Apparently, at the end of 2013 a total of six populations occurred in Europe although it is not clear whether all of them are completely isolated. Similarly, it is not known whether these populations go back to the same number of introductions. While entry ports and long-distance continental migration routes are also obscure, it is likely that the international used tyre trade is the most important mode of intercontinental transportation of the mosquito. Aedes j. japonicus does not only display an aggressive biting behaviour but is suspected to be a vector of various disease agents and to displace indigenous culicid species. Therefore, Aedes j. japonicus might both cause public health problems in the future and have a significant impact on the biodiversity of the invaded territories.
Aedes japonicus japonicus; Asian bush mosquito; Asian rock pool mosquito; Europe; International spread; Invasive species; North America; Vector potential
The mayfly species Paraleptophlebia
werneri has been rediscovered from Finland. The species was classified as RE (regionally extinct) in the most recent national red-list assessment. The new locality is close to the Russian border in NE Lapland, Savukoski. Adult males were collected with a sweep net around a pond. Paraleptophlebia
strandii is a rather poorly known but widespread Finnish species. The adults of this species occurred in great numbers in aapamires of central Lapland (Sodankylä). We hypothesize that these leptophlebid species are not dependent on running water but may instead thrive in small lentic water bodies.
Lapland; faunistics; mayflies; aapamires; ponds
The molluscan shell can be viewed as a petrified representation of the organism’s ontogeny and thus can be used as a record of changes in form during growth. However, little empirical data is available on the actual growth and form of shells, as these are hard to quantify and examine simultaneously. To address these issues, we studied the growth and form of a land snail that has an irregularly coiled and heavily ornamented shell–Plectostoma concinnum. The growth data were collected in a natural growth experiment and the actual form changes of the aperture during shell ontogeny were quantified. We used an ontogeny axis that allows data of growth and form to be analysed simultaneously. Then, we examined the association between the growth and the form during three different whorl growing phases, namely, the regular coiled spire phase, the transitional constriction phase, and the distortedly-coiled tuba phase. In addition, we also explored the association between growth rate and the switching between whorl growing mode and rib growing mode. As a result, we show how the changes in the aperture ontogeny profiles in terms of aperture shape, size and growth trajectory, and the changes in growth rates, are associated with the different shell forms at different parts of the shell ontogeny. These associations suggest plausible constraints that underlie the three different shell ontogeny phases and the two different growth modes. We found that the mechanism behind the irregularly coiled-shell is the rotational changes of the animal’s body and mantle edge with respect to the previously secreted shell. Overall, we propose that future study should focus on the role of the mantle and the columellar muscular system in the determination of shell form.
3D morphometrics; Malaysia; Limestone hills; Open coiling; Borneo; Opisthostoma; Commarginal ribs; Radial ribs; Heteropmorph
This article examines the management and meaning of post-mortem examinations, and the spatial ordering of patients’ death, dissection and burial at the Victorian asylum, referencing a range of institutional contexts and exploiting a case study of the Royal Edinburgh Asylum. The routinizing of dissection and the development of the dead-house from a more marginal asylum sector to a lynchpin of laboratory medicine is stressed. External and internal pressure to modernize pathological research facilities is assessed alongside governmental, public and professional critiques of variable necroscopy practices. This is contextualized against wider issues and attitudes surrounding consent and funereal rituals. Onus is placed on tendencies in anatomizing insanity towards the conversion of deceased lunatics – pauper lunatics especially – into mere pathological specimens. On the other hand, significant but compromised resistance on the part of a minority of practitioners, relatives and the wider public is also identified.
Anatomico-pathology; asylum; burial; cemetery; consent; dead-house; death; dissection; paupers; post-mortem; space
This study provides the first ultrastructural data of spermatozoa in the genus Lecithochirium. The spermatozoa of L. microstomum (from Trichiurus lepturus in Senegal) and L. musculus (from Anguilla anguilla in Corsica) exhibit the general pattern described in the great majority of the Digenea, namely two axonemes with the 9 + “1” pattern typical of the Trepaxonemata, one mitochondrion, a nucleus, parallel cortical microtubules and external ornamentation of the plasma membrane. Spermatozoa of L. microstomum and L. musculus have some specific features such as the presence of a reduced number of cortical microtubules arranged on only one side of the spermatozoon, the lack of spine-like bodies and expansion of the plasma membrane. The external ornamentation of the plasma membrane entirely covers the anterior extremity of the spermatozoa. The ultrastructure of the posterior extremity of the spermatozoa corresponds to the pattern previously described in the Hemiuridae, characterized by only singlets of the second axoneme. A particularity of these spermatozoa is the organization of the microtubule doublets of the second axoneme around the nucleus in the posterior part of the spermatozoon.
Spermatozoon; Ultrastructure; Lecithochirium microstomum; L. musculus; Hemiuridae; Digenea
We stratified the Italian population according to age and gender in order to evaluate mortality trends over more than one century. Data covering the 1901–2008 period were used to study the yearly variations in mortality. Fluctuations in age-adjusted mortality curves were analyzed by Join Point Regression Models, identifying Join Points and Annual Percent Changes. A consistent decline in all-cause mortality occurred across the whole period, the most striking variations being observed in the 0–49 years population. In 1901, other and undefined diseases were the main causes of death, followed by infectious, digestive, and respiratory diseases in the 0–49 years population and by respiratory, cardiovascular, and cerebrovascular diseases in the ≥50 years population groups. In 2008 the main causes of death were accidents (males) and tumors (females) in the 0–49 age class, tumors in the 50–69 age class (both genders), and tumors (males) and cardiovascular diseases (females) in the elderly. The results highlight the interplay between age and gender in affecting mortality trends and reflect the dramatic progress in nutritional, lifestyle, socioeconomic, medical, and hygienic conditions.