The assessment of sexual dimorphism plays an essential role in numerous disciplines such as: (1) forensics, with its concern with skeletal identification, including sexing; (2) archeology, where the sexing of skeletal materials is an essential aspect; (3) primatology, where sex differences are diverse; (4) paleoanthropology, where the identification of sex can influence taxonomic and phylogenetic decisions, and (5) growth and development, where one strives to identify differences before and after puberty. Other disciplines where sexual dimorphism plays an important function include orthodontics, gerontology, nutrition, and medicine. Quantitative studies of morphological forms in general, and sexual dimorphism in particular, is not a trivial endeavor in that at least two aspects are involved, namely size and shape. Focusing on the human skeletal system, sexual dimorphism affects all bones, including the cranium, pelvis, long bones, and vertebral column. However, the overwhelming numbers of studies of sexual dimorphism are based solely on size differences. These studies have repeatedly demonstrated that males are larger for most dimensions. The question of shape differences, if indeed present, cannot be readily inferred from these studies. Consequently, a number of studies were initiated, over some 20 years duration, that specifically focused on the presence of sexually dimorphic shape changes in the skeletal craniofacial complex. The following anatomical structures were examined: (1) the human nasal bones, (2) the primate cranial base, (3) the human cranial base, (4) the human dental arch, (5) the human mandibular arch, and (6) the human cranial vault. These six datasets involved 16 samples for a total of 1110 specimens. Every dataset generated statistically significant sexually dimorphic differences in shape. Thus, it is apparent that the craniofacial complex not only exhibits size differences but also specific shape differences.
Two mainland Japanese males were examined with a computer tomography (CT) X-ray scanner to reconstruct three-dimensional CT simulation images of their cranial anatomy and to check for the presence/absence of 23 nonmetric cranial traits. Surface anatomy for scoring 19 nonmetric cranial variations was clearly observed among the 23 variations. Evaluation of the four other traits might have been disturbed due to dental treatment history, small variations in the images, or X-ray radiation condition. However, these disturbances could be overcome by a combination of simple thin-sliced CT images and magnetic resonance imaging. We have thus developed a new anatomical field for elucidating human morphology.
Menstrual disturbances generally affect the daily activities of young females. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of anthropometric measures and sociodemographic factors on menstrual disturbances among university students in Bangladesh. Data were collected from 995 students from Rajshahi University using a stratified sampling technique between July 2004 and May 2005. Factors influencing menstrual pain and irregular menstrual cycles were examined with multiple logistic regression analysis. Stepwise logistic regression analysis was also used to determine the most influential factors affecting menstrual disturbances. The prevalence of menstrual pain among the university students studied was very high (72.3%), while the experience of irregular menstrual cycles was very low (12.9%). Multiple logistic regressions demonstrated that menstrual pain was affected by early age at menarche, early birth order, longer length of menstrual flow and high family income. Students suffering from irregular menstrual cycles displayed a delay in menarche, longer duration of menstrual flow and larger body mass index (BMI) values. Moreover, stepwise logistic regression showed that age at menarche, birth order, duration of menstrual flow and family income were the most important factors influencing menstrual pain. Age at menarche, duration of menstrual flow and BMI were found to be the most important factors affecting irregular menstrual cycles. These results suggest that age at menarche and duration of menstrual flow are significant common factors which affect menstrual pain and irregular menstrual cycles. Consequently, menstrual disturbance can be considered as one of the major health problems of Bangladeshi university female students and requires attention.
The goal of this study is to describe briefly two trepanned cranial specimens from a Spanish medieval archaeological site. One of them belongs to a mature male in which a grooving trepanation technique was used. The other is a mature female skull in which a scraping procedure was performed. The historical context of the individuals is assessed, as well as characteristics from both trepanations and evidence of survival after the intervention. In the female skull, signs of osseous regeneration can be observed, which imply survival after the operation. No survival signs can be found in the male skull. Possible causes that could have motivated the intervention are also discussed.
Rajasthan lies on the northwest border of India, and has acted as a major route for human movements since prehistoric and historic times. The present study was conducted to gain an insight into inter-and intrapopulation affinities or variations among the six population groups of Rajasthan. DNA samples from 221 unrelated individuals belonging to six endogamous population groups of Rajasthan, including both tribal (Bhil, Damaria, Garasia, Mina and Saharia) and caste populations (Rajput) were screened for 12 DNA (seven Alu indel and five RFLP) markers. All the loci were found to be polymorphic in all the studied populations. The GST values which determine the genetic differentiation between the population ranges from 1.5% in LPL to 8.7% in APO. This study suggests that the population groups of Rajasthan are genetically close to other Indian populations, reflecting a common genetic unity among the Indian populations. The study also indicates European gene flow into the populations studied in this paper.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the genetic factors responsible for individual differences in cold tolerance. Focusing on mitochondrial haplogroup D (D4) in Japanese subjects, differences in cold tolerance between haplogroup D subjects and other haplogroup subjects were investigated. The experiment was conducted in summer (August–September). Room temperature was decreased from 27 to 10°C in 30 min, and cold exposure was then maintained at 10°C for 60 min. During that time, measurements were made of physiological responses, including rectal temperature, skin temperature, oxygen consumption, blood pressure, and heart rate. A subjective evaluation was also made. It was found that, under cold exposure, the decrease in rectal temperature of haplogroup D subjects was significantly less than that in other groups (P < 0.001). There was no significant main group effect for oxygen consumption or mean skin temperature. In haplogroup D subjects, the thermal comfort sensation was judged to be significant discomfort at 20 and 30 min after the start of cold stimulation (P < 0.05). From the relation of oxygen consumption to rectal temperature, it is conjectured that the rectal temperature at which increased thermogenesis starts is higher in haplogroup D subjects. This study suggests that differences in mitochondrial haplogroup are one factor in individual differences in cold tolerance in Japanese.